On March 1, for the first time, the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) released a video showcasing militants from the Uyghur ethnic minority from China’s restive Xinjiang province in its ranks. The video proceeds to directly threaten Beijing with violence on behalf of ISIS before the Uyghur members of the terror group are shown executing an alleged informant.
“Oh, you Chinese who do not understand what people say. We are the soldiers of the Caliphate, and we will come to you to clarify to you with the tongues of our weapons, to shed blood like rivers and avenging the oppressed,” the video narrates according to lose translations corroborated by the SITE Intelligence Group.
The timing of the video’s release could be seen as deliberate with China over the past month orchestrating a show of power in its Xinjiang province, where Uyghur Muslims have been at odds with the state over issues of religious freedom, ethnic autonomy and in some cases secessionist Islamist ideologues wanting to set up a fundamentalist Islamic state in the region. As a result, Xinjiang has seen a host of knife attacks against its own people, and retaliatory policies by the Chinese government against Uyghur protestors that have reportedly killed hundreds over the past ten years.