Al Qaeda leader urges Uighurs to launch jihad against China


A high-ranking al Qaeda official has called for a holy war against China in response to what he says is the Chinese government’s oppression of the Uighurs—the ethnic minority group who live primarily in the northwest region of Xinjiang.

Abu Yahya al-Libi, in a video posted on an Islamist website this week, said the Uighur population would need to use jihad to free themselves from the “tyranny” of the Chinese government.

“There is no way to remove injustice and oppression without a true return to their (Uighurs) religion and … serious preparation for jihad in the path of God the Almighty and to carry weapons in the face of those (Chinese) invaders,” al-Libi said.

“It is a duty for Muslims today to stand by their wounded and oppressed brothers in East Turkistan … and support them with all they can.”

In July, hackers sabotaged the website of the Melbourne International Film Festival, who were angry over the film fest’s decision to screen a documentary about exiled Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer.

Content on the website was replaced with the Chinese flag and anti-Kadeer slogans just hours after Premier John Brumby officially opened the event.

The Chinese government accuses Kadeer of inciting riots between Uighurs and Han settlers that swept Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang province. Around 200 people died and 1,600 were injured in the mutiny.