Leader of ETIM Terrorist Group Arrested by Turkish Police
Leader of ETIM Terrorist Group Arrested by Turkish Police
A Facebook account named“EnverEnver Karakas” recently reported that ABUDUKADIR YAPUQUAN (ABDUKADIR UAPQAN)，a leader of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) terrorist organization, was detained by Turkish police on the 31st of August. According to the released information, Abudukadir Yapuquan was arrested in Turkey under the pressure of the Chinese government.
The "East Turkestan" forces outside of China reacted strongly to the detainment of Yapuquan, threatening to take “immediate action” to put pressure on the Turkish government.
According to anonymous sources, a street protest was held on September 2nd outside the consulate-general of China in Istanbul and also the Istanbul Police Department. The demonstration was organized by Hidayi Oghuzhan (V), a key member of the East Turkestan Education and Solidarity Association (ETESA) in Turkey. At the same time, they also planned to form a joint force with compatriots of the ETIM in other countries in order to “rescue” Yapuquan.
On the same day, leaders of the World Uyghur Congress such as Perhat Mehmet posted Abudukadir Yapuquan's profile on Facebook, calling for his immediate release. It is believed that the ETIM is deeply afraid of being eradicated by both the Turkish and Chinese governments.
Who is Abudukadir Yapuquan? Why did his detainment ignite fear among the ETIM?
The most-wanted terrorist of the ETIM
In 2003 China released a list of the names of four “East Turkestan” terrorist groups and 11 East Turkestan terrorists. Abudukadir Yapuquan was listed ahead of Hasan Mahsum, MAMTIMIN HAZRAT(MUHANMET EMIN HAZRET,)、DOLKUN AISA (DOLQUN ISA)、ABDUJELIL KARIKAX (ABUDUJELILI KALAKASH). According to news reports from the Hong Kong media at that time, these prominent members of the ETIM were either dead or less involved in terrorist activities. But Yapuquan is the exception as he is believed to be the most active terrorist of “East Turkestan”.
In recent years Yapuquan helped form the ETIM terrorist organization which aims to form an independent state called East Turkestan in a large area which includes part of the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR). He also established military training camps in Afghanistan used for the training of terrorists. He planned, organized and carried out a series of terrorist attacks in China. In December 2003, the International Crime Police Organization (ICPO) issued a red arrest warrant for him.
Abudukadir Yapuquan was born in 1958, and had a difficult childhood as he often got into trouble with the law during his adolescence. He was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment after being caught in the possession of stolen guns when he was 15 years old. After he was released from prison, he planned and organized a number of crimes and he also got involved in terrorist activities. In 1997 he departed Gaoqi port in Xiamen Fujian province and illegally immigrated to Saudi Arabia using a fake passport with the name of TURSUN HUDABARDIY.
In April 1997 Yapuquan and Hasan Mahsum formed the “Turkistan Islamic Party”, formerly known as the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) in Islamabad in Pakistan. This separatist group was later named on a sanction list from the United Nations 1267 committee in 2003. At the time of forming the ETIM in Pakistan, Hasan Mahsum was elected as the “chairman” and Yapuquan was the “vice-chairman”.
Li Wei, director of the anti-terrorism research center at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR) was quoted as saying that Yapuquan launched the ETIM and he was a key figure of the “East Turkestan” force in Turkey. So it is not surprising that the imprisonment of Yapuquan has ignited anger among his compatriots of the ETIM who have declared they will “rescue their leader”.
Deport militants from abroad back to China
Since 1998, Yapuquan has transported several ETIM members to China for terrorist attacks. According to sources of authority, a key member of the ETIM under the pseudonym of Wubli Kasim said that he was sent to China in December 1997 by Hasan Mahsum and Abudukadir Yapuquan. He bought communication devices and explosives with 20,000 US dollars given by his “bosses”. Then he organized militant training exercises focused on manufacturing explosive devices, disassembling weapons and shooting guns in different environments. “During training we kept in touch with Hasan Mahsum and Yapuquan to receive their instructions anytime so that we knew what to do next,”said Wubli Kasim.
It is noteworthy that quite a number of ETIM members who travelled to China were illegal immigrants. An ETIM member under the pseudonym of ABUDUREHEMAN confessed that he was brainwashed by Yapuquan after he immigrated to Turkey in September 2011. He worked in restaurants and orchards in order to make a living. It was Yapuquan who propagated doctrines of the “Jihad” and persuaded him to join the ETIM. In December 2011 ABUDUREHEMAN spent 220 US dollars travelling to the tribal areas of Pakistan where he received militant training. In June 2012, Yapuquan ordered ABUDUREHEMAN to return to China and instructed him how to implement terrorist attacks. Luckily, he was arrested by Chinese police when he arrived in Shenzhen via the Hong Kong international airport.
The same thing happened to Abuduhani, the pseudonym of another ETIM member. In May 2012, he travelled from Egypt to Turkey where he met Yapuquan. He was told by Yapuquan that he should go to Afghanistan to learn about the techniques of how to make explosives and use weapons. After he mastered the skills, he travelled to China to participate in a “Jihad”. Yapuquan supported him by giving him 4000 US dollars. In 2013 Abuduhani was arrested shortly after he arrived in Beijing.
Li Wei, director of the anti-terrorism research center at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR) was quoted saying that ETIM has gained a growing number of strongholds in Turkey. “In recent years we have frequently witnessed the movements of ‘East Turkestan’ terrorists who went abroad via illegal immigration and returned to China to instigate havoc. Usually they travelled across South Asia and South East Asia before gathering in Turkey. Then they would travel to Syria and South East Asia to undertake militant training. Such routes are quite similar to other international terrorist groups.”
“It must be good if western countries help ISIS come to China!”
Apart from plotting and organizing terrorist activities, Yapuquan also indulged in using the internet as a tool for radicalization and recruitment.
On 28 October 2013, a car crashed in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, in what police described as a terrorist suicide attack. In November 2013, Yapuquan recorded a video and posted it on the “independent radio” website and YouTube, calling on compatriots of “East Turkestan” to learn from “holy warriors” and stage a “Jihad” against the Chinese government. “If you do not follow my instructions, there will be no way out,” Yapuquan said.
On the 23rd of May 2014, Yapuquan posted another propaganda video on the “independent radio” website. It was one day after a violent terrorist incident in Urumqi Xinjiang. He said in the video that “I hope that people of East Turkestan will fight against the Han Chinese and Chinese official organs, and they must try every means to take action within the territory of East Turkestan.”
Although Yapuquan claimed that the purpose of the ETIM was not to join the so called IS, his words on the Internet could not be separated with that of the IS.
On the 17th of April 2015, Yapuquan posted a video on the “independent radio" website and he raised a question: Will ISIS enter East Turkestan? He boldly declared that it would be good news if ISIS did come to China one day with the assistance of some western countries. He was eagerly “looking forward to the integration of the ISIS with East Turkestan”.