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Interpol: Terrorism at Beijing Olympics a 'Real Possibility'

The head of Interpol says there is a real possibility that this year's Olympic Games in Beijing will be targeted by terrorists or anti-Chinese government groups.

Interpol Secretary-General Ronald Noble warned Friday Olympic organizers must be prepared for the possibility that al-Qaida or some other terrorist group will launch a deadly attack for the media exposure of billions of people watching.

Noble made his remarks at an international conference in Beijing on the Games' security.

The Interpol chief also said worldwide protests during the Olympic torch relay have made the issue of safety and security at the event an even greater priority, not just for China, but for all athletes and visitors.

Earlier this month, Chinese authorities said they broke up two terrorist plots to carry out attacks and abductions to wreck the Beijing Olympic Games.

China says the two groups involved in the plots were part of an Islamic terrorist organization wanting independence for Xinjiang, where critics say Beijing has suppressed Muslim minorities.

The terrorists were allegedly given their orders by the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, a group labeled as a terrorist organization by the United States.

Beijing claims the group is trying to establish an independent Islamic state in Xinjiang. Many ethnic Uighurs resent the rule of China's majority Han people over the region.

Interpol has been working with the Chinese government since last year to assess the threat of a terrorist attack at the Games. It is also training Chinese officers in crisis operations.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.