Night Watch

China: The 3.01 Incident. On Saturday night, a group of knife-wielding attackers slashed frantically at crowds at the Kunming railway station, killing 29 people and injuring 143.

Police shot dead four of them and captured an injured female attacker at the scene. Police said Monday that the remaining three suspects involved in the attack had been captured.

Authorities said evidence at the crime scene showed that the attackers were associated with the Uighur separatist in Xinjiang, in western China.

At the daily Foreign Ministry press conference on 3 March, the spokesman said the Chinese police are stepping up efforts to investigate and solve the serious incident of violent terrorism that occurred in Kunming, Yunnan, on the weekend. We have also noted that evidence such as some flags of the "East Turkistan" terrorist forces were indeed found on the scene according to related preliminary information released by the Chinese police. The relevant investigation is still ongoing. We believe that the relevant authorities will release the findings in a timely manner.

Comment: The Uighur separatists refer to Xinjiang as "East Turkestan." The Chinese have not confirmed that the attackers were ethnic Uighurs. Nor have they commented on the magnitude of the security lapse

The Chinese are calling the attack their "9/11" attack. Several aspects of it suggest the Uighurs are innovating and learning. First is the location. Kunming is a tourist site, known for its ethnic diversity and an important rail center in southeast China. When Uighur separatists have attacked outside Xinjiang, they have tended to attack in the north, in Urumqi or Beijing.

Kunming signifies a different targeting strategy and direction of threat. Police suggested the terrorists came from the Golden Triangle region of Burma, Thailand and Laos and moved northward into southern China. Authorities are not prepared for a terrorist attack from this direction.

Other grisly features are the number of people killed or injured by eight attackers using only edged weapons. One Chinese security expert said he thought the timing and manner of the attack indicated careful planning and preparation. He also said it is warning of what to expect in the future.

Pakistan: At least 11 people, including additional sessions judge Rafaqat Awan, were killed and 29 others wounded on Monday during a gun and bomb attack in a court in Islamabad.

Night Watch

NightWatch is an internationally acclaimed nightly newsletter that tracks and assesses threats to US national security. It has an edgy, executive style unlike any other summary of its kind.

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