Sixty-nine Taiwanese have allegedly been “targeted” by the Islamic State (IS) group, the Mirror Weekly magazine reported yesterday.
The Mirror Weekly said that the Taiwanese — including university professors in the fields of engineering and medical information, professionals in statistics and computer software, and executives in e-commerce, banking and financial holdings companies — were among more than 4,000 people from all over the world who had been targeted by the group.
Speaking at a meeting of the legislature’s Foreign and National Defense Committee yesterday, Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lee (李大維) said that the ministry received information about the threats from the Taipei Representative Office in the UK in June.
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times
Department of European Affairs Director-General Anna Kao (高安) said the information was provided by London’s Metropolitan Police Service Counter Terrorism Command and then referred to the ministry “as a confidential document.”
When asked why the “confidential” information had been leaked to the magazine, Lee said he was not sure, but that he had spoken to National Security Bureau (NSB) Director-General Yang Kuo-chiang (楊國強) yesterday morning, who said the bureau would conduct an investigation over the leak.
Speaking at a meeting of the legislature’s Internal Administration Committee yesterday, National Police Agency Director-General Chen Kuo-en (陳國恩) confirmed the existence of a list, but said the authenticity of the threats could not be verified.
Chen said that the agency would cooperate with the Executive Yuan’s Office of Homeland Security and counterterrorism agencies to step up various anti-terrorism measures and seek international cooperation.
Lee said that verifying the authenticity of the threats was not within the ministry’s remit and that it has no capability to do so.
In response to lawmakers’ queries on why the Taiwanese named in the list had not been informed, Lee said: “The national security agencies have ruled that the authenticity of the information is low, so while we will prepare ourselves, there is no need to cause unnecessary fear and panic either.”
NSB official Yang Yu-shun (楊裕順) said the list was from 2001 and that the bureau had obtained the information before the ministry.
The list had already been investigated and half of the names on it do not exist, Yang said, adding that the NSB has a more recent list, and none of the names on it belong to Taiwanese.
Additional Reporting by Lu Yi-hsuan
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