NARRATIVE SUMMARIES OF REASONS FOR LISTING
QE.E.88.02. EASTERN TURKISTAN ISLAMIC MOVEMENT
Date on which the narrative summary became available on the Committee’s website: 7 April 2011
The Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement was listed on 11 September 2002 pursuant to paragraphs 1 and 2 of resolution 1390 (2002) as being associated with Al-Qaida, Usama bin Laden or the Taliban for “participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing or perpetrating of acts or activities by, in conjunction with, under the name of, on behalf or in support of” or “otherwise supporting acts or activities of” Al-Qaida (QE.A.4.01).
The Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) is an organization which has used violence to further its aim of setting up an independent so-called “East Turkistan” within China. Since its establishment, ETIM has maintained close ties with the Taliban, Al-Qaida (QE.A.4.01) and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (QE.I.10.01). It was founded by Hasan Mahsum from Xinjiang, China, who was killed by Pakistani troops in October 2003. ETIM is currently led by Abdul Haq (QI.H.268.09), who was also a member of Al-Qaida’s Shura Council as of 2005.
Since January 2007, ETIM has, again, become active under the sanctuary and with the support of the Taliban and Al-Qaida. Its members have increased to about 200 with the recruitment of some non-Chinese to the organization. Its organizational structure has been strengthened, its scale enlarged, its internal administration has become more sophisticated, and the group has developed its weaponry, equipment and operational capacity.
ETIM is currently active in South Asia, Central Asia and the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China.
In recent years, ETIM has set up bases outside China to train terrorists and has dispatched its members to China to plot and execute terrorist acts including bombing buses, cinemas, department stores, markets and hotels. ETIM has also undertaken assassinations and arson attacks and has carried out terrorist attacks against Chinese targets abroad. Among the violent acts committed by ETIM members were the blowing up of the warehouse of the Urumqi Train Station on 23 May 1998, the armed looting of 247,000 RMB Yuan in Urumqi on 4 February 1999, an explosion in Hetian City, Xinjiang, on 25 March 1999 and violent resistance against arrest in Xinhe County, Xinjiang, on 18 June 1999. These incidents resulted in the deaths of 140 people and injuries to 371.
By September 2002, the Chinese police forces had confiscated from ETIM members 98 guns of various types, 4500 antitank grenades, and a large amount of knives, explosive devices and raw materials and equipment for making explosives.
In 2007, ETIM sent its key members into China to establish terrorist training camps and to carry out terrorist training activities. On 5 January 2007, when Chinese authorities made arrests, the group resisted with arms, killing one policeman and injuring another. During this operation, several members of this cell were arrested and a large number of explosives and materials for making explosives were seized.
In 2007, ETIM also started to send its operatives to China to recruit members covertly. In January 2008, Chinese police succeeded in arresting heads and key members of a terrorist cell, discovering several hideouts, and seizing a large number of explosives and materials for making explosives.
At the beginning of March 2008, ETIM sent its operatives to China in an attempt to kidnap foreign reporters, tourists and athletes. This cell covertly collected various materials for making explosives, identified technicians with expertise in making guns and explosives, looked for suicide bombers and attempted to carry out terrorist acts through suicide bombings in Urumqi and other cities inside China. On 26 March 2008, Chinese authorities arrested several cell members and seized a large number of explosives, detonators and other explosive devices.
In early January 2008, Abdul Haq directed ETIM’s military commander to attack cities in China, particularly focusing on the eight cities hosting the 2008 Olympic Games. Under Abdul Haq’s direction, trained terrorists planned to sabotage the Games by conducting terrorist attacks in China shortly before they were due to begin.
After the Beijing Olympics, ETIM continued to send members into China, ostensibly for commercial activities, but in fact to look for opportunities to plan and carry out further terrorist attacks, such as car bombings, suicide bombings and poisoning. The organization trained more than 20 terrorists to execute car bombings in China.
Since 2008, ETIM has published several terrorist videos on military training, targeting the Beijing Olympics and other events in China. In July and August 2009, ETIM published four videos showing its training activities, with Abdul Haq and other ETIM leaders making speeches inciting Uygurs to launch violent acts against China.
There is evidence indicating that ETIM members also took steps to plan attacks against the interests of the United States, including the United States Embassy in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. On 22 May 2002, two suspected ETIM members were deported to China from Kyrgyzstan on the ground that they were planning terrorist attacks. The Kyrgyz government stated that the two men were planning to target embassies in Bishkek, as well as trade centers and public gathering places. One of them, Mamet Yasyn was found to have conducted surveillance of several embassies and market places.
ETIM has a close financial relationship with Al-Qaida. The major sources of funding for ETIM activities came from Usama bin Laden (deceased) and Al-Qaida and from organized crime such as drug trafficking, arms smuggling, kidnapping, extortion and looting. ETIM identifies and recruits criminals and terrorists who have fled China and secretly provides them with terrorist training.
ETIM has received significant support from Al-Qaida and the Talibanm, and previously from Usama bin Laden and has sent its members to Al-Qaida and Taliban training camps. Upon completion of training, ETIM members have traveled to Afghanistan, Kashmir, Chechnya of the Russian Federation, and China to conduct terrorist and other violent acts. ETIM is also considering using Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan as transit routes for the illegal transfer of fighters to China.
Related listed individuals and entities:
Al-Qaida (QE.A.4.01), listed on 6 October 2001
Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (QE.I.10.01), listed on 6 October 2001
Abdul Haq (QI.H.268.09), listed on 15 April 2009