London, July 14 (ANI): In a bid to avenge the deaths of Muslim Uighurs in Xinjiang, Al-Qaeda's North African wing has threatened to target Chinese workers in Africa.
The threat from Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) comes in the wake of race riots in far West China which claimed the lives of at least 136 Han Chinese and 46 Uighurs, The Telegraph reports.
The London based risk-analysis company 'Stirling Assynt' quoted the AQIM, as saying that it would target the 50,000 Chinese who are working in Algeria and launch attacks against other Chinese projects in Northern Africa.
"This threat should be taken seriously. Future attacks of this kind are likely to target security forces and Chinese engineers alike," the AQIM said, referring to its attack when the terror group had killed 24 Algerian security personnel who were protecting Chinese engineers.
China has repeatedly linked Uighur separatist groups to Al-Qaeda, but this is the first time that the terrorist network has made a direct threat against China or its overseas projects.
Stirling Assynt said that it had monitored an increase in internet "chatter" among possible jihadists about the need to "avenge the perceived injustices in Xinjiang."
"Some of these individuals have been actively seeking information on China's interests in the Muslim world which they could use for targeting purposes," Stirling Assynt said, adding that locations included North Africa, Sudan, Pakistan and Yemen.
Two extremist web sites affiliated with Al-Qaeda noted that large numbers of Chinese work in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East.
"Chop off their heads at their workplaces or in their homes to tell them that the time of enslaving Muslims has gone," read one posting.
China's policy of total control and its inability to stop Uighur Muslims' killings has upset Islamic states.Protesting Muslims in Indonesia called for a jihad against China on Monday, while Iran and Turkey, both key Chinese allies, have lashed out at Beijing.
Over 5,000 people protested in support of the Uighurs in Istanbul on Sunday. In the Gaza Strip, Hamas has also said the unrest would harm China's ties to the Muslim world. (ANI)