AMU Asia Homeland Security Intelligence

Mass Killing in China Train Station

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By Brett Daniel Shehadey
Special Contributor for In Homeland Security

On Saturday, an act of mass stabbing at a train station in Kunming, China left 33 dead and 143 wounded, according to state TV. The police shot 4 of the 10 murderers dead, according to Xinhua.

China calls this an act of terrorism. Blames it on Xinjiang Muslim seperatists. Previous social violent mental outbreaks like these are occurring more and more. Incidents of mass knifings in China for various reasons, including unemployment.

In December of 2012, 22 children were wounded in an attack on a primary school.

In 2010, there were a series of knifing events and most of these go unreported.

The nature of attacks appears to have many of the same patterns of mental breakdowns, the selection of vulnerable targets in closed settings and so forth. A “terror gang” from the city seems more likely than the distant Uighur terrorists, provided the location. Three key differences that the assailants used black masks to conceal their identities, worked in a group and most definitely pre-planned the attack.

Terrorists by genral definition instigate their threats toward the government, either directly or indirectly. This stabbing does not achieve any clear gains for any terrorist group. It inspires terror and fear but none that would help the Uighur cause, which are usually directed within Xinjiang and often at security personnel. If they took the trouble for such an attack, they might have selected a much better target. No terrorist group has taken responsibility so far.

Meng Jianzhu, head of China’s Central Politics and Legal Affairs Commission, vowed to seek justice on those who were responsible. “This brutal attack on defenseless, innocent people by violent terrorists devoid of conscience exposes their inhuman and anti-social nature,” Meng stated, according to Xinhua. “They inevitably will face the severe punishment of the law. We must mobilize all resources and adopt all means to break this case.”

PLA Navy Rear Admiral Yin Zhuo’s remarks seemed most out of place from some of the others: “The well-planned attack was not an issue of (ethnicity) or religion, it was an issue of terrorism with links to the terrorist forces out of the country.”

Dilxat Raxit. a spokesperson from an exiled Uighur group called World Uyghur Congress said: “China must handle the incident transparently and not let it become a new political excuse to oppress Uighurs.”


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