Australian greens leader Sceptical over China's terrorism claims

Australia's Uighur community says it is sceptical about claims that the Chinese Government has foiled an Islamic terrorist plot centred on the Beijing Olympics.

The Chinese Government says 45 Uighur men from the north-western province of Xinjiang have been arrested for plotting attacks during the Games.

China says Uighur militants have been agitating to establish an independent East Turkestan in the predominantly Muslim north-western region, which borders Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia.

Kuranda Seyit from Australia's World Uyghur Congress says the timing of the arrests is suspicious.

"I would be very surprised if there are any legitimate claims that there are people from that Eastern Turkestan region planning any type of terrorist attack," he said.

"I really believe that this is just a diversionary attempt to take the pressure off China because of what's happening in Tibet."

Greens leader Bob Brown says he also doubts the veracity of the Chinese claims.

Senator Brown says Chinese authorities have been making similar claims for several months.

"You simply don't know what to think because this is a police state that manufactures and manipulates the news to its own purposes," he said.

"I think the Olympics in Beijing will be as secure as any Olympics can be."


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