BEIJING — A Chinese army officer warned Friday that Islamic separatists are the biggest threat to the Olympics, but a regional official played down the danger.
At a rare briefing one week ahead of the opening of the games, Sen. Colonel Tian Yixiang of the Olympics security command center told reporters the biggest threat came from “the East Turkestan terrorist organization”— the government’s standard term for jihadist groups seeking to establish an Islamic state in China’s far western region of Xinjiang.
A secondary threat came from Tibetan separatists who the government accused of orchestrating a wave of violent protests in western China in the spring, Tian said.
“These forces are trying all means to sabotage the Beijing Olympic Games,” Tian said, adding that a force of 34,000 soldiers has been positioned in Beijing and other Olympic host cities such as Shanghai to guard against such threats. Read more..