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Terrorist Organizations and Other Groups of Concern

East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM)

Updated August 24, 2007

From: "Chapter 8; Other Groups of Concern," Country Reports on Terrorism 2005, US Department of State, April 30, 2006.

Description
The East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) is a small Islamic extremist group linked to al-Qaida and the international jihadist movement. It is the most militant of the ethnic Uighur separatist groups pursuing an independent "Eastern Turkistan", an area that would include Turkey, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Western China's Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region. In September 2002, the group was designated under EO 13224 for its terrorist activity. ETIM is also listed by the UN al-Qaida/Taliban Sanctions Committee for its associations with al-Qaida.

Activities
ETIM militants fought alongside al-Qaida and Taliban forces in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom. In October 2003, Pakistani soldiers killed ETIM leader Hassan Makhsum during raids on al-Qaida–associated compounds in western Pakistan. U.S. and Chinese Government information suggests that ETIM is responsible for various terrorist acts inside and outside China. In May 2002, two ETIM members were deported to China from Kyrgyzstan for plotting to attack the U.S. Embassy in Kyrgyzstan as well as other U.S. interests abroad.

Strength
Unknown. Only a small minority of ethnic Uighurs supports the Xinjiang independence movement or the formation of an independent Eastern Turkistan.

Location/Area of Operation
Afghanistan, China, Kyrgyzstan, and Pakistan.

External Aid
ETIM has received training and financial assistance from al-Qaida.