Terror plot to kidnap athletes, scribes
China on Thursday claimed that it had cracked two alleged terrorist groups, thwarting their plans to kidnap foreign journalists, tourists and athletes during the Beijing Olympics with the goal of "destroying" the event.
The terrorists of the East Turkistan movement in the restive Muslim-majority Xinjiang Uygur region in two groups numbering 45 were sent by from abroad to carry out "anti-Olympic terrorist attacks", the Ministry of Public Security Spokesman Wu Heping said.
He said four kgs of explosives, 18 explosive devices, seven detonators, 100 kg of raw material for making explosives and "a mass text materials on starting a holy war" had been recovered from the groups.
Wu said that first group's leader Aji Muhammat and his 10-member gang had confessed to the police about their "anti-Olympic terrorist attacks". They were arrested between January 4 and 11.
The group members were assigned to keep hotels, government buildings and military facilities in Beijing and Shanghai under surveillance, he said.
China had recently said that it had foiled two terror plots to crash a Beijing-bound passenger plane and the other targeting the Olympics.
Wu claimed that the terrorist had plotted in November kidnapping of foreign journalists, tourists and athletes during the Beijing Olympics with the goal of "destroying" the event by creating trouble to attract international attention.
The Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement had been secretly recruiting members and sending them abroad for terrorist training and raising funds to buy explosives, he claimed.