The presence of Abdul Haq al Turkistani, a veteran Al Qaeda leader, in Afghanistan contradicts the Taliban’s claims that there are no foreign fighters based in the country.
The head of the Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP), Abdul Haq al-Turkistani, has called on jihadist “scholars” to do more to address the plight of Uighurs. Al-Turkistani addresses his message to Taliban leader Haibatullah Akhunzada, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and a number of al Qaeda ideologues.
The Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP) in Afghanistan and Syria has long operated as part of the Taliban-al Qaeda axis. Earlier this year, however, the TIP’s Syrian branch sided with Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) during its battles with other rebel groups. This infighting and related events have complicated the picture with respect to the TIP in Syria. One TIP-affiliated outlet claimed earlier this year that the group’s senior management had sent new leadership from Afghanistan to Syria.
In the ninth episode of the Islamic Spring video series, Ayman al Zawahiri says Uighur jihadists, who are from the Xinjiang region of China, have shown the ummah what mujahideen unity means in the face of international enemies. Zawahiri praises the deceased founder of the Turkistan Islamic Party, Hasan Mahsum, and his jihadist followers.