Chinese Han `jihadist` fights along with Syrian rebels
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Last Updated: Sunday, March 31, 2013, 18:07
Beijing: A Chinese national of the majority Han ethnic community has turned a Jihadi militant and joined the ranks of the Islamic militants to fight against the Bashar regime in Syria, according to a media report today.

Bo Wang, who calls himself Yusuf after his conversion to Islam was filmed firing his Kalashnikov rifle in YuTube video, the New York Times reported.

He told the person filming him that after reading the works of Sayyid Qutb, the modern Islamist theorist, he had gone to study in Libya and witnessed the revolution there.

Then he travelled to Syria to help overthrow the government of Bashar al-Assad, which he said "is butchering every Muslim here in cold blood, including children and women", the report said.

He spoke in Putonghua (a Chinese language). He called himself Yusef, but a subtitle in English on a YouTube said his Chinese name was Bo Wang.

On the surface, he appeared to be an extremely rare example of an ethnic Han Chinese joining a jihadist group in the Arab world, the Times said.

The video first got the attention of some Chinese last week, when it was posted on YouTube and then on Youku, a popular video-sharing site in China.

It was quickly deleted from there, possibly by censors. In the video, the man told the Chinese government to drop its support of Assad or "all Islamic countries of the world will unite to impose economic sanctions against the Chinese government".

The title screen says in Arabic: "The Mujahedeen Brigade in the Land of Sham," which is another name for Syria.

More text says the video is a "message to the Chinese people" from the "media division of the mujahedeen in the land of Sham".

He goes on to speak of 1,400-year-old ties between the Chinese and the Arabs, stretching back to the time of the Prophet Mohammed and the Tang dynasty, when the Silk Road thrived.

"However," he says, "now the Chinese government has destroyed that traditional friendship between the Chinese and Arab people" because Chinese leaders, along with their Iranian and Russian counterparts, "sell weapons and provide financial assistance to the Assad government".

China and Russia have opposed Western members of the UN Security Council authorising the use of force to intervene in the bloody Syrian civil conflict.

It was not possible to verify the authenticity of the video, which was posted on YouTube on March 17 by a user named ayahm84, and then on Youku by someone using the handle of "Bashar al-Assad", the report said.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said it did not have immediate comment.


First Published: Sunday, March 31, 2013, 18:07

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