East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) behinds Tiananmen Square crash

Eurasia News

Beijing: Chinese authorities confirmed that crash in Tiananmen Square earlier this week was incited by a separatist Islamic group ETIM.

Police have arrested five suspects, all from the western region of Xinjiang, home to the minority Uighur Muslims. It may be mentioned that on October 29, 2013, five people were killed and dozens injured when a jeep crashed to a crowd and caught fire in Tiananmen Square.

China’s security chief Meng Jianzhu said in an interview with Phoenix Television that China will take a firmer stance against terrorism.

“This violent terrorist attack that happened in Beijing is an organized, pre-meditated activity,” The instigator behind the scenes is the East Turkestan Islamic Movement terrorist organization that is entrenched in Central and Western Asia.”,  said Meng to Phoenix TV.

The East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) (also known as the Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP), Turkistan Islamic Movement (TIM) is working for an Islamic state in East Turkestan and China calls it a violent separatist movement and often blames it for incidents in Xinjiang. ETIM was placed on the United States’ list of groups it considers to be terrorist organisations, but later removed, on the basis that it had little organisational capability to carry out attacks. ETIM has strong links with South and North Waziristan based Taliban and had been operating from Pakistan in past.

ETIM was established in 1993 by two natives of Hotan—Hasan Mahsum and Abudukadir Yapuquan.  Mahsum moved ETIM’s headquarters to Kabul during Taliban rule. ETIM leaders met with Osama bin Ladin and other leaders of Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan to coordinate actions; there the East Turkestan Islamic Movement dropped the “East” from its name as it increased its domain. Hasan Mahsum, was killed in tribal areas of Pakistan but his followers are still living in tribal areas and working with other groups.