Abdul Haq (1 October 1971) is a Uyghur who Chinese security officials asserted planned terrorist operations in China. He is 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.
The ETIP was designated as a terrorist organization in Executive Order 13224. 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: مۇھەممەتئىمىن مەمەت Memtimin Memet). They published half a dozen aliases. They reported he left China in March 1998, and became a trainer at a camp in a "South Asian country".
Al-Qaeda's leadership council included TIP member Abdul Haq al Turkistani, and the organization appointed TIP member Abdul Shakoor Turkistani as military commander of its forces in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Uyghur detainees at Guantanamo bay have confessed that they were trained by Abdul Haq and Hassan Mahsum in Afghanistan. Haq threatened terrorist attacks on the 2008 Beijing Olympics. al-Qaeda's command viewed Abdul Haq as authoritative and sent him to meet with Taliban factions along with al-Qaeda commanders.
If you do not wage jihad, you will never be able to get rid of the oppression of the infidels which makes you abandon the religion and which makes slaves of you. Thus, you will not be able to be rescued from the oppression of this world and the torments of the hereafter, or find eternal happiness until you return to the religion of Allah. . .
We are, Allah-willing, proceeding along this path with all of our strength in order to rescue our oppressed brothers in East Turkistan – and Allah-willing, we are working on rescuing our oppressed brothers from the hands of the Communists until we make Allah’s religion supreme and we live a precious life in the shadow of Islamic Shariah law, or else be rewarded with martyrdom in the cause of Allah We are plotting for the Chinese to suffer the torture of Allah, or else by our hands.
Our group, the Turkistan Islamic Party, is a group established as a continuation of the East Turkistan Jihad Movement in the year of 1989 under the unique leadership of Ziyauddin Yusuf.
As clarified by TIP head Abdul Haq, the Turkistan Islamic Party is allied to Al-Qaeda.
Abdul Haq faced allegations that he was behind a bombing that preceded the Beijing Olympics.
TIP's "Islamic Turkistan" magazine in its 2nd edition and 3rd edition contained an interview with Abdul Haq.
Shirley Kan, of the US 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. 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 noted that it listed Hassan Mahsum as a wanted man, when he was already known to have been killed in action; that Abdul Haq was not listed as a wanted man; 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 21 October 2008 that "The Chinese police timely frustrated those criminal activities".)
Kan also wrote a document entitled: "U.S.-China Counterterrorism Cooperation: Issues for U.S. Policy".
On 6 May 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. 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. Abdul Haq assembled with an Amir of Iraqi origin, Hadi al Iraqi. Abdul Haq in 2006 arranged for a relocation to South Asia for Abdushukur. There was a Herat camp according to Abdul Haq. An "East Turkistan" camp was set up.
On 1 March 2010, Abdul Haq was reported to have been killed by a missile launched from an unmanned drone on 15 February 2010. It took place in North Waziristan's area of Mir Ali in Zor Babar Aidak town. His alleged death received no comment from the Turkistan Islamic Party.
However, in June 2014, it was revealed that Abdul Haq was instead severely wounded but recovered and resumed leadership in 2014.
Pictures of Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, Abu Qatada, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Hani al-Siba'i, Abdullah al-Muhaysini, Nasser bin Ali al-Ansi, featured with Abdul Haq al Turkistani in a Turkistan Islamic Party video ISIS was attacked by the Al-Qaeda allied Abdul Haq.
The 34th edition of Al Masra, a publication of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula published an article on Abdul Haq al-Turkistani.
Abdul Haq released a message on video.