Abdul Haq (ETIP)

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Abdul Haq
Emir of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement
In office
Preceded by Hasan Mahsum
Succeeded by Abdul Shakoor al-Turkistani
Personal details
Born (1971-10-01)October 1, 1971
Xinjiang Province, China
Died February 15, 2010(2010-02-15) (aged 38)
North Waziristan, Pakistan
Religion Sunni Islam
Military service
Allegiance East Turkestan Islamic Movement
Battles/wars Xinjiang conflict
War in North-West Pakistan

Abdul Haq (1 October 1971 – 15 February 2010) was a Uyghur who Chinese security officials asserted planned terrorist operations in China.[1][2] He was described as being the "overall leader" of the East Turkistan Islamic Party (ETIP). The United States Treasury reported he took over leadership of the organization in 2003, following the death of its previous leader, and took a seat on al Qaeda's shura, its central committee, in 2005.[1]

The ETIP was designated as a terrorist organization in Executive Order 13224.[1] The United Nations Security Council's 1267 Committee placed him on a list of individuals suspected of having a tie to Osama bin Laden.

In October 2008 Chinese security officials asserted that his real name was "Memetiming Memeti" (Uyghur: Memtimin Memet).[2][3][4] They published half a dozen aliases. They reported he left China in March 1998, and becamse a trainer at a camp in a "South Asian country".

Abdul Haq faced allegations that he was behind a bombing that preceded the Beijing Olympics.[1]

Shirley Kan, of the Congressional Research Service, challenged the Treasury's description of Abdul Haq's role, in several details, in her testimony before the House International Relations Committee's Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights, and Oversight.[5] Kan asserted that the decision to designate the East Turkestan Islamic Party as a terrorist organization was controversial within the civil service. She called the first Chinese list of terrorist organizations, published in December 2003, as "intentionally misleading or mistaken", and pointed out several errors in it. She pointed out that it listed Hassan Mahsum as a wanted man, when he was already known to have been killed in action. She pointed out that Abdul Haq was not listed as a wanted man. She pointed out that while the Treasury document asserted Abdul Haq had directed followers to launch attacks prior to the Olympics no such attacks on the Olympics took place. (China Daily reported on October 21, 2008 that "The Chinese police timely frustrated those criminal activities".)[6]

Kan also wrote a document entitled: "U.S.-China Counterterrorism Cooperation: Issues for U.S. Policy".[7]

On May 6, 2009, United States Senator Jeff Sessions published a letter he wrote to United States Attorney General Eric Holder, criticizing Holder for taking steps that could end up with setting the remaining Uyghur captives in Guantanamo free in the United States.[8] According to Sessions:

"It is uncontested that the leader and chief instructor at these camps was Abdul Haq, a man the Obama administration labeled a “brutal terrorist” with ties to al Qaeda in a Treasury Department advisory issued just last week."

The following excerpt is from the Long War Journal:

Abdul Haq al Turkistani, the leader of the Turkistan Islamic Party, is closely linked to al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. Haq, who is also known as Maimaitiming Maimaiti, became the leader of the terror group in late 2003 after Hassan Mahsum, the group’s previous leader, was killed in Waziristan, Pakistan. Haq was appointed a member of al Qaeda’s Shura Majlis, or executive leader council, in 2005, according to the US Treasury Department, which designated him as a global terrorist in April 2009. The United Nations also designated Haq as a terrorist leader.

Haq is considered influential enough in al Qaeda's leadership circles that he is dispatched to mediate between rival Taliban groups as well as to represent the Shura Majlis in important military matters. In June 2009, Haq was spotted in Pakistan’s tribal areas attending an important meeting with Baitullah Mehsud, Pakistan’s overall Taliban commander who was killed in a US airstrike two months later. Haq and a senior delegation of Taliban and al Qaeda leaders traveled to Pakistan’s tribal areas to discuss the Pakistani military's operation in South Waziristan. Among those in attendance were Siraj Haqqani, the military commander of the deadly Haqqani Network; and Abu Yahya al Libi, a senior al Qaeda ideologue and propagandist.

The Treasury Department said Haq has sent operatives abroad to raise funds for attacks against Chinese interests both at home and abroad. He also is involved in the planning and execution of terror attacks, recruiting, and propaganda efforts. In early 2008, Haq openly threatened to conduct attacks at the Olympic Games in Beijing.

Haq ran a training camp for his recruits at al Qaeda’s camp in Tora Bora in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province prior to the US invasion in October 2001 [see LWJ report, "The Uighurs in their own words"]. He later reestablished camps for the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Party in Pakistan’s lawless, Taliban-controlled tribal areas. Although the Chinese government has pressured Pakistan to dismantle the camps, they are said to be still in operation. [9]

On March 1, 2010, Abdul Haq was reported to have been killed by a missile launched from an unmanned drone on February 15, 2010.[4][10][11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Treasury Targets Leader of Group Tied to Al Qaida". United States Treasury. 2009-04-20. Archived from the original on 2009-09-29. 
  2. ^ a b "'Eastern Turkistan' terrorists identified". China Daily. 2008-10-21. Retrieved 2010-03-22. 
  3. ^ Christopher Bodeen (2008-10-21). "China releases terror blacklist in Olympic plot". Seattle Times. Retrieved 2010-03-22. 
  4. ^ a b “疆独”头目被美军炸死 身份信息曝光
  5. ^ Shirley Kan (2009-06-16). "Exploring the Nature of Uighur Nationalism: Freedom Fighters or Terrorists?" (PDF). House Foreign Affairs Committee, Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights, and Oversight. Retrieved 2009-09-29. 
  6. ^ Police: Eastern Turkistan terrorists wanted
  7. ^ Shirley Kan (2009-05-07). "U.S.-China Counterterrorism Cooperation: Issues for U.S. Policy" (PDF). Congressional Research Service. Retrieved 2009-09-29. 
  8. ^ Jeff Sessions (2009-05-04). "Senator Continues To Seek Answers About The Administration’s Reported Plan To Release Certain Guantanamo Bay Detainees In the United States" (PDF). United States Senate. Retrieved 2010-03-22. 
  9. ^ "US airstrike killed 15 Turkistan Islamic Party fighters in Afghanistan". Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  10. ^ "Xinjiang fighter 'killed by drone'". Al Jazeera. 2010-03-02. Retrieved 2010-03-22. The leader of a Chinese separatist movement, believed to have links with al-Qaeda, has been killed in a US missile strike, Pakistani and Taliban officials have said. 
  11. ^ "Al Qaeda-linked Chinese terrorist leader reported killed in US strike in Pakistan". Retrieved 1 February 2015.