The Chinese Global Times newspaper stressed that gunmen from East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), which operates in Xinjiang region to the west of China, are fighting along with the armed terrorist groups in Syria.
According to a source from China’s anti-terrorism authority, the newspaper said in an article published on Monday that members of the ETIM and East Turkestan Education and Solidarity Association (ETESA) have been going to Syria since May and “linking up with organizations like Al Qaeda to fight against the Syrian government.”
“ETIM is being helped by Al Qaeda and they are collecting funds through drug and gun trafficking, kidnapping and robbery,” the source told the Global Times.
He continued as saying that ETIM selects and recruits “separatists, criminals and terrorists” to receive “secret terrorism training”.
“After receiving orders from Al Qaeda, terrorists from China came to Syria to meet with jihadists already on the ground before forming groups on the frontlines,” the source was quoted as saying.
The Security Council included in 2009 the ETIM in the list of terrorist organizations fighting against the Chinese government to separate Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region from China.
Seeking to achieve this objective, the Movement has carried out several terrorist operations which claimed the lives of many civilians and military members.