China on Wednesday issued a security warning to its citizens living in Algeria after al Qaeda allegedly vowed to avenge the deaths of Muslim Uighurs killed in the northwestern Chinese province of Xinjiang.
The warning came in response to a report released by the London risk consultancy Stirling Assynt that warned its clients that al Qaeda might target Chinese workers in northwestern Africa. According to the report, the call came from al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and was the first time al Qaeda directly threatened China.
Chinese embassy officials in Algiers have since told its citizens to be aware of threats. “The Chinese Embassy in Algeria is specially calling on Chinese-funded organizations and personnel to raise their security awareness and strengthen security measures,” the embassy said through their website.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told reporters Tuesday, “China has been reminding overseas Chinese to pay attention to their safety and enhance self protection ... China will take any necessary measure to protect the safety of Chinese organizations and citizens overseas.”
Exiled Uigher organizations have said they oppose violence and denounced al Qaeda’s threat.