BEIJING – China said Wednesday that it has foiled 181 terror plots since it started a crackdown a year ago on Islamic separatists in
the northwestern region of Xinjiang that was prompted by a surge of violence that reached as far as Beijing.
However, it was unclear what scale of terror organization is reflected in the tally, because authorities have given neither extensive details on the plots nor a clear definition of what they would include, and some analysts suggest small-scale or even nonviolent incidents might be on the list. Xinjiang is largely closed to foreign journalists and substantial information about security in the region is difficult or impossible to collect and verify. Touting the crackdown’s success, state broadcaster CCTV on Wednesday showed paramilitary troops conducting drills featuring fleets of helicopters, simulated building assaults and heavy weapons including anti-tank guns and flamethrowers. The report said 96 percent of the foiled plots were still in the planning stages. It said 112 suspects have turned themselves in, but no figures were given on those captured or killed by police. Some critics have raised concerns of summary executions in the crackdown.