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Homeland Security

Police chief confirms IS target name list, says authenticity is low

ROC Central News Agency

2016/10/05 17:27:13

Taipei, Oct. 5 (CNA) Taiwan's National Police Agency (NPA) general director has confirmed that there is a name-list of Taiwanese nationals who have been listed by Islamic State (IS) as targets for abduction, but said it has no concrete evidence to prove the authenticity of the list.

"The authenticity (of the list) is relatively low, and there are doubts regarding its accuracy," said Chen Kuo-en (陳國恩) during a hearing of the legislative Internal Administration Committee Wednesday.

Faced with questions from lawmakers about the list, Chen said that domestic anti-terrorist units and departments obtained the list in June, and have been checking it since then.

The police chief urged the public to remain calm, saying that the authorities are in control of all anti-terrorism data and will monitor every possible enemy.

Local media outlets reported the previous day that IS has listed 69 Taiwanese people as targets for abduction after Taiwan was listed among the participants of the U.S.-led Inherent Resolve operation against IS. The targeted persons include academics, experts and wealthy businessmen, according to the reports.

At the legislative Foreign and National Defense Committee on Wednesday, Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lee (李大維) revealed that the ministry received a telegram from its representative office to the United Kingdom in June that contains the list.

As soon as the ministry received the message, it passed it on to the relevant authorities, including the National Security Bureau, the NPA and the Investigation Bureau of the Ministry of Justice, Lee said, adding that while the matter involves the problem of whether the name list is fabricated or not, it is not within his ministry's authority.

Anna Kao (高安), director-general of European affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), said later at the legislative committee that the name list was handed over to the representative office by the Metropolitan Police Service in London before the office's staff sent it back to the MOFA's Taipei headquarters as a confidential report.

The remarks, however, prompted opposition Kuomintang Legislator Lu Yu-ling (呂玉玲) to ask "while it has been clearly classified as confidential, why was the name list leaked?"

In response, Lee said he has spoken with National Security Bureau (NSB) Director-General Yang Kuo-chiang (楊國強) about the revelation, who promised an investigation.

(By Tang Pei-chun and Elizabeth Hsu)

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