14 March 2017
On February 27, 2017, Islamic State’s media house of al-Furat circulated an online propaganda video entitled “Children of the Caliphate.” The video was produced in the west of Iraq and featured around 30 Chinese Uyghur militants fighting in the battlefield, along with 20 children in a training camp and studying in a madrasa. The Uyghur fighters threatened to come to China to “spill rivers of blood as revenge on behalf of the oppressed” and to “plant the caliphate’s flag.”
The footage underlines the growing military and tactical strength of ISIS Uyghur fighters, who are now more unified, ambitious, and brutal than ever before. In spite of this evolving dynamic, an ISIS-centric threat to China remains less serious compared to the al-Qaeda-linked Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP), which was formerly known as East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM). It is unlikely that a propaganda video will influence Beijing to fundamentally reconsider its current counterterrorism approach. China’s priority has been to fight a “TIP-directed domestic threat” in the Xinjiang province rather than participating in the international military campaign against Islamic State in the Middle East.
… Nodirbek Soliev is a Senior Analyst with the International Center for Political Violence and Terrorism Research (ICPVTR), a constituent unit of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University.
ICPVTR / Online
Last updated on 16/03/2017