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The Latest Uighur Threat

12:28 PM, May 6, 2009 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
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The NEFA Foundation has released a translation of the latest statement by the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Party (ETIP), which is formerly known as the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM).

What is the ETIP/ETIM? It is a UN and U.S. designated terrorist organization allied with al Qaeda. The group trained the Uighur detainees currently held at Gitmo at a camp in Tora Bora, Afghanistan. The Obama administration wants to release some of the Uighur detainees on U.S. soil and also wants the German government to take some of them in. The problem is that many people, including some German politicians, are not too keen on taking in detainees who were trained by a known terrorist at Tora Bora, Afghanistan -- a stronghold for al Qaeda and the Taliban.

In its latest statement, the ETIP claims that the American government was simply placating the Chinese when it placed the terrorist label on the organization.

"The American government announced last month that the Turkistan Islamic Party is a terrorist group, and will be punished by freezing its finances (money) in America. It's [also] mentioned in the statement that the American government kowtows in front of the Chinese government especially in the cases of Afghanistan and Pakistan, and that is the reason the Chinese government forced them to [make] these declarations."

No doubt the ETIP's argument will resonate with some in the U.S. But the same ETIP tape is filled with irony. For example, the ETIP accused the Pakistani government, which recently arrested and deported nine ETIP members, of "pushing out" those who "support Jihad in Afghanistan and Pakistan." That is, the ETIP's stated purpose is waging jihad, and the Pakistani government was getting in the way of this pursuit. (Previous ETIP tapes, including one in which the group threatened to attack the Olympic Games in China last year, have also made the group's orientation clear.)

And then, the ETIP issued a blatant threat:

"The [ETIP], Allah-willing, is capable of a practical reaction to any country in the world if they dare to arrest any member of the group and hand them to China."

What does the ETIP mean by "a practical reaction"? Given that the group has executed terrorist attacks in China, I don't think it takes much guesswork.

(Hat tip: Counterterrorism Blog)