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07-04-08, 01:12
The plane incident and the Uighur girl
Posted by Richard Spencer on 11 Mar 2008 at 21:00
Tags: China, Beijing Airport, Beijing Olympics

More baffling details of the "terror" incidents over the weekend, this time to do with the "plane attempted hijack".

Beijing Airport
Was Beijing Airport the target?

When we last left this part of the story, the authorities were not describing the incident which led to a plane making an emergency landing at Lanzhou airport as terrorist in nature.

Given, however, that it was publicised by the governor of Xinjiang at the same time as his boss was claiming that terrorists from the (alleged Uighur terror group) East Turkestan Islamic Movement were targeting the Beijing Olympics, this was the obvious conclusion we were meant to draw. The governor certainly said that the attack was intended to crash the plane.

Two more accounts have now emerged. One, anonymously sourced, is in Hong Kong's second-biggest newspaper Sing Tao. It makes the sensational claim that the 18/19-year-old Uighur girl at the centre of the scare, who was judged to be acting suspiciously by an air stewardess who came across "inflammable material" in the plane's toilet, had been sent abroad for "training" at the age of six.

The report identifies her as a "Xinjiang splittist", and says that her target was the new monster terminal at Beijing Airport.

It says the inflammable material consisted of petrol canisters. The size was not given.

The second report is much more authoritative: it is an interview, on Phoenix TV, with the head of China Southern, the airline involved.

Liu Shaoyong says that the stewardess noticed the girl coming out of the toilet "in a suspiciously emotional state". The smell of her perfume was mixed with something else.

The stewardess checked the toilet and found "an inflammable item in the bin". She identified the woman to air marshals, who "put under control" the woman and the male passenger sitting next to her.

The "item" was put in a special box used to handle suspicious items.

At first he merely says the pair were suspecting of "seeking a chance to commit a crime".

But he goes on rather ambiguously to draw a distinction between "flight security incidents" some time ago and those today.

Previously, they were committed by individuals for individual reasons, such as wanting to hijack a plane to get to Taiwan. Now "it's obviously organised", with "political purposes, aimed at the Olympics". "They want to disrupt the work of the Party and the State Council, and to influence the unity of state territory and sovereignty".

He doesn't come clearly out and state that the incident was aiming to crash the airliner into the airport. Nor is it anywhere explained why the woman was leaving the toilet having put the "inflammable item" in the bin.

I suppose the conclusion has to be that she puts it into the bin, and then the accomplice goes in and lights it, causing a fire - or even explosion, if there was enough of it - perhaps by igniting the waste paper. This seems a little far-fetched. Would this "crash a plane"? I suppose it depends on the quantity.

It is two to three hours' flight from Lanzhou to Beijing: if the woman was intending to hide the petrol (if that's what it was), she would have to be very confident it wouldn't be found in that time, especially if the smell was so obvious.

The lesson from the "Heathrow plot" of summer 2006 would be that the accomplice - or whoever - could have removed the "inflammable material" and mixed it with other materials to make a bomb.

But there is no indication of that: no finding of any other material. The police clearly didn't suspect that further materials might have been hidden: they allowed the plane to carry on to Beijing rather than mounting a complete search.

The accomplice is believed detained but not formally arrested, as the girl is said to be.

As Private Eye might say: what can it all mean?

Whatever, it seems to me that this girl's 12-year training - if it was in terror tactics - cannot have been very thorough. Let's just hope for everyone's sake it doesn't turn out she was just sniffing solvents.
Posted by Richard Spencer on 11 Mar 2008 at 21:00

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28 comments

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bianxiangbianqiao's avatar
sniffing solvents

bianxiangbianqiao 11 Mar 2008 21:21

You mean she was "in a suspiciously emotional state" because she was high? An airplane in flight is a nice place to get high.

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Rockefeller's avatar
Get it right

Rockefeller 11 Mar 2008 23:56

If the Chinese want to crack down on 'terrorists' they need to learn how to carry out false flag operations properly; and who better to learn from than the masters: Russia, USA, Britain and Israel? Best to make the 'terrorist attack' very big and very deadly - people are more likely to be taken in, to believe the official version. You then warn unwitting participants and witnesses to keep quiet. Finally, put a gagging order on the press (unnecessary in China) and hey presto, carte blanche to go after those pesky 'terrorists'.

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bemis's avatar
richard: get it right please

bemis 12 Mar 2008 02:09

You need more than a "Uighur girl" to attract attention. Maybe Mark Spitzer's girl friends? Recently BBC had a piece on Prince Philip too. Rivetting stuff. Especially the accompanying photo.

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bemis's avatar
sorry

bemis 12 Mar 2008 02:17

that should have been elliott spitzer's girl friends (not mark spitzer) of course!

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0Lo's avatar
Going on a jet plane

0Lo 12 Mar 2008 02:34

I once found a can of Rexona in my carry on luggage. I also dumped it in the toilet bin. Thank gawd I wasn't flying with a Chinese carrier.

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Chosen's avatar
'Bollocks'

Chosen 12 Mar 2008 03:44

... is the only way to describe this story. Pure, unadulterated bollocks. The Uighur demonizers in Beijing are going to have to be a bit more creative next time.

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IC's avatar
British Talibans?

IC 12 Mar 2008 13:11

Just like American Taliban John Walker! British Talibans are more active online before they go to field.

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mikey888's avatar
"Balls"

mikey888 12 Mar 2008 14:47

Well Chosen, I hope your Loved ones are on the Plane the next time someone Brings Flammable Liquid on Board , and see if you'll still be singing the same Tune.

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MChau's avatar
Inflammable liquid

MChau 12 Mar 2008 15:28

The inflammable liquid could be the moonshine from a drunken Laowai English teacher. People in China may have a reputation of eating anything that moves, but the Laowai on the the other hand, love to gobble up anything remotely alcoholic.

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bianxiangbianqiao's avatar
stop stereotyping

bianxiangbianqiao 12 Mar 2008 17:35

MChau,
You should stop spreading stereotypes and promoting prejudice. We are all a big family, marching hand in hand to a glorious future.

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bianxiangbianqiao's avatar
marching hand in hand

bianxiangbianqiao 12 Mar 2008 17:41

Yes, I am high. This is spring break; the students are all gone.

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Jana's avatar
re BxBq

Jana 13 Mar 2008 02:46

Glad to hear it BXBQ this is exactlty the frame of mind that leads to a glorious future!!

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Rockefeller's avatar
And for my next trick

Rockefeller 13 Mar 2008 03:24

mikey888 12 Mar 2008 14:47

Maybe their loved ones were on a plane, Mikey, boy; perhaps flight 93, or the 'plane' that hit the Pentagon, and now they've just simply vanished into the ether with all their luggage and their tooth enamel. You never know. Strange things happen, aliens and stuff...

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bemis's avatar
thank you mchau & bxbq

bemis 13 Mar 2008 06:28

We are indeed one big happy family, but mchau is correct all the same: some eat too much & others drink too much. Good for both groups, to recognize their own imperfections. That way, maybe they will improve themselves & peace will prevail. Instead of wars, resulting from trying to "improve" the other fellow.





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Mark A's avatar
The incident is probably real enough

Mark A 13 Mar 2008 10:45

Considering ccp’s precious records, which habitually hide bad news, the current attempt to provide a timely (well, not timely enough I hear you say) briefing is to be encouraged. They obviously are not skilled in providing such a briefing, hence so much scepticism and unanswered questions.

But, the East Turkestan Islamic Movement is a terrerist organisation with a strong outside link, including with al-Quada and chechen separatists. They have previously commited many horrific crimes in Xingjiang, especially during early 90s, which caused many deaths. The subsequent crackdown may be a little harsh in your eye, but that’s China I am afraid, and it enjoys wide support inside China. Just because your guys are ignorant, doesnot mean they did not happen.

On the other hand, the organisation does still enjoy US secret support although they have named the organisation as terrorist organisation after 9/11. Perhaps China should support Taliban in Afghanistan in return.

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MChau's avatar
In 20 to 30 years

MChau 13 Mar 2008 15:36

Glad no one took my previous comment too seriously. The existence of East Turkestan Independence Movement is pretty well known, and the fact that they have engaged in terrorist activity is undeniable. I cannot remember the exact fact of the incident, but a few years ago in a neighbor central Asia country, a bus load of Chinese tourists were massacred by a few gunmen. The gunmen then set the bus on fire. They escaped to Turkey, and still at large. They were most likely Uyghurs. By meeting with Rebiya Kadeer very recently, President Bush had no doubt emboldened the Independence movement and the associated violent activities of the Uyghurs. It's so ironic that the US and its allies are fighting the a war in Iraq because of the 911 attack, but at the same time it is encouraging terrorist activity elsewhere.
Lee Kuan Yew once said that the Muslims are the most difficult to assimilate. It's certainly true if you look at what has happened in Europe. The Chinese population in Southeast Asia, even though they are dominant economically, have to deal with outright discriminations and the occasional massacres. Subtle prejudices may exist in China against the minority groups, but I am aware of no law in China that says only certain number of non-Han Chinese can go to college. Being a non-Han Chinese actually have a lot of privileges in China in terms of education, employment, etc. China is still very poor, but as its living standard improves, more and more non-Chinese would want to live there.(I notice some Chinese companies already have foreign staffs). In 20 to 30 years, the country should be way ahead of it neighbors like India or the central Asia countries(I think it is already is). When that happens, the Tibetans and the Uyghurs in China look at what a good life they have when compare with their compatriots in other countries, they would not want to be independent even you force them to.

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ranc's avatar
Richard you're still just a Laowai

ranc 14 Mar 2008 05:40

I hope recent developments of the issue have made you realize that the plot was real enough and that, after so many years of reporting in China, you're still an outsider, meaning you really don't know what's going on in China. Your understanding of China is probably no significantly better than Chinese journalists' understanding of Britain. Of course, the Chinese authority has always been bad at communication, which makes people suspicious of their intentions, but next time you should try to stick to objective reporting as much as possible before making premature judgements.

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andy nanchang china's avatar
Here we go again...

andy nanchang china 14 Mar 2008 07:22

foreigners don't (can't!?!) understand China blah blah blah

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0Lo's avatar
EMIT?

0Lo 14 Mar 2008 11:43

In 2002 the CCP released a white paper, "The East Turkistan Terrorists cannot get away with impunity". This paper claimed over one hundred deaths by terrorists since the ealy 1990s. There were some very major flaws that have since aided to the notion that the EMIT are a major terrorist organisation within China. Firstly, 95% of those deaths were individual deaths (sometimes in pairs), hardly major terrorist acts; secondly, only 65% of the "terrorist" acts were properly explained, the other 45% is unexplainable; thirdly, the paper's loose use of "east turkistan" terrorist makes it extremely difficult to know who the hell was doing the "terrorism". Such was the complexity that American made the mistake of attributing ALL the acts (even through other groups were identified) to EMIT.

Can someone explain to me why the plane was not made a major crime scene after an attempted "terrorist" act? Or don't china do crime scenes?

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0Lo's avatar
correction to above

0Lo 14 Mar 2008 11:44

"There were some very major flaws that have since aided to the notion that the EMIT are (NOT) a major terrorist organisation within China."

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MChau's avatar
The Tibetans and and the Uyghurs

MChau 14 Mar 2008 19:57

The Tibetans and the Uyghurs are not the only minorities in China, there are about fifty others that include the Mongolians in Inner Mongolia, the ethnic Koreans in Northeast China, the Miao in Southwest China, etc. You don't ever hear them engage in any kind of independence movement, violent or not. As a matter of fact, Cui Jian, who is a very popular musician based in Beijing, is an ethnic Korean. Li Ning, the Olympic gold medal gymnast, who is also the founder of Li Ning Company Limited, which has become a major sports wear company in China, is of Zhuang ethnicity. When I look at the just released photos from Tibet about the riots that are happening right now, with shops looted, car set on fire, youths with huge knifes in the streets, it remained me of what happened in Indonesia in 1997 after their economy collapsed, and the ensuring violence against ethnic Chinese there.

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Chosen's avatar
A prophecy

Chosen 16 Mar 2008 02:54

"When that happens, the Tibetans and the Uyghurs in China look at what a good life they have when compare with their compatriots in other countries, they would not want to be independent even you force them to."

Lhasa is burning with resentment. Explain that.

Btw, Richard, where the hell are you when China's Olympic dream and the lives of Tibetans are hanging by a thread?

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mikey888's avatar
Priorities

mikey888 16 Mar 2008 03:42

"Btw, Richard, where the hell are you when China's Olympic dream and the lives of Tibetans are hanging by a thread?"
Need Richard to hold your hands?
No mention of the innocent Han Chinese and Hui moslem murdered? Shows what you really think of the Chinese, just FACK off back to the hole you came from.

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Panchen Lama's avatar
CHINA INTELLECTUAL RETARDMENT - I -

Panchen Lama 16 Mar 2008 16:21

"The stewardess checked the toilet and found:
"an inflammable item in the BIN."

Now, was the 'girl' the only passenger to use that toilet BIN? Of course not. This is a fact.

Consequently, the 'inflammable item in the BIN' could have been put there by any other passenger who went in that toilet BEFORE the girl.

But, how did the 'inflammable item in the BIN' enter that plane in China? This is a fact.

By way of China Terrorist Olympics Games: not to check Chinese passengers clothes and luggage.

Therefore: who is the real terrorist behind China 'BIN'?

China.

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Panchen Lama's avatar
CHINA INTELLECTUAL RETARDMENT - II -

Panchen Lama 16 Mar 2008 16:37

Therefore, as seen in my previous comment, the truth is that Western boys and girls who shall participate in the Olympics Games in China, as well as all Westerners involved, are already under danger of life in China airports, in China aeroplanes and in China territories.

Consequently, the Olympics Games are not safe in China.

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John Nanchang China's avatar
.

John Nanchang China 17 Mar 2008 06:26

“Workers of the world unite.”

Why do socialites / communists cling to the concept of sovereignty so tightly?

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John Nanchang China's avatar
.

John Nanchang China 17 Mar 2008 06:29

(you would not believe the trouble me and some of my foreign friends are having with the Internet lately. This is what I meant to post! Okay, I’m going now…….



“Workers of the world unite.”

Why do socialists / communists cling to the concept of sovereignty so tightly?

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andy nanchang china's avatar
John

andy nanchang china 17 Mar 2008 10:50

I liked the first version better Emoticon: Smile

Hmmm, nationalism plus socialism equals...National Socialism?

Yes, strange how the internet is playing up these days isn't it. Must be something to do with this harmonious society I've heard so much about.

Unregistered
08-04-08, 02:34
good article it is always worth to read