U.S. arrests 10 for allegedly spying for Russia

Originally published by Reuters,29 June 2010

By Jeremy Pelofsky

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. authorities said on Monday they have broken up a spy ring that carried out deep-cover work in the United States to recruit political sources and gather information for the Russian government.

Authorities charged 11 individuals with the plot, 10 of whom were arrested on Sunday in Boston, New York, New Jersey and Virginia on charges including conspiracy to act as unlawful agents of the Russian Federation and money laundering.

The group, dubbed the “Illegals,” was accused of being tasked by the Russian intelligence agency SVR to enter the United States, assume false identities and become “deep-cover” Americans, according to the U.S. Justice Department.

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Suspicious Timing

Originally published by LRB Blog,28 June 2010


Friday’s Dongguan Daily, showing the two Uighur ‘ringleaders’ in a completely impartial pair of handcuffs

 Last Thursday the Chinese police claimed they had ‘cracked a terrorist cell headed by [Uighur] separatists’. At a press conference in Beijing, a Ministry of Public Security spokesman said that 10 people had been detained for their role in attacks on a police station in Kashgar in August 2008, and for ‘bombing supermarkets, hotel and government buildings’ in Kuqa. Two Uighurs were identified as the ringleaders: Abdurixit Ablet, 42, and Imin Semai’er, 33, both of whom were said to have confessed to planning a series of terrorist attacks. The press were also shown slides of bullets, axes, knives and pipe bombs allegedly made by the accused.

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Small gain from big Chinese adventure

Originally published by  The Australian,28 June  2010 

By Rowan Callick

 Kevin Rudd’s failure to engage China during his tenure spotlights his weaknesses

ONE of the most curious elements in the downfall of Kevin Rudd is what went wrong with Lu Kewen’s Big Chinese Adventure. It is a saga that ran parallel to the broader domestic failures that caused his demise. It is also one in which his weaknesses became apparent earlier, perhaps because it is an area of such special significance to him.

It requires the most careful probing because its lessons for Australia’s economic and strategic future are so telling.

When he became prime minister, a sense of mild exultation coursed through the community of people engaged in the relationship between Australia and China.

This was not only because he speaks Chinese, but also because of his understanding of China — not always the same thing. This appeared to provide Australia with a clear opportunity for differentiation from the rest of the West, and thus potentially better economic terms and a sound strategic relationship, or dialogue.

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For the G-20, order is restored with America’s leadership

Originally published by The Washington Post, 25 June 2010

By David Ignatius

As the Group of 20 prepares for its economic summit this weekend in Toronto, the mood is one that would have surprised many observers a year ago: The United States is once again in the driver’s seat on global economic policy, with China emerging as a potent partner.

 A year ago, China was wondering whether it had made the wrong bet in relying on the United States to manage the global economic system. The financial meltdown of 2008 was so disastrous that the Chinese feared the U.S.-built financial architecture was, quite literally, out of control.

 Restoring confidence in the soundness of the global economy — especially among policymakers in Beijing — has been among the Obama administration’s most important tests over the past year, beyond containing oil spills or even fighting the Taliban. And to a greater degree than skeptics thought possible, the U.S. rescue operation has been successful. “It worked,” trumpeted President Obama in the opening paragraph of his June 16 letter to fellow G-20 summiteers.

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China: Official Links 10 Detainees to 2008 Killings

Originally The New York Times,June 24, 2010

A Chinese security official said Thursday that the police recently broke up a “terrorist group” that was involved in an attack in August 2008 in the western city of Kashgar that resulted in the deaths of 17 paramilitary officers. The official, Wu Heping, said the police had detained 10 members of the group, including two “ringleaders,” Abdurixit Ablet, 42, and Imin Semai’er, 33, both natives of the restive western region of Xinjiang, according to Xinhua, the state news agency.

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More on Chinese alert in Xinjiang

Originally published by Sri lanka Guardian, 25 June 2010

By B. Raman

(Chennai, ) According to reliable sources in the Uighur diaspora in Pakistan, the authorities in some of the towns of the Xinjiang province have made it mandatory for all religious sermons to be approved in advance by the local officials of the Ministry of Public Security, which is responsible for internal intelligence and security. Prior permission of the Ministry is also required for holding any religious gathering. Members of the Communist Party of China have been banned from attending religious congregations.

2.Earlier, a directive issued by the Religious Affairs Department of Shayar county in the Aksu Prefecture of the Xinjinag province in April had stated as follows: ” All religious groups must register with the village branch of the Religious Affairs Department, allow monthly inspections of religious sites and special meetings by authorities, and obtain prior approval of the content of any religious services. Before village members gather for worship, the Religious Affairs Department must review the content of the texts in question. An information officer for religious activities will verify the content of the texts and must be advised of the specific situation in which the texts will be used in worship.”

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Beijing’s Fake Media Reform

One year later, here’s what we still don’t know about the bloody riots in China’s Xinjiang region.

originally published by Foreign Policy,24 June 2010


Nearly a year after violent riots engulfed Urumqi, the capital city of China’s restive Xinjiang region, major questions about China’s deadliest ethnic unrest in decades remain unanswered.

Key facts remain unknown or in dispute.

First, how many Uighurs were killed at a southern China toy factory in late June, an event that helped trigger the Urumqi riots hundreds of miles away? Chinese officials say two Uighurs were killed in a fight with Han Chinese workers; several eyewitnesses and Uighur leaders say many more Uighurs were beaten to death in an unprovoked attack.

Second, how were the riots in Xinjiang organized? The government insists they were preplanned and instigated by outside forces, including exiled Uighur businesswoman Rebiya Kadeer. Kadeer and others have said the protests were grassroots in origin, spurred largely by the lack of arrests in the Shaoguan toy factory murders.

Finally, what was the ethnic divide of those killed in the riots? The Chinese government says most victims were Han Chinese, while Uighur rights groups insist that more Uighurs were killed than has been acknowledged.

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Some politicians under foreign sway: CSIS

Originally published by  CBC News

CSIS suspects several countries are trying to manipulate Canadian politicians and that two provincial cabinet ministers are controlled by foreign governments, CBC News has learned.

Canada’s spy agency suspects that cabinet ministers in two provinces are under the control of foreign governments, CBC News has learned.

Several members of B.C. municipal governments are also under suspicion, Richard Fadden, the director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, told CBC News in an exclusive interview.

“We’re in fact a bit worried in a couple of provinces that we have an indication that there’s some political figures who have developed quite an attachment to foreign countries,” Fadden said.

“The individual becomes in a position to make decisions that affect the country or the province or a municipality. All of a sudden, decisions aren’t taken on the basis of the public good but on the basis of another country’s preoccupations.”

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