BEIJING: The East Turkestan Islamic Movement was a “behind-the-scenes” supporter of this week’s attack on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, China’s top security official Meng Jianzhu said.
“Its behind-the-scenes supporters were the terrorist group the East Turkestan Islamic Movement [ETIM] based in central and west Asia,” Meng said when asked about the Tiananmen incident on a visit to Tashkent in Uzbekistan, video posted online on Thursday showed.
A high-profile car crash on Monday killed two tourists and injured dozens at the popular site and symbolic heart of the Chinese state, with the three people in the car—a man, his wife and his mother—all dying, police say.
Beijing police said the vehicle had a license plate from Xinjiang, the far western region where China’s mostly Muslim Uighur minority is concentrated, while the three people inside the car and five arrested suspects have Uighur-sounding names.
ETIM—which is classed by both the United Nations and the United States as a terrorist group—is known as a militant Islamic separatist organization that seeks an independent state in Xinjiang.