AP Exclusive: China’s Uighurs work to fend off pull of jihad

Source: Associated Press


KAYSERI, Turkey (AP) — Iminjin Qari felt upbeat as he drove to Istanbul’s airport with three empty buses and a simple task: pick up about 200 fellow Uighurs who had fled China for asylum in Turkey — and escort them to safety.

Qari, a Uighur emigre and community worker, planned to take the newcomers back to the city of Kayseri, where the Turkish government had set aside empty apartments for their resettlement. As he approached the terminal, his heart sank. About 20 burly Uighurs were already there, greeting the refugees as they trickled out. They were recruiters for Islamic militant groups.

“Just come with us,” the men said. “It’s all arranged: housing, money, everything.”

Qari could only watch as the new arrivals — men, women and children — wrangled their possessions into vans and headed toward the paradise they had been promised: Syria.

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