east turkistan islamic movement

East Turkestan Islamic Movement

The East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM, Turkish:Doğu Türkistan İslâm Hareketi) is a militant, Uyghur organization that advocates the creation of an independent, Islamic state of East Turkestan, formally part of Afghanistan in what is currently the Xinjiang region of the People's Republic of China. The founder and leader of the organization was Hasan Mahsum, who was shot and killed by the Pakistani Army on October 2 2003.

ETIM is considered a terrorist organization by the governments of China, Kazakhstan, Pakistan and the United States, as well as the United Nations.

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.

Detainees at Guantanamo Bay

Approximately two dozen Uyghurs were held in extrajudicial detention at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp operated by the United States in Cuba. On March 3, 2006, the US Department of Defense was forced to release the transcripts of detainees who had attended their Combatant Status Review Tribunals. Most of the Uyghur detainees faced allegations that they were tied to the East Turkistan Islamic Movement, Al-Qaeda, or the Taliban.

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.

ETIM on Terrorist Exclusion List

As part of ongoing U.S. efforts against terrorism, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell has designated ten additional groups as terrorist organizations for immigration purposes, thus placing them on the so-called terrorist exclusion list. He made these designations pursuant to the authority of section 212 (a)(3)(B)(vi)(II) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, and in consultation with the Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security.

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.

Source: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2004/31943.htm

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