The Chinese government blamed ETIM members for several car bomb attacks in Xinjiang in the 1990s, as well as the death of a Chinese diplomat in Kyrgyzstan in 2002, but the group has neither admitted nor denied such accusations.
ETIM has had, and may still have links with Al-Qaeda. In its 2005 report on terrorism, the US State Department said that the group was "linked to al-Qaida and the international jihadist movement" and that Al-Qaeda provided the group with "training and financial assistance". In January 2002, the Chinese government released a report in which it showed proof that Hasan Mahsum met with Osama bin Laden in 1999 and received promises of money, and that bin Laden sent "scores of terrorists" into China. However, ETIM leader Hasan Mahsum denied such organizational ties and alleged China exaggerates such claims as a means of enlisting support from the United States.
Five of the Uyghur detainees were among the 38 detainees whom the tribunals determined were not "enemy combatants". The United States government did not grant the Uyghurs asylum, but neither would they repatriate them to the PRC, fearing that they would be tortured or executed by the Chinese government. On 5 May, 2006 the five Uyghurs were transported to Albania.
The Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (a.k.a. Eastern Turkistan Islamic Party, a.k.a. ETIM, a.k.a. ETIP) was designated under TEL, effective April 29, 2004. This organization previously had been designated by the Secretary or Deputy Secretary under Executive Order 13224 (on terrorist financing). The intention of the TEL designations was to complement with travel restrictions the assets freeze imposed on these organizations as a result of their designations pursuant to E.O. 13224.