A Department of Homeland Security Emeritus Center of Excellence led by the University of Maryland

BAAD - Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) - 2012


Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM)

The Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) is based in the Xinjiang province of China, an area populated largely by Uighurs, who are ethnically Turkic and practice Sufi Islam.[2] ETIM seeks to separate the Uighur people, an ethnically and religiously unique group, from China to create “East Turkestan.” Historically, Xinjiang province has been briefly independent twice (1931-1934 and 1944-1949), claiming the name "East Turkistan Republic."[3] When the Chinese government reclaimed the region in 1955, it encouraged ethnic Han Chinese to move into the region, and forced Uighurs there to assimilate to Chinese culture.[4]
Unrest in Xinjiang continues, with ETIM able to mobilize approximately 100 members.[5] ETIM's first reported attack was in 1998.[6] According to the Chinese government, the group has continued to conduct small-scale violent attacks, allegedly with the support of al-Qa’ida and the Taliban.[7] The current leader of the ETIM is unknown, but evidence suggests that all three previous leaders of the organization were affiliated with al-Qa’ida.[8] The Chinese government has increased security and military measures in Xinjiang, which has led to repressive treatment of all Uighurs.[9] According to ETIM, the Chinese government has overemphasized the threat posed by their organization, [10] although al-Qa’ida and the Taliban are cited as the ETIM’s most significant allies and sources of funding, weaponry, and training.[11]
Almost all information regarding ETIM in the open source can be traced back to the Chinese government, making it difficult to assess the structure or operations of the group.[12] View full narrative

Quick Facts for 2012


9 (Total of 1998 through 2012)

Religious, Ethnic, Separatist


Territorial Control:
Does Not Control Territory (0)

Funding through Drug Trafficking:

Sorry, but there are no organizational details available for this group at this time.


Primary Ideology

  • Ag = Anti-Globalization
  • An = Anarchist
  • En = Ethnic
  • Ev = Environmental
  • Le = Leftist
  • Re = Religious
  • Ri = Rightist
  • Se = Separatist
  • Su = Supremacist
  • Vi = Vigilante


  •  Ally
  •  Suspected Ally
  •  Rival
  •  Violence
  •  Mixed Relations


  •  Blue 0 - 1479 fatalities
  •  Green 1479 - 2958 fatalities
  •  Yellow 2958 - 4437 fatalities
  •  Orange 4437 - 5916 fatalities
  •  Red 5916 - 7396 fatalities

Lethality is calculated as the total number of fatalities from 1998-2012.


Icon sizes depict approximate relative sizes of the organizations.

  • Smallest 0 - 10 members
  •   11 - 100 members
  •   101 - 1000 members
  •   1001 - 10000 members
  • Largest > 10000 members

Other Notes

Icons with no color coding or ideology icon have no detailed data at this time, and are provided as relationship information only.