Chinese authorities say they have arrested 35 people in connection with an alleged terrorist plot to kidnap athletes and others at the Beijing Olympics later this year.

Ministry of Public Security spokesperson Wu Heping told a news conference after the arrests -- which took place between March 26 and April 6 -- that "We face a real terrorist threat."

CTV's Steve Chao reported that the suspects are alleged to be part of a criminal ring in the Xinjiang region, a predominantly Muslim region in western China.

"(Chinese officials) say this group was plotting to kidnap athletes, foreign journalists, and other visitors during the summer Games," Chao told CTV's Canada AM on Thursday.

"They haven't offered up much evidence in terms of what they have ... just a few months ago the same public bureau said they foiled a plan to hijack and down a passenger plane coming from the same area."

Chao said the Chinese claimed that the alleged plotters were aiming to disturb the Olympics.

"Other critics say that little proof has been presented and they question whether these are simply excuses made to justify a crackdown on dissent in that region. It's hard for (reporters) to confirm."

Western embassies had asked for more evidence about the alleged hijacking plot but diplomats have said none has been forthcoming.

Wu said Thursday that police had confiscated about 10 kilograms of explosives, eight sticks of dynamite, and "jihadist" literature in the latest raid.

Wu also told reporters about a raid in January on a group he said was planning to attack hotels, government offices, and military targets.

Wu said that group was working under the orders of a Muslim group seeking independence for Xinjiang province.

Yeah this doesn't suprise me. I originally figured a couple of bombs would be going off during the games, but attempting (Or the speculation of) people trying to kidnap athletes and journalists, etc... that's a step up.

This could be one of the more interesting olympics we've had in a long time.