Caucasus Emirate Chechnya Dagestan Ingushetiya Islamism Jihadism Kabardino-Balkariya Karachaevo-Cherkessiya North Caucasus Putin Russia

Islam, Islamism and Politics in Eurasia Report 27

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October 20, 2010



* IIPER is written and edited by Dr. Gordon M. Hahn unless otherwise noted.  Research assistance is provided by Leonid Naboishchikov, Daniel Painter, and Seth Gray.



September 2010 saw at least approximately 92 terrorist attacks and jihad-related violent incidents in Russia (6 fewer than in August) driven by the Caucasus Emirate jihad; ‘jihad-related incidents’ consisted of some 25 counter-terrorist special operations undertaken by law enforcement that led to the killing, wounding, or capture of mujahedin or of security forces.  These 92 attacks/incidents led to at least approximately 47 state agents (civilian officials and military, police and intelligence personnel) being killed and 96 wounded, 22 civilians killed and 112 wounded.  This brings the total for the first nine months of this year to at least some 482 attacks/incidents, the overwhelming majority of which were attacks initiated by mujahedin.  Those 482 attacks/incidents have led to at least approximately 228 state agents being killed and 431 wounded, for a total of 659 casualties among state agents.  On the civilian side, 112 have been killed and 482 wounded, bringing the total number of civilian casualties to 594.  The total number of killed among civilians and state agents resulting from CE activity is 340, and the total number of wounded is 913.  Thus, the estimated total number of all casualties among state agents and civilians so far this year is 1,253.

Looking at the individual regions, Dagestan continues, as it has since spring, to be the jihad’s center of gravity, with 223 attacks so far this year through September.  Thus, the Dagestani mujahedin have carried out approximately 50 percent more attacks in the republic than they did in all of last year, not including the two Dagestani female suicide bombers they sent to attack the Moscow subway system in March, killing 40 and wounding nearly 101.  The KBR is still seeing the second highest level of jihadi violence, 90 attacks/incidents.  There have been three attacks so far this year in Karachai-Cherkesia (KChR), which along with the KBR, is considered by the CE mujahedin to be the territory of their United Vliaiyat of Kabardia, Balkaria, and Karachai (OVKBK).  By contrast, Ingushetia’s mujahedin have been responsible for 81 attacks/incidents, and Chechnya remains the laggard of the four main CE vilaiyats, having carried out 71 attacks in the first nine months of 2010.  This is less than one-third the number carried out by the Dagestani mujahedin.

Dagestan continues to be the most deadly republic for state agents, with at least approximately 124 killed there through August of this year compared to some 48 in Chechnya, 27 in Ingushetia and 25 in the KBR.  Regarding overall casualties among state agents, the Dagestani mujahedin are also the most deadly, having inflicted 317 as compared to 142 in Chechnya, 128 in Ingushetia, and 63 in the KBR.

Civilian casualties have been highest in Dagestan as well with at least approximately 98 (33 killed, 65 wounded) this year, followed in descending order by 44 in the KBR (7 killed, 37 wounded), 30 in Ingushetia (12 killed, 18 wounded), and 16 in Chechnya (1 killed, 15 wounded).  However, if one looks at the entire territory of the CE’s Ingushetian mujahedin, the so-called G’alg’aiche Vilaiyat (GV) which includes both the Republics of Ingushetia and North Ossetia, then the Ingush mujahedin turn out to be the most dangerous to civilians.  North Ossetia has seen two suicide bombings that killed 17 and wounded 154.  This makes the GV responsible for 184 civilian casualties.  Outside of the North Caucasus, Moscow leads in the number of civilian casualties as a result of the March 29th subway bombing that killed 40 and wounded more than 100.

Overall casualties were highest in Dagestan with approximately 415 (157 killed, 258 wounded), followed by 158 in Ingushetia (39 killed, 119 wounded), 158 in Chechnya (49 killed, 109 wounded), and 107 in the KBR (32 killed, 75 wounded).  Thus, Dagestan’s mujahedin have inflicted more than half of the overall number of casualties in the four main Muslim republics, 292 out of 881 and well over a third, indeed nearly half of the casualties among state agents, 217 out of 517.  For comparison, the Russian news agency Regnum, citing Dagestani law enforcement, reported that 104 non-civilian state agents (81 MVD, 10 FSB, and 12 military personnel, one prison guard) and 17 non-official civilians were killed in Dagestan in the first eight months of 2010.[1]  However, the Dagestan police’s data, which make a total of 121 killed in Dagestan (in contrast to my figure of 157), does not include civilian officials or killings in September.

If one uses the CE’s territorial subdivisions as the standard, including North Ossetia (2 state agents killed, 3 wounded, 17 civilians killed, 154 wounded) for the Ingush mujahedin in the GV, then the Ingush mujahedin have been responsible for 334 (176+158) casualties.  Doing the same for the OVKBK by including the KChR does not significantly change its totals inflicted casualty totals.

The CE continues to show a capacity to carry out operations over a larger geographical area than in recent years, moving beyond its usual theatre of operations in Dagestan, Ingushetia, Chechnya and to some extent in the Republic of Kabardino-Balkariya (KBR).  As noted in IIPER, No. 16, the CE has expanded its activity in the KBR this year to an unprecedented level, and that level remains high as compared with past years.  The CE’s more expansive reach is indicated by:

  • the shift of the jihad’s center of gravity to Dagestan
  • the unprecedented number of attacks in Kabardino-Balkaria
  • the first attacks in many years in Karachai-Cherkessia
  • apparently CE-backed attacks in Stavropol for the first time
  • The Ingush GV’s two suicide bombings in North Ossetia
  • the first attack ever and first counter-terrorist operation ever in Bashkortostan
  • the March 29th Moscow subway suicide bombings.

Both the GV Ingush mujahedin and the largely Kabard OVKBK mujahedin have spearheaded efforts to expand operations into Stavropol.  The August car bomb explosion in Stavropol appears to have been perpetrated by the Ingush mujahedin with the automobile traced back to Ingushetia.  An August attack on police in Stavropol saw the perpetrators retreat back to Karachai-Cherkessia (KChR).  The mujahedin appear to be trying to extend their reach and establish a bridgehead in the KChR as a springboard to operations in what they call the ‘Nogai Steppe Vilaiyat’ which includes Stavropol and Krasnodar Krais; the latter’s resort city of Sochi on the Black Sea will be the venue for the 2014 Olympic Games.

In addition, the Ingush mujahedin claimed responsibility for the suicide bombings in Prigorodnoi raion in August and in Vladikavkaz in September in North Ossetia.  The CE’s suicide martyrs’ unit, the Riyadus Salikhin Martyrs Brigade, took responsibility for the August 11th small bombing that occurred in front of GazProm’s headquarters in southwest Moscow, claiming it had been ordered by CE amir Abu Usman Dokku Usmanov and was a demonstration of their capacity.  The brigade promised more attacks deep inside Russia.[2]

According to my count, using Russian news sources, 319 mujahedin have been killed by federal and pro-Moscow local forces in the first nine months of this year, including 5 in Bashkortostan.  It is unclear whether the Bashkir jihadists killed had ties with the CE.  Almost half of the mujahedin were killed in Dagestan, approximately 155.  For comparison, the Russian news agency Regnum, citing Dagestani law enforcement, reported that 123 mujahedin were killed in Dagestan in the first eight months of 2010.[3]  However, two weeks later, on September 22nd, North Caucasus Federal District (NCFD) General Procurator Artem Melnikov reported that 160 fighters had been killed and more than 200 facilitators captured in the NCFD so far this year.[4]


September saw three successful suicide bombings.  On September 3rd, a male suicide bomber commandeered a car loaded with explosives onto the Russian military base at Buinaksk in Dagestan, killing 5 soldiers and wounding 40.  On September 9th a shakhid exploded a car bomb in the central market in Vladikavkaz, North Ossetia killing 17 and wounding more than 160 civilians.  Adam, the amir of the of the CE’s Ingushetia-based mujahedin, the so-called G’alg’aiche Vilaiyat (GV), announced on the GV’s website that the CE’s Riyadus-Salikhin Martyrs’ Brigade (RSMB) carried out both this and the August 17th Prigorodnyi attack as part of its “jihad with Ossetian infidels on occupied Ingush territory,” according to G’alg’aiche Vilaiyat amir Adam.[5]  Thus, it appears the RSMB retains a close tie to the Ingush mujahedin as it did during the time of Sheik Said Abu Saad Buryatsii’s activity in Ingushetia.  Buryatskii was killed on March 3rd in Ekazhevo, Ingushetia.

On September 24th, the third suicide bombing of the month and the twelfth of the year occurred when Russian security forces surrounded a home in Dagestan’s capitol Makhachkala in which several mujahedin were hiding.  As the standoff continued, a suicide bomber approached a police line cordoning off the area around the home and detonated a suicide vest.  The explosion killed the suicide bomber, wounded 13 policeman and 13 civilians.[6]  Thus, September saw two suicide bombings in Dagestan and one in North Ossetia.

There have been 12 suicide attacks carried out by CE-tied jihadists this year as of October 1st, if one counts the two Moscow subway bombings as two separate attacks.  There were also three interdicted attacks in May.  The 12 successful attacks have used 14 suicide bombers, killed 27 state agents, wounded 105 state agents, killed 60 civilians, and wounded 287 civilians.  The mujahedin have used 13 suicide bombers in these attacks.  Adding the seven suicide bombers used in the attack on Tsenteroi to the 14 used in the 12 abovementioned attacks brings the total number of expended suicide bombers this year to 21.

SOURCES:,,, and,,,,,, among others.




The Monterey Institute for International Studies has recently opted to combine its very popular and highly regarded M.A. International Policy Studies degree specializations in Terrorism Studies and Nonproliferation Studies into a combined new M.A. Program in Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies, a program that will now have an even higher profile and greater institutional autonomy. Apart from combining two of the Institute’s strongest academic programs, this will ensure that students take the introductory courses in both subjects but will also allow them to concentrate primarily on either terrorism or nonproliferation (or, if they prefer, to focus on both subjects equally, e.g., on CBRN terrorism). As you may already know, our students have an exceptionally high success rate getting jobs in these specialized fields.

The Institute is also introducing a new one-semester (or one-year) Certificate in Terrorism Studies for professionals or students who wish to obtain specialized academic training in this subject without spending an entire two years in residence. Prospective students can be admitted into this Certificate Program without meeting the somewhat stringent language requirements that regular students must meet.

If you know of any students or professionals who might find this new program of particular interest, or who wish to obtain outstanding preparation for careers in these fields, or who wish to obtain further specialized training before going on to obtain a doctorate, it would be very much appreciated if let them know about our new program.



[1] “123 Fighters Killed in 2010,”, 13 September 2010,

[2] “Riyadus Salikhiin: Vzryv pered zdaniem Gasproma byl demonstratsii nashikh vozmozhnostei,” Kavkaz tsentr, 12 August 2010, 01:09,

[3] “123 Fighters Killed in 2010,”, 13 September 2010,

[4] “2010 North Caucasus Counter-Terror Statistics,”, 22 September 2010,

[5] “Zayavlenie amira vilayata G-alg’aiche,”, 15 September 2010, 12:00, http://hunafa/com//?p=4188#more-4188 and Kavkaz tsentr, 15 September 2010, 21:26,

[6] “Chislo ubitykh v Makachkale vo vremya spetsoperatsii vozroslo do shesti chelovek,” Kavkaz uzel, 25 September 2010, 20:00,



Islam, Islamism and politics in Eurasia report (IIPER) is a project of the Monterey Terrorism and Research and Education Program (MonTREP) at the Monterey Institute for International Studies (MIIS), Monterey, California.  It focuses on all politically-relevant issues involving or bearing on Islam and ethnic Muslim communities in Russia and Eurasia writ large.  All issues of IIPER can be found at

IIPER is compiled, edited and, unless indicated otherwise, written by Dr. Gordon M. Hahn.  Dr. Hahn is Senior Researcher at the Monterey Terrorism Research and Education Program and Visiting Assistant Professor, Graduate School of International Policy Studies, Monterey Institute of International Studies, Monterey, California.  He is also a Senior Researcher, Center for Terrorism and Intelligence Studies (CETIS), Akribis Group and Analyst/Consultant for Russia Other Points of View – Russia Media Watch,  He teaches courses on both politics and terrorism in Russia and Eurasia at MIIS.  Dr. Hahn is the author of two well-received books, Russia’s Islamic Threat (Yale University Press, 2007) and Russia’s Revolution From Above (Transaction, 2002) as well as numerous articles on Russian, Eurasian and international politics.

IIPER welcomes submissions of 1,500-6,000 words on any aspect of Islamic politics in Eurasia and financial contributions to support the project.  For related inquiries or to request to be included on IIPER’s mailing list, please contact or

Research assistance for IIPER is provided by Leonid Naboishchikov, Daniel Painter, and Daria Ushakova.

For additional information, please contact:

Dr. Gordon Hahn

Senior Researcher and WMD Terrorism Database Manager

Monterey Terrorism Research and Education Program (MonTREP)

460 Pierce Street

Monterey, CA – 93940 USA

Tel: (831) 647-3535 Fax: (831) 647-6522


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