Cross-border terrorism, directed northwards
The terrorists were travelling on Pakistani passports. They may have been locals, but trained in jihadi training camps across the border. The mastermind is suspected to be a Pakistani national. The plan was to bring down an commercial airliner flying from the restive separatist region to the national capital by igniting gasoline hidden in soft-drink cans.
Sounds familiar? Well, this is the story of China Southern Airlines flight CZ6901 from Urumqi in Xinjiang to Beijing. The two terrorists on flight were arrested when they failed to set the bombs off, and were overpowered by the crew. And according to some reports the Pakistani national who masterminded this plot is at large. According to others, the third was arrested in a week and has confessed to the crime.
China has not officially revealed the link to Pakistan, perhaps not to unnecessarily embarrass its ally in public. It does not need to. General Musharraf is perhaps already sweating. A crackdown against jihadis is on the cards. It’s not as if Pakistan’s new prime minister needed this.