Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Inside the six routes out of China for ISIS recruits

WANT CHINA TIMES - 2015-07-29

There are six main routes through which Chinese Islamist extremists are being smuggled out of China to join the "holy war" in the Middle East led by the Islamic State, the brutal jihadist organization also known as ISIS, reports Duowei News, a US-based Chinese political news outlet.
These six paths are said to originate either in northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region, southwest China's Yunnan province, southern China's Guangdong province or Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, and involve multiple transits across several countries before reaching Turkey, the main springboard into Syria and Iraq, where Islamic State controls a large swathe of territory.
Route one begins in the south of Xinjiang and involves crossing the border directly into Pakistan, Afghanistan or the Kashmir region. This route came about because southern Xinjiang's Pishan county has been a breeding ground for religious radicals and is regarded as a major camp for indoctrinating and training new recruits. The street market bombing in the Xinjiang capital Urumqi on May 22 last year, which killed 43 people including four of the assailants, was said to have originated from Pishan.
The second route involves crossing the border to the central Asian nations of Kyrgyzstan or Uzbekistan via the Fergana Valley, which spreads across eastern Uzbekistan, southern Kyrgyzstan and northern Tajikistan. The valley is believed to be rife with terrorist activities due to the lack of government controls and management, and as a result, more and more Xinjiang recruits are reportedly using this path. Last January, Kyrgyzstan border police reportedly shot dead 20 Uyghur stowaways in the valley, just 30 kilometers from the Chinese border.