Turkistan Islamic Party's Abdul Shakoor Turkistani Killed in Fata Air Strike
|Publication Date||28 September 2012|
|Cite as||Jamestown Foundation, Turkistan Islamic Party's Abdul Shakoor Turkistani Killed in Fata Air Strike, 28 September 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/506c18382.html [accessed 14 March 2014]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
The amir of the Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP), Abdul Shakoor Turkistani (see Militant Leadership Monitor, December 2011), was killed in an air strike on his training camp in the Shawal Valley of Pakistan on August 24, 2012. Turkistani, (a.k.a. Emeti Yakuf), became the leader of the TIP after the death of his predecessor, Abdul Haq al-Turkistani, who was killed in a Pakistani army raid on his compound in Mir Ali, North Waziristan in February 2010. Abdul Shakoor Turkistani's death is not only a setback for the TIP, but also for al-Qaeda. Since 2010, Turkistani was the al-Qaeda chief for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in Pakistan.
In addition to Turkistani, 17 other militants, including two Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistani (TTP) commanders, were killed in an air strike while they were conducting a firing training session (Dawn.com [Karachi], August 24). Turkistani's death will be welcome by Chinese authorities, who as early as 2008 charged him with "participating in terrorist groups," including receiving physical training and instruction on using weapons and making explosive devices in 2007, and "implementing terrorist activities," including planning a suicide attack at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and on Chinese companies in Pakistan (China Daily, October 21, 2008).
When Abdul Haq al-Turkistani was killed in 2010, Pakistan's Interior Minister said that the TIP's "back was broken," but the TIP reemerged the following year under Abdul Shakoor Turkistani and carried out attacks in Hotan and Kashgar in July 2011 in which more than ten people were killed (Dawn.com [Karachi], February 15, 2010). Although Abdul Shakoor Turkistani was a uniquely important militant in that he led not only the TIP, but also al-Qaeda in FATA, there are an estimated 200-300 TIP fighters in Pakistan who can replace him in at least the position as leader of the TIP. Both the TIP and al-Qaeda in FATA should also be expected to continue to carry out attacks under new leadership, but there may be a lag before a new leader is found to replace Turkistani since a leader of his caliber is rare. As a measure of Turkistani's high regard within militant ranks, he had been considered as a replacement for Osama bin Laden after his death in May 2011.