Sinan Tekin, a Turkish national who was known as Emir Yunis and Abu Yunis Turki. Image from the SITE Intelligence Group.
A Turkish jihadist Internet forum announced the death of a military commander who was killed in the Waziristan tribal areas by Pakistani forces more than two years ago.
The Cihad forum eulogized Sinan Tekin, a Turkish national who was known as Emir Yunis and Abu Yunis Turki, in a statement that was released on Feb. 4 and translated by the SITE Intelligence Group. Yunis “set out to participate in jihad” in June 2005 “with help from a mujahid friend of his,” the statement said.
“His jihadi life in Afghanistan began with military training,” the statement continued. “He participated in operations with the group to which he was affiliated, and he increased his operations with his work. He improved himself and took part in many raids, and he became an expert in many heavy weapons and rocket launchers.”
Yunis served under the command of Sheikh Abu Omar, and after time was named as the group’s “military commander and as Abu Omar’s deputy.”
Yunis was killed on July 28, 2009 along with four other fighters, who were identified as Samil Aga, Yusuf, Cendel, and Salahuddin, as they were “passing through the ceasefire area,” which is a reference to either North or South Waziristan. The Pakistani military has signed peace agreements with powerful Taliban groups led by Siraj Haqqani and Hafiz Gul Bahadar in North Waziristan and by Mullah Nazir in South Waziristan.
Turkish jihadists affiliated with both al Qaeda and the Haqqani Network are known to fight in southeastern Afghanistan. On Nov. 30, 2011, Gazavat Media, a jihadist propaganda website that caters to Turkish jihadists belonging to the Taifatul Mansura, or the Victorious Sect, released a statement that announced the deaths of 21 “Turkish mujahideen affiliated with the Haqqani group,” according to the SITE Intelligence Group.
In a separate statement released on Nov. 28, Gazavat Media said that another Turkish fighter was killed in a US Predator airstrike in the Mir Ali area of North Waziristan.
“The mujahid of Turkish citizenship, who fought with the Haqqani group known as the Pakistani Taliban, was reported to have been affiliated with the group for the last three years,” according to the Nov. 28 statement, which was translated by SITE. “The sources have reported that the Turkish citizen, M.E., who was martyred in a house hit by NATO drones, resided in Istanbul and was a registered resident of Gaziantep.”
A number of al Qaeda-linked groups from outside Afghanistan and Pakistan flock to the region, and are known to fight alongside the Haqqani Network. Among those groups are the Islamic movement of Uzbekistan and its offshoot, the Islamic Jihad Union; the Caucasus Mujahideen in Khorasan; Jund al Khilafah; and the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement.