LYON, France – Interpol is investigating whether Tang Yongming, the Chinese man who stabbed to death the father-in-law of a US Olympic volleyball coach Saturday in Beijing, had any terrorist links.
The international policy agency is looking for any connection between Tang Yongming, whose identity was confirmed by the Chinese ministry of public security, and “terrorist activity or other organised criminal activity targeting citizens” of countries participating in the Olympic Games, Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble said in a statement.
The 47-year-old assailant committed suicide after stabbing Todd Bachman, father-in-law of Hugh McCutcheon — the US Olympic men’s indoor volleyball head coach — as he visited a popular tourist site in central Beijing.
Bachman was at the time accompanied by his wife Barbara, their daughter Elisabeth and a Chinese guide. His wife was left with serious injuries and the guide was also hurt.
The incident at the Drum Tower monument has raised new fears about security at the Olympic Games.
“So far, our database check and preliminary analysis suggest that today’s murder-suicide was an isolated, though brutal, murder of one person and assault on two others accompanying the victim,” said Noble.
Interpol said a check of Tang Yongming’s name against its databases, which include some 178,000 individuals, brought up no match.
Interpol sent out an urgent request to all 186 member countries to conduct a similar check and said it would find out if he was known to any of its network of counter-terrorism experts.
The US Olympic Committee (USOC) said the Bachmans were not wearing apparel that identified them as relatives of members of the US Olympic team and cited police as saying the killer acted alone.
The attack occurred despite China deploying massive security in Beijing for the Olympics, with more than 150,000 police and other personnel on patrol across the city.
Tang Yongming, who threw himself off the Drum Tower after the attack, was a resident of Zhejiang province in southeast China, according to Interpol.
The Xinhua news agency said the divorced man was unemployed, had a 21-year-old son and no previous criminal record.
– AFP /ls
Channel News Asia