A video reportedly released by the Islamic State (ISIS) on Monday features militants from China’s Uighur ethnic minority threatening to return home to “shed blood like rivers.”
That’s according to analysis by U.S.-based jihadist-tracking firm SITE Intelligence Group, which examined the footage, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reports.
Moments before executing an alleged informant, a Uighur militant reportedly issues ISIS’s first direct threat against China. According to SITE’s translation, the fighter said, “We will come to you to clarify to you with the tongues of our weapons, to shed blood like rivers and avenging the oppressed.”
China has long attributed violent attacks in the provincial-level autonomous region of Xinjiang to exiled Uighur “separatists” and warned of their possible collaboration with overseas jihadist groups. Many ethnic minority Uighurs — who are traditionally Muslim — have reported suffering cultural and religious persecution by China.
Michael Clarke, a Xinjiang expert at Australian National University, told AFP that the video showed China is now “very firmly a target of jihadist rhetoric.”
“It is the first time that Uighur-speaking militants have claimed allegiance to ISIS,” he said.