New Delhi, July 21 : The Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) poses a real threat to the Beijing Olympics because investigations point out that it has been plotting terror attacks on venues, a senior Chinese security official has said.
"It's not imaginary. We have been focusing on the ETIM and it has been labelled a terrorist group not only by our country, but also by the international community," Ma Zhenchuan, director of the security command of the Beijing Games, said.
"Intelligence reports show the group has been planning to carry out terrorist attacks during the Games," Ma told China Central Television (CCTV), stressing that his command had already worked out detailed counter-terrorism plans.
Police in Kashgar in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region said last week that they had busted 12 wings of trans-national terrorist groups, including the ETIM and the Hizb-e-Tahrir, this year.
Earlier this month, the public security bureau in Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang, held a press conference to announce that five "terrorist groups" which were hatching plots to attack Games venues had been smashed and 82 people detained.
Police have destroyed 41 bases where Islamic militants used to get training, too, the bureau said.
Ma, however, warned that thwarting the ETIM does not mean safety because it is just a part of the terrorist threat to the Olympics.
"We have been cooperating with the security authorities of all participating countries" to thwart any plot to disrupt the Games.
Security and information officials of more than 80 countries have been collaborating with their Chinese counterparts to counter possible terrorist threats, the Beijing Daily has quoted an Olympic security official Kou Bo as saying.
Beijing has beefed up its security measures, including forming 40 anti-terrorism units with 188 members in the city alone.