The Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau is offering rewards up to 500,000 yuan (73,100 U.S. dollars) for information on major security threats during the Olympic Games, as the host city beefs up security in the final preparations for the Games.
The rewards were aimed to "mobilize the enthusiasm of the masses in maintaining public security, as well as to control and eliminate hidden dangers to the Olympic Games", according to a notice issued on Thursday.
Beijing residents who report information on major threats from July 10 and Oct. 31 would be given 10,000 yuan to 500,000 yuan, the notice said.
The notice said it had to be substantial information on terrorist attacks, sabotage by illegal organizations and cults such as the Falun Gong, cases involving deaths of Olympic-related persons and foreigners, major security accidents and criminal cases.
The notice was issued days after police raided a hideout of 15 suspects from a "holy war" training group in Urumqi, capital of the northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, shooting and killing five of them, injuring two and seizing another eight.
The 15 suspects were all Uygurs and consisted of five women and 10 men. They wielded knives and threatened to "perish together" with the policemen when cornered, a police spokesman said.
Police cracked five terrorism groups in Xinjiang in the first half of 2008, detaining 82 suspected terrorists who allegedly plotted sabotage against the Beijing Olympics, according to the regional police authorities.
Vice Minister of Public Security Yang Huanning said last week that the Olympic Games would be a target for various anti-China and hostile forces, saying that they are trying every possible way to sabotage the event.
China is stepping up efforts on Olympic security. Beijing launched subway security checks on passengers late last month and it will start to deploy security staff at hundreds of checkpoints on road entries to the city from next week.
In the one month run-up to the Games, the Olympic host city is gearing up security forces to sweep 90 sports venues, 110 Olympic contracted hotels, 700-km sports tracks, the Olympic athlete village as well as 2,000 sites for Olympic-themed activities, to eliminate any security loopholes in the city.
In addition, China has cooperated with other countries in this regard.
(Xinhua News Agency July 11, 2008)