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Afghan War News > Insurgency > East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM)

East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM)

The ETIM is a Muslim separist group founded by militant Uighurs. The Uighurs are members of the Turkic-speaking ethnic group that populates the western province of China known as Xinjiang. Or . . . if you are a Uighur you would call it "East Turkestan". The group is sometimes called by other names to include the Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP) and the Turkistan Islamic Movement (TIM).

The militant group takes shelter in the Taliban controlled provinces of Kunar and Nuristan along the Afghan eastern border with Pakistan and also in some remote mountainous regions of Pakistan. It suffered a bit after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 but gained some momentum as a result of the U.S. invasion of Iraq - which generated some sympathy and support for the group from elements of the Muslim world. The U.S. Department of State has included the ETIM on the Terrorist Exclusion List published on December 29, 2004. The United Nations has listed the ETIM as a terrorist organization. The U.S. Department of the Treasury has targeted ETIM leaders in the past. 1.

Favorite Weapons. One of the favorite weapons of the militant group are knives and daggers. There have been a number of incidents where knife-wielding Uighers have attacked Chinese Han people. 2.

Websites with Info on the ETIM

The East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) by Council on Foreign Relations.

East Turkestan Islamic Movement. News stories by The Diplomat.

East Turkestan Islamic Movement. By Wikipedia.

Unrest on the Silk Road. An analysis of the conflicts between the Uyghurs & China. Mouth Holyoke College, Massachusetts.

Papers and Publications on the Xinjiang Separatist Issue

Singh, Bhavna. Separatism in Xinjiang: Between Local Problems and International Jihad?, IPCS Special Report 122, April 2012. Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, New Delhi.

Boehm, Dana Carver. "China's Failed War on Terror: Fanning the Flames of Uighur Separatist Violence", Berkeley Journal of Middle Eastern & Islamic Law, Volume 2 | Issue 1, Article 3, 12-9-2013.

News Articles about the ETIM

March 19, 2018. "Tilting at Windmills: Dubious US claims of targeting Chinese Uyghur militants in Badakhshan", Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN). Researchers Ted Callahan and Franz J. Marty find that Resolue Support HQs reports of ETIM activity in Badakhshan is somewhat exaggerated.

March 12, 2018. "Turkistan Islamic Party highlights joint raids with the Afghan Taliban", FDD's Long War Journal.

February 7, 2018. "U.S. Forces Strike Taliban, East Turkestan Islamic Movement Training Sites", DoD News. USAF B-52s bombed training camps of the ETIM located in Badakhshan province.

March 1, 2016. "Afghanistan Welcomes Chinese Anti-Terror Proposal", Voice of America. China says a four-nation agreement with Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Tajikistan could help defeat terrorism in the region.

February 5, 2016. "Growing Uighur Militancy: Challenges for China", Eurasia Review.

April 16, 2015. "Dreaming of Uighuristan". BBC News. China's growing influence in the Central Asian states is dampening the ability of Uighur separatists to operate in Central Asia.

February 21, 2015. "Seeking China's Help in Taliban Negotiations, Afghanistan Cracks Down on Uyghur Militants", The Diplomat, by Shannon Tiezzi.

May 29, 2014. "China At War Against 'Holy War'". Forbes.com.

March 14, 2014. "From his Pakistan hideout, Uighur leader vows revenge on China". Chicago Tribune News. Abdullah Mansour - the leader of the rebel Turkestan Islamic Party - speaks out against China.

March 6, 2014. "Terrorist Attack in Kunming Reveals Complex Relationship with International Jihad". China Brief, Volume 14, Issue 5, Jamestown Foundation.

March 4, 2014. "Kunming massacre: Has the global jihad reached China?". The Telegraph. 29 people killed in a railway station by knife wielding assailants.

November 26, 2013. "Who is Fighting China's War on Terror?" The Diplomat.

November 25, 2014. "Islamist group claims responsibility for attack on China's Tiananmen Square". The Guardian.

November 1, 2013. "Q&A: East Turkestan Islamic Movement". BBC News China.

October 29, 2013. "Q&A: China and the Uighurs". BBC News China.

July 15, 2013. "China's Wild West: A Cautionary Tale of Ethnic Conflict and Development". The Diplomat.

August 3, 2011. "What is the East Turkestan Islamic Movement?" Voice of America.

July 8, 2009. "China's Uyghurs -- A Minority in their Own Land?". Radio Free Europe.

June 11, 2009. "Bermuda takes Guantanamo Uighurs". BBC News. Four Chinese Muslim Uighurs are released from Guantanamo detention center and resettled in Bermuda.

April 24, 2009. "Guantanamo Uyghur Detainees: Coming to America?" ABC News. A group of ethnic Uyghurs orginally from China and captured by U.S. forces in Afghanistan will be released from detention in Guantamo Bay and possibly be relocated in the United States.




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1. For more information on the U.S. Treasury actions see Treasury Targets Leader of Group Tied to Al Qaida, U.S. Department of the Treasury Press Center, April 20, 2009.

2. For more on the use of the knife by the ETIM see "Knife-wielding attackers kill 29, injure 130 at China train station", CNN World News, March 2, 2014 at this link.



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