Al Qaeda AQ Bashkortostan Caucasus Emirate Central Asia Chechnya Dagestan Ingushetiya Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan Islamism Jihadism Kabardino-Balkariya Karachaevo-Cherkessiya Kyrgyzstan North Caucasus Putin Russia Tajikistan Taliban Tatarstan Uzbekistan

Islam, Islamism and Politics in Eurasia Report 37

Photo russian_mosque 30 March 2011

Edited and Written by Gordon M. Hahn (unless otherwise indicated)

IIPER accepts article submissions




CENTRAL ASIA by Yelena Altman (unless otherwise indicated)


* 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.



The Caucasus Emirate’s amir Dokku ‘Abu Usman’ Umarov issued two video statements and text version of those statements in early March 2011.  In the first statement ‘An Appeal to the Muslims of the Caucasus and Russia’ released March 3rd, Umarov addressed not just the Muslims of the Caucasus but also “Muslims who live on territories of Muslim lands occupied by Russia (pejorative ‘Rusnya’ used) – Idel-Ural, Tatarstan, Bashkortostan and all of Russia where Muslims live.”  Introducing himself as “I, your brother in religion Abu Usman,” the CE amir gives a classical jihadi amir’s speech, sounding like Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, or Anwar al-Awlaki.  For example,  he begins by quoting the Prophet Mohammed in order to argue that jihad is any Muslims greatest deed and obligation: “I want to begin with the words of our great Prophet (peace to him and Allah’s blessing): ‘He who dies and has not fought and had no intention to fight, dies in one of the forms of hypocrisy’. These words show us that Jihad is the greatest act of Islam and that Jihad is becoming today obligatory for the Umma’s salvation.  Today, dear brothers, the Umma finds itself in a humiliated condition, in such a miserable condition that Jihad is becoming obligatory for all of us.  Jihad is fard ain (a religious obligation).” [1]  He continues:

Today, children do not have to ask their parents’ permission and can go to the Jihad, the debtor does not have to ask permission from the lender and can to go to Jihad, and today wives do not have to ask permission from their husbands to participate in Jihad and can help the mujahedin, as far as they can.

Dear brother mujahedin, we see in what a miserable state our Umma is.  Today the Umma numbers 1.5 billion, and we know that not even .05% of these numbers of this Umma do not wages Jihad and that not even .05% of this Umma wages Jihad with either their souls or property.  Therefore, we see in what a miserable condition the Ummah is.

In this regard, I recall a hadith of our great Prophet (peace and Allah’s blessing be upon Him) when he told his companions: “‘Peoples will fall upon you like greedy eaters upon a bowl of food’.  And the companions asked the Prophet (peace and Allah’s blessing be upon Him): ‘Will that be because we are small in numbers?’  The Prophet (peace and Allah’s blessing be upon Him) replied: ‘No. You will then be too many but rather like foam floating over water.  And Allah will remove the fear of you from the hearts of your enemies, and cast Wahn into your hearts’.  So the companions asked: ‘O Messenger of Allah, what is Wahn?’  He said: ‘The love for this world, and the fear of death’.”

And today we see that our Ummah loves this world and hates death.  Today, there exists that situation which was described by the Prophet (peace and Allah’s blessing be upon Him).

I appeal to the mujahedin: we are today the vanguard of the Jihad, we are today the saviors of this Ummah.

The mujahedin today are in the first ranks.  Why?  Because the mujahedin love Allah, they love His religion and their Prophet (peace and Allah’s blessing be upon Him).

I want to appeal to the brothers in Dagestan, to the mujahedin.  I want to appeal to the brothers in Kabardia, to the mujahedin, to the brothers in Balkaria, to the brothers in Adygeya, Karachai, Nogai Steppe, Ingushetia, and Nokhchicho.  I pray to Allah for you.  First and foremost, I want to express my condolences for the losses of the brothers who have left us.

We know that they are not dead, that they are alive and receive their due from their Lord.  We know that they are waiting for our accession to Paradise, Allah willing.  We ask Allah that He gives us faith and allows us to join our brothers and that He gives us the degree of Martyrdom in this Jihad.

Today, we are carry out Allah’s order, and we are in the vanguard of our Ummah.  Spring has come already, and it is now the end of February.  Therefore, brothers, I ask you to intensify the Jihad, intensify operations for the destruction of Allah’s enemies.

I also want to appeal to Muslims who live on territories of Muslim lands occupied by Russia (perjorative ‘Rusnya’ used) – Idel-Ural, Tatarstan, Bashkortostan and all of Russia where Muslims live. Do not forget that Jihad is a sacred fard ain (obligation) for you today. Do not forget that we are one Ummah.

The Prophet (peace and Allah’s blessing upon Him) said: “The similarity of the believers in their mutual love and brotherhood is the similarity of a single organism.  When one part hurts, the whole body hurts”.

Therefore, dear brothers, we are one Ummah, we are a single organism.  If there is Jihad here in the Caucasus against an enemy who wants to destroy Islam, then for you it is also Jihad and for you it becomes a fard al-ayn.

I urge you to destroy Allah’s enemies wherever you are.  I urge you to destroy the enemies wherever your hands can reach them and open fronts of the Jihad.

Today, a total war is going on.  It is not we who had declared it on Russia, it was Russia which declared it on us.  When there is a total war, there no peaceful population remains.  If they have declared total war on us, then Allah allows us to fight with them as they fight with us.

Therefore, today we have the right to fight against them, the way they fight against us.  I urge you, fight them and destroy them.  This is Allah’s order.  And we, as God-fearing, sincere believers, must fulfill Allah’s orders.

I also want to warn you not to yield to Satan’s puppets, who propagandize their venality and propagandize how they sold out Allah’s religion for this worldly life.  They sold out their honor, and they sold out Islam.

The Prophet (peace and Allah’s blessing be upon Him) said about these corrupt puppets that each will be with those they love.  We know that always and everywhere these puppets express their love for Putin, for Taghut (false god) and other infidel leaders.

We also know that all infidels will go to Hell, Allah willing, and they will all be in Hell.  And those who loved them in this life will be resurrected with them – that is they will be together on Judgement Day – and that is enough for reasonable people to come to their senses.

Therefore, the infidels are not an example for us.  The example for us is our Prophet (peace and Allah’s blessing be upon Him).  And so I ask you to resist these temptations.

Concluding my appeal to you, dear brothers, I want to say that I am the Amir not because I am better than you.  No, I am worse than you, but today this responsibility lays with me by Allah’s will.

I want sincerely to convey my love to all those who are sincere believers in Allah and His religion.  I love you for Allah’s sake.  And I hope that we will be inhabitants of Paradise.

May Allah help us on this straight path and protect us from those who push us off the path. Peace be with you and the mercy and blessings of Allah, dear brothers.

May peace and blessings of Allah be upon you.

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar![2]

Umarov’s second missive, ‘A Warning in Connection with the Infidels’ Reaction to the Martyrdom Operation in Domodedovo’ appeared a day later and was justification of the 24 January 2011 Moscow Domodedovo Airport suicide bombing (see IIPER, Nos. 35 and 36) and a warning of more terrorist attacks to come. First addressing the “Muslims of Russia and the Caucasus,” he expresses indignation that they can live side by side with Russian infidels and Caucasus apostates: “(H)ow can You combine today your life in a world with a people which is responsible for crimes and tyranny committed against Your brothers and sisters?!  How can You be loyal to the government of Putin and the FSB which are conducting a war against Islam and Muslims?!”  After expressing further consternation, he calls Muslims to “unity” against the Russian infidel and promises that the Caucasus mujahedin “will give a quick response and implement compensation for their evil deeds.”

Turning to the Domodedovo operations and the discussion of it afterwards, he says that his martyr ‘Seifullah’ Magomed Yevloev wanted to make the farewell testament video discussed in IIPER, Nos. 35 and 36 and insisted on showing his face against Umarov’s advice.  He says he withheld the video and published it only after the “infidels” established Yevloev’s identity, because he knew the possible consequences for Yevloev’s family.[3]

To those who charge him with terrorism, Umarov retorts somewhat incoherently about how the Russians bombed Grozny airport before both post-Soviet wars as a “strategic object.”  He then warns: “(L)et Russia know that it is in a state of war with the Caucasus Mujahedin and that we are delivering a counterblow precisely against strategic objects and that such blows against precisely strategic objects will be delivered going forward! … Our goals are sacred goals.  We confess Allah’s religion and pose the goal of the establishment of justice on earth.”  Umarov also warns pro-Moscow locals that attacks will be leveled against them as well.[4]

Condemning the law enforcement organs’ arrest of Yevloev’s brother and sister for involvement in his martyrdom attack, Umarov says: ‘Our mujahedin to fall in spirit from this!  On the contrary, they want to carry out such operations even more!  Allah willing, these operations, if it is Allah’s will, will be carried out in future!”  He closes blessing “all Muslims of the Caucasus, Russia, and the whole world.[5]



In one of his first acts as then ‘president’ of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, the predecessor organization of today’s North Caucasus jihadi terrorist network, the Caucasus Emirate (CE), Dokku ‘Abu Usman’ Umarov created Volga and Urals Fronts and even named their amirs.  Since then and even after the formation of the CE in October 2007 little developed in the way of jihad in places like Tatarstan and Bashkortostan, which come under those fronts’ purview.  However, as reported by IIPER, last year several jihadi incidents and some ten mujahedin were killed and captured in Bashkortstan in spring and summer.  Also, last November a jihad group was destroyed in combat with security forces in Tatarstan; it was suspected of an attempted assassination attempt against the head of the Tatarstan MVD’s Anti-Extremism Center.[6]  Thus, the Galgaiche (Ingushetia) Viliayat’s (GV) website,, hailed the “growth of the territory of the Jihad” pointing to the attack by the Tatarstan mujahedin.[7]  An Ingush/Idel-Ural connection was suggested by the involvement of at least one ethnic Ingush from Ingushetia in the alleged group of Bashkortostan mujahedin which battled police forces in that Volga-Urals region.

This winter there have been signs of possible jihadi stirrings in the Idel-Ural or Volga-Urals area and that they may be connected to the CE’s efforts.  A group calling itself “the Vilaiyat Idel-Ural of the Caucasus Emirate” issued a “Statement on the Borders of the Vilaiyat Idel-Ural” posted in January on the CE’s main website, Kavkaz tsentr.[8]  The statement reads:

We, the Muslims of the Vilaiyat Idel-Ural, loyal slaves of Allah, the Sacred and Great…state: all territory of today’s Russia, which is actively being dismantled, that is not the Caucasus Emirate or other vilaiyats of the Caucasus Emirate, on which the law of Muslims leading the Holy liberation war with occupiers in the person of the  has already been declared infidels, from here on, Allah willing, is the territory of the Vilaiyat Idel-Ural of the Caucasus Emirate.

Muslims!  If you raise your voice with weapons in hand and take upon yourselves the obligation of the liberation of the territories indicated by you from the rule over us by the worst of creatures and of the establishment of our law, the law of the Muslims promised by the Ruler of the Worlds to (his) agents on earth, then we will share with you the zone of responsibility and influence with joy, and we will support you, Allah willing, in the fulfillment of our obligations for the liberation of the territories occupied by the infidels.

The words of Allah’s Messenger, Mohammed when he answered the liar Museilim al-Kazzab serves as an example and guide to action for us: “In the name of Allah, the all-merciful and all-loving.  From Mohammed the Prophet to Museilim al-Kazzab.  The world goes to he who follows the right path.  Truly, the earth belongs to Allah, and those of His slaves who He wants will inherit it.  A beneficial outcome belongs to pure-hearted.”  And the word of Allah, the Ruler of the Worlds: We already wrote in the Texts after it was written in the Reminders (Preserved Tablets), that My true slaves will inherit the world. 21:105.

Muslims!  Lift the word of Allah, the Ruler of the worlds, stand up, remember that we are the best of the creatures, and make a prayer to the Ruler of the worlds for the removal of fear from our hearts and the establishment of the fear of God in our hearts and ask that the worst of the creatures might shake in fear before us and that the modern double-headed Putin-Medvedev pharaoh stood to hear the revelation of the Ruler of the worlds and the words of His messenger handed by us and the brothers of the prophet!

We call on you, brothers and sisters in Islam, to unite around the Caucasus Emirate and its amir and, relying on our Creator, to take the causes for victory over the worst of the creatures.  We have one land and one war, and after the fall of Russia, God willing, under our active participation, the center of our state will become our present flagman of Jihad, the Caucasus Emirate.

We are striving for Allah’s satisfaction, and having broken knives we will, God willing, carry out Jihad until Judgment Day, and having taken the baton from our true predecessors, there cannot be any talk about any other form of rule than the rule of Muslims for the entire world, and ALL of Russia, each of its spans is the land of His loyal slaves and will be (ruled) according to the Law of the Ruler of the worlds.

War is being waged against us across the entire planet, and we are obliged to meet the worst of all creatures coming to us with war in our homes, since making them suffer on their own skin what they have brought to us is the same as striving for Paradise.  We will cut them down with their own swords!  May Allah, the Lord of the Day of Tributes, give us the courage and steadiness before your enemies, and lower them by our hands, help us overcome our enemies, give us the gift of victory over them, and establish Your Laws over the entire world, Amen.  Allah is Great!  Victory or Paradise![9]

In essence, the statement, is none other than a declaration of an Idel-Ural Vilaiyat under the CE.

Days later a letter with an appeal for assistance arrived at Kavkaz tsentr from the Idel-Ural mujahedin signed by one Umar Bashkirskii.  The letter, titled “An Appeal of the Mujahedin of Idel-Ural to the Mujahedin of Caucasus Emirate,” requested that a CE Shura be convened immediately to address the following questions for “rendering comprehensive assistance to the Idel-Ural Jihad.”  First, the CE should send to Idel-Ural a group of Caucasus mujahedin experienced in carrying out terrorist and especially complex operations towards implementing intelligence and terrorist operations and studying the situation on the mountain ridge of the Southern Ural mountain region.  Second, the CE should send assistance for establishing military camps (Ribaty) in the Ural mountains.  Third, the CE should provide for training in these southern Ural mountain camps to increase the “terrorist-combat effectiveness of the Ural-Volga mujahedin.”  Fourth, the CE should assist in the carrying out of more difficult operations.  Fifth, the CE should establish strategic military interaction between the Caucasus and Urals mujahedin.[10]

The appeal’s emphasis on the southern Ural mountains region suggests the organization may focus its attacks on Bashkortostan rather than Tatarstan.  However, it should be recalled that ethnic Tatars make up one-fourth of Bashkortostan’s population and have experienced some discrimination in the region by Bashkirs.  Therefore, the Idel-Ural Vilaiyat could very well consist of both Tatars and Bashkirs.

Weeks later an “Appeal to the Youth of Idel-Ural” by one Yagafar Tangauri was posted on Kavkaz tsentr, calling Bashkir and Tatar youth to jihad.[11]  Some of the most interesting points of the appeal are the following.  Tangauri tells Tatar and Bashkir youth that the enterprises in the region produce nothing but “stink and radiation” and belong to the “Moscow Jewish oligarchs,” such that they are forced to “travel to Russia to work as slaves.”  The city of Orenburg was built in the 18th century so that the “rebelling Bashkirs and Tatars could not hide out in the steppes of Kazakhstan.  It was called the ‘Orenburg expedition’, that is the separation of the Muslims of the Urals from Kazakhstan.  Bashkir and Tatar rebels of the past are placed among those who fought according to Allah’s instructions regarding jihad: “They did not need riches because to be rich is difficult and they are busy with their riches.  They put their hopes on God and made cause with the raising of His Word, the raising of His Word and the diminution of the non-believers.  That is what they were like.”[12]

Tangauri then issues a call to action:

Therefore the ball is in your court.  Will you humiliatingly accept reality or will you yourself humiliate the non-believers and put truth in its place.  Return the stolen.  Subvert the economy in our territory.  Do not let the removal of oil and gas, do not allow their refining here, do not let them conduct underground nuclear explosions, and do not let cash security transports move on our roads.

Burn down their drinking halls and bordellos, in which they pervert our children.  Shoot traitors from among our people, occupation bureaucrats, sold-out police, street prostitutes, criminals, murderers and maniacs who do let peaceful people live in peace.  There is no longer any concept that the police protect us.  No, they hold us under guard!  It guards against another revolt against Moscow and its satraps.

They need managed chaos.  (They need) that the people are drunk so that they target their anger in other directions.  They are making out of us a stupid herd whose God is its own passions.  Today the initiative group of Muslims is going to fight against these non-people.  It is your choice.  Be natural and choose absolute values.  Just one intention or step to this life of war will overcome you.

It is said in the hadiths:  The best life is of those who holds on to the reins of the horse and hurries to where he hears the cry for help,  driving into the thick of the enemy hoping to meet his Ruler.  And remember no matter how much you may want you will never become a Russia as long as you remember the name of Allah.  In conclusion, Glory of our Ruler of the worlds!  Peace and Blessing to the Prophet and to all those who follow him until the Day of Resurrection![13]

On February Kavkaz tsentr and Umma News carried a missive by one Abu Khamza claiming that Tatarstan’s authorities were organizing “intentional provocations” by which “infidels and apostates intentionally are trying to destroy the roots of the correct understanding of Islam” and “foist delusions and heresies in the form of the traditional national Hanafi maskhab” (school of jurisprudence) on Tatarstan’s Muslims.  The author accuses “obvious apostates,” including the administrators of Kazan’s Russian Islamic University (RIU), specifically naming its rector and historian Rafik Mukhametshin, and the official Muslim Spiritual Administration of Tatarstan (DUMT), of this as well as cooperating with law enforcement officials and thus “conducting a war against Islam.”  Although the number of Muslims is growing in the republic, according to the author, they are “a long way from a True understanding of religion.”[14]  Joining in the mounting debate and power struggle among Tatarstan’s Muslims (for more see below), the Idel-Ural Vilaiyat posted another statement in late February asserting that its salafi jihadist Islam is the true “traditional Islam”: “Islam carries within itself the powerful tradition of Monotheism (Edinobozhie), the pure and and consistent Tawhid, .  the call to the affirmation of Allah’s laws on earth, and resistance to tagut (false gods).”[15]

In CE amir Umarov’s early March appeal to Muslims of the Caucasus and Russia, he specifically addressed “Muslims who live on territories of Muslim lands occupied by Rusnya (derogatory term for ‘Russia’) – Idel-Ural, Tatarstan, Bashkortostan and all of Russia where Muslims live.”  He called on them to join the jihad, reminding them: “Do not forget that jihad is also a sacred fard ain (Arabic for ‘obligation’) for you.  Do not forget that today we are a single Umma.”  After briefly citing the Prophet Mohammed, Umarov continues: “If today a Jihad is going on here in the Caucasus against an enemy who wants to destroy Islam, then it becomes a Jihad also for you and it also becomes fard ain for you.  I call upon you to destroy the enemies of Allah wherever you are.  I call upon you to destroy the enemies wherever your hands can reach in order to open fronts of the Jihad.”[16]

It is perhaps noteworthy that Umarov did not refer to the Idel-Ural Vilaiyat.  This does not necessarily mean, however, that it does not exist or that Umarov was ignoring its appeal to the CE.  Umarov has aspirations for expanding the jihad to Tatarstan, Bashkortostan and other Russian regions outside the Caucasus.  It may simply mean that Umarov is waiting for more results in the form of jihadi attacks in those regions before he devotes his scarce resources to expanding the jihad to Volga-Ural’s Muslims.

On this background of potential jihadi threat, it is not surprising that Russian security and law enforcement organs are expressing concern about the emergence of jihadi violence in the Volga and Urals areas last year.  In mid-December, for example, Bashkortostan’s FSB chief Viktor Palagin claimed that the members of what the Bashkir FSB now calls the “Askinsk Jamaat” in Arkhangelsk District killed and arrested last summer were preparing “no less than eighteen terrorist attacks” across the republic.[17]  Two other jamaats, the Oktyabrsk and Chisminsk Jamaats, were also uncovered.[18]  According to Palagin, the Bashkir mujahedin had already carried out experimental explosions and were prepared to attack one of the MVD’s district headquarters, seize weapons, paralyze the republic through a series of explosions, and then escape to Afghanistan through Kazakhstan.[19]  The eight captured mujahedin await trial in Ufa.

The jihadi threat is also sparking action and reaction by the authorities.  In Tatarstan, President Rustam Minnikhanov has ordered the siloviki (law enforcement and security organs) and the government to develop an anti-extremism program for the next three years.  In addition, the Tatarstan MVD’s Public Council, Tatarstan’s Public Chamber, and the Assembly of the Peoples of Tatarstan convened a conference which discussed Tatarstan’s first jihad-related violent incident in November 2010 that ended in a shootout and the killing of three alleged mujahedin.  Conference discussants noted that in the past five years more than 100 people have been arrested for involvement in extremist and terrorist activity and concluded that Tatarstan “stands on the threshold of major unpleasantries, since there exists in the region ‘an entire generation prepared to carry out extremist activity’.”[20]  It should be noted, that many of those previously arrested in the republic and in Bashkortostan were members of Hizb-ut-Tahrir Islami, and an ‘Islamic Jamaat’ was arrested and its members convicted in 2007 in Tatarstan for preparing to carry out terrorist attacks and weapons possession.  The conference also revealed that half of those so imprisoned over the last five years have been released, having served their prison terms, and some mujahedin and/or former mujahedin have returned to the republic from fighting in Afghanistan and Pakistan.  In the weeks prior to the conference, President Minnikhanov and the heads of several law enforcement organs in the republic claimed that imams in some of Tatarstan’s mosques were preaching “salafist teachings” and, therefore, had been “pressured” by law enforcement personnel.[21]

On February 18th Tatarstan’s Prosecutor’s Office issued a warning to an unidentified resident of Tatarstan’s capitol Kazan and an alleged member of the salafist organization Takfir al-Hijra (At-takfir val-Khidzhra) to cease his involvement in extremist activity.  On 15 September 2010 Takfir al-Hijra was banned from Russia by Russia’s Supreme Court as an extremist and terrorist organization.  Tatarstan prosecutors note that Takfir al-Hijra is involved and recruiting for the Afghanistan-Pakistan-based, ethnic Tatar jihadi ‘Bulgar Jamaat’ (its website is, which has declared jihad on Russia.  They also said that they detainee had traveled to Iran on the pretext of conducting business and there was instructed by a representative of the Bulgar Jamaat to help Russian citizens arriving in Teheran to travel to the AfPak region and join the jihad.[22]  This detention was reported on CE-affiliated websites Kavkaz tsentr and Umma News.[23]

A panic reaction, which could be pushing the authorities to provoke a backlash, may be occurring.  The abovementioned letter by Abu Khamza to Umma News and Kavkaz tsentr alleges several moves by the authorities to control and marginalize independent-minded and perhaps salafi-oriented teachings.  Although Abu Khamza seems less than tolerant of Tatarstan’s traditional Islamic communities, if what he reports is happening in Kazan’s mosques approximates the truth, then tensions between traditional DUMT-oriented Muslims and younger, independent, and salafi-influenced Muslims could boil over.  He claims that “in violation of Shariah law,” cameras and listening devices have been set up in mosques such as Kazan’s Nurullah Mosque.  Imams of the Eniler Mosque (located across the street from RIU), who did not follow the DUMT’s instructions and “tried to advance a more or less true understanding of religion” were replaced by Sufis and “some sort of strange people, apparently, some sort of magicians with their magic tricks” on February 21st, one day following the mufti Gusman Iskhakov departure from the DUMT chairmanship.[24]  These events are likely driven at least in part by the power struggle behind the scenes between groups supporting one or another contender to succeed Iskhakov as DUMT chair.

In another report, Vyacheslav Kozlov, the head of the administration of Novosheshminsk District, Tatarstan, recently banned the wearing of the hijab in all state institutions, schools, and higher educational institutions.[25]  In noting and condemning the decision and claiming another decision banned children from attending lessons on islam in mosques, the pro-jihadi website Umma News referred to Tatarstan as “occupied Idel-Ural.”  Umma News also reported that Kozlov had expressed concern over the number of young people attending mosque, especially in Novosheshminsk and the village of Erekle.[26]  Azan News reported that while former chairman of the official Muslim Spiritual Administration of Tatarstan (DUMT) Gabdulla Galiullin had earlier reported that Kozlov was openly calling for such a move, his successor, acting DUMT mufti Ildus Faizov, had rejected Galiullin’s claim as “slander.”[27]

The real test of whether or not the CE has been able to establish the beginnings of an Idel-Ural Vilaiyat will come this coming spring and summer, when the jihadi ‘hunting season’ begins and rises to its peak.  Tatarstan will host the World Student Olympics in 2013, and authorities in Kazan refer to them as the last rehearsal before the 2014 Winter Olympic Games to be held in Russia’s resort city of Sochi in Russia’s North Caucasus region of Krasnodar Krai.[28]



In early March Russian law enforcement also announced that they had no information but were checking whether reports about three Chechen females named Dadaeva, Lalaeva, and Islamova reported by Russian media to have arrived from Pakistan to carry out suicide bombings in Moscow.  Initial reports on the three Chechens cited unidentified law enforcement officials in Moscow to the effect that two months ago they had left for Pakistan and had undergone training before returning to Russia.  In the middle of February three Chechen men and one Chechen female – Khasan Nazhaev, Ruslan Yusupov, Ramzan Khaliev, and Anzhela Batalova – were detained by security organs at Moscow’s Kiev Railroad Station headed for Moldova charged with planning terrorist attacks and being members of an extremist organization.[29]

Three days later, on March 10th a bomb exploded near the Academy of the FSB in Moscow.  The explosion caused no casualties.  The CE’s Riyadus-Salikhin Martyrs’ Brigade (RSMB) took responsibility for the attack in a message posted on the CE’s main website Kavkaz tsentr on March 11th, claiming it was undertaken on orders from CE amir Dokku ‘Abu Usman’ Umarov.  The message promised more attacks against the FSB and “other groupings” in the cause of defending “our religion and native land.”  In a reference to Moscow’s modernization police and development program for the North Caucasus, the announcement noted: “Even if you enrich and arm all of your puppets, build golden palaces and skyscrapers, organize a Brazilian carnival along with football matches in Chechnya, neither you or your puppets will stop the Jihad and put off punishment which sooner or later will reach you, Allah willing.  We are working on this.” The claim of responsibility was signed by the “Command of the ‘Riyadus Salikhin’ Martyrs’ Brigade’ revived by Umarov in late 2008 or early 2009.[30]

Later the same day two more explosions occurred in Moscow in the courtyard of a residential apartment building where FSB personnel live on Milashenkov Street in northeast Moscow.  This one also caused no casualties.  The two blasts prompted authorities to step up security measures in Moscow’s subway system where on 29 March 2010 two female Dagestani suicide bombers carried out two separate attacks that killed some 40 and wounded 100.  Radio Ekho Moskvy, citing sources in the security organs, noted that they had not excluded the possibility that both explosions were carried out by one and the same people.[31]

A day earlier, on March 9th, Russian news agencies and the CE’s Kavkaz tsentr reported that security forces were searching for a 23-year old ethnic Russian named Viktor Dvorakovskii, who was suspected of being a suicide bomber planning an attack and being an adherent of radical Islam.[32]  The daily Komsomolskaya pravda published Dvorakovskii’s photo and interviewed some of his friends.  It reported that his girlfriend was one Sadulaeva from Dagestan, who studied in the same Pyatigorsk pharmaceutical college as the ethnic Russian suicide bombing couple Vitalii Razdobud’ko and Maria Khorosheva, who exploded themselves in Gubden, Dagestan on St Valentine’s Day and were tied to the group planning New Year’s Eve twin suicide bombings on Red and/or Manezh Squares on December 31st.[33]

Nearly two weeks later, on March 21st, reports appeared of a missing 24-year old female, Malika Moltovna Turazova, also suspected of planning to carry out a suicide bombing.  The Ingushetia MVD asked federal law enforcement help in searching for the missing girl.  Turazova was born in the village of Bamut, Achkhoi-Martan District, Chechnya and was the widow of mujahed Malik Turazov.  She went missing on March 11th.  CE mujahedin are known to kidnap females for suicide bombing operations on occasion.  The Ingush human rights organization ‘Mashr’ claims Turazov may not have been a mujahed and may have been killed by security forces accidentally.  On 11 November 2005 Turazova’s brother, Molad, was one of two alleged mujahedin killed in Nesterovskaya, Ingushetia who, according to security organs, were members of Alikhan Merzhoev’s cell, which was part of the foreign mujahedin Abu Dzeit’s group of fighters.  However, one of the two mujahedin killed was Merzhoev’s cousin, Ruslan.  The men may have been just visiting as relatives, according to Mashr.[34]

As of March 23rd, there has been no suicide bombing in Russia since February 14th’s double suicide bombing attacks in Gubden, Dagestan.  Recall that CE amir Umarov promised tens if not hundreds of suicide bombings in statements before and after the January 24th Domodedovo Airport suicide bombing ordered by him, organized by the RSMB, and carried out by 21-year old Ingush and Ingushetia native Magomed Yevloev.

Telephone terrorism – phone calls claiming to have planted a bomb in a building or public place – continues especially in Moscow and St. Petersburg but also in some other large cities, forcing law enforcement and security organs to scramble frequently and make unnecessary expenditures.  Some of these false alarms may be calls made by those with pro-jihadi sentiments.

All of these close calls, alerts, scares, and false alarms are creating an atmosphere of fear.  The All-Russia Center for the Study of Public Opinion (VTsIOM) released the results of an opinion survey which found that 80 percent of Russians fear to a greater or smaller degree that they or their loved ones might become victims of a terrorist attack.  According to the poll, taken on February 5-6 (two weeks after the Moscow Domodedovo Airport suicide bombing that killed 37 and wounded as many as 180), 36 percent of respondents were greatly concerned about this now compared to 31 percent in April 2010 (weeks after the 29 March 2010 Moscow subway suicide bombings).  Of those surveyed, 35 percent now as then are convinced that it is impossible to eradicate terrorism.  Residents in Moscow and St. Petersburg were most fearful of terrorism – 52 percent had a greater level of fear.  There has never been a jihadi attack or any significant terrorist attack in St. Petersburg.  The survey included respondents in 138 cities and towns in 46 of Russia’s 81 regions.[35]




The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan has transformed since its founding from a local Uzbek band of fighters to a “multinational extremist political-military organization with a Jihadist nature.”[36]  While the eventual goal is to establish an Islamic Caliphate beginning in Uzbekistan, the immediate goal is to overthrow President Islam Karimov. The overthrow of the Taliban, however, has ruined their plans to overturn Central Asia and thus IMU forces have fled to Afghanistan.  There, the IMU has dealt with internal strife trying to reorganize and return some of its members to Uzbekistan.

Several arrests of, and operations against IMU members have occurred in the past several weeks in both Afghanistan and Central Asia.  According to Central Asia Online, Ukrainian and Kyrgyz citizens have been arrested for collaborating with Tahir Uldashov’s IMU network that working in North Waziristan, Pakistan.[37]  The Kyrgyz suspect one of those arrested in Khost Province, Afghanistan is Bakhtiyor, son of Hotam, known as “Salimullah, son of Kalimullah.”[38]  In the North, an IMU leader was targeted in the Dara Soof Payan district, Samangan province, Afghanistan “for direct attacks and IED attacks targeting Afghan civilians and Afghan and coalition security forces.”[39]

In the district of Burkah in Beghlan province of Afghanistan, an attack was launched against four IMU commanders “including the most senior IMU leader and Taliban liaison” in the province, responsible for several suicide bombings, and mortar attacks, according to the International Security Assistance Force.[40]

In Mazar-e Sharif district, Balkh province, Afghanistan, another IMU operative was captured on March 10, 2011. The leader was involved in “the recruitment and training of suicide bombers.”[41]

In Northern Tajikistan, there have been multiple arrests as a result of the IMU trying to create clandestine cells and infiltrate Central Asia.[42]

Two IMU German nationals were arrested in Germany for training at IMU camps in Waziristan.  Omer C. was traveling to Essen when he was arrested on the charge of fighting Pakistani troops and Turgay C. was on his way to Cologne when he was arrested and charged of sending €39,000 in two transactions to jihadists in Waziristan.[43]

In Mazar-e Sharif district, Balkh province, Afghanistan, an Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan leader was captured on March 10, 2011. The leader was involved in “the recruitment and training of suicide bombers.”



Shamil Atakhanov, Kyrgyzstan’s Vice Prime Minister, declared that Kyrgyzstan needs to veer off IMU’s plans for penetrating into Osh Oblast this spring and summer.  The Oblast is the most vulnerable region in Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia, and the IMU is constantly trying to penetrate it.[44]



The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan released a video on their activities in Afghanistan. This is the fifth episode in a series focusing on activities of IMU fighters in Afghanistan.[45]



The Islamic group, Jaish Jamaat al-Mahdi (Amir-ul-Mu’minin), swore an oath to the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, Mullah Muhammad Omar Mujahid.  It was posed on March 20, 2011, urging the faithful to Jihad.  The mujahideen in Kyrgyzstan are few and weak but reportedly possess high quality technology, including satellite communications and night video systems.[46]



Sheikh Abul-Mundhir Al-Shinkiti asserts that it is legal to attack police and fight jihad in Kazkahstan even though the Muslims there are weak and small in number.[47]  The Sheikh points to the first battle where the enemy outnumbered the Muslims at Badr as an example to follow.  Thus, it is a duty to fight against the infidels, whether crippled or sick, regardless of strength, especially as this is “defensive Jihad.”  It is an obligation to go to jihad especially in Palestine and Chechnya, and the Muslims of Kazakhstan are advised not to be patient but to engage in Jihad as well.  The fatwa was discussed on, the website of the Caucasus Emirate’s (CE) network in Ingushetia, the Galgaiche Vilaiyat, and reposted on the CE;s main website Kavkaz Tsentr.[48] of late has been publishing articles on jihad in Kazakhstan, suggesting at least joint propaganda efforts between the GV and radical Kazakhstani Islamists, who may be preparing to take up arms.



Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan have reached an agreement where Kazakhstan will provide technical support and military training to Kyrgyzstan. Military aid such as military trucks, army trucks, personnel carriers and 30 Russian PM-120 mortars will also be provided free of charge. Kyrgyz servicemen will continue to study at Kazakh military educational facilities.[49]



Security efforts in Tajikistan are a high priority.  Tajikistan is working on securing the Afghan-Tajik border with the help of the European Union as well as disarming the population. According to, Tajik Border Guard Deputy Commander Sharaf Faizulloyev spoke at the 9th Conference of the Central Asia Border Security Initiative (CABSI) regarding the issue, saying that “Tajikistan needs a European model to replace its porous obsolete Soviet-era border defenses.”[50]  If left unchanged, the border situation could become more dire as Islamic militants have been strengthening their bases in the mountainous areas of Afghanistan.  Despite the unstable situation, Tajik citizens have relinquished 350 weapons since the beginning of the year.[51]  Most weapons have been Kalashnikov automatic rifles, grenade launchers and pistols.



[1] “Obrashchenie Amira IK Dokku Abu Usman k musul’manam Kavkaza i Rossii: ‘Srazhaites’ s vragami vezde, gde dostanet vasha ruka!’,” Kavkaz tsentr, 3 March 2011, 23:40,

[2] “Obrashchenie Amira IK Dokku Abu Usman k musul’manam Kavkaza i Rossii: ‘Srazhaites’ s vragami vezde, gde dostanet vasha ruka!’,” Kavkaz tsentr, 3 March 2011, 23:40,

[3] “Preduprezhdenie Amira IK Dokku Abu Usman v svyazi s reaktsiei kafirov na Shakhidskuyu operatsiyu v Domodedovo,” Kavkaz tsentr, 4 March 2011, 21:27, and Jamaat Shariat, 5 March 2011, 13:28,,

[4] “Preduprezhdenie Amira IK Dokku Abu Usman v svyazi s reaktsiei kafirov na Shakhidskuyu operatsiyu v Domodedovo,” Kavkaz tsentr, 4 March 2011, 21:27, and Jamaat Shariat, 5 March 2011, 13:28,,

[5] “Preduprezhdenie Amira IK Dokku Abu Usman v svyazi s reaktsiei kafirov na Shakhidskuyu operatsiyu v Domodedovo,” Kavkaz tsentr, 4 March 2011, 21:27, and Jamaat Shariat, 5 March 2011, 13:28,,

[6] Sergei Tarasov “Tseloe pokolenie ekstremistov,” Nezavisimaya gazeta, 3 March 2011,

[7] Mukhammad Ts’echo, “Obzor,”, 11 Dcember 2010, 5:05,

[8] “Zayavlenie o granitsakh vilaiyat Idel-Ural,” Kavkaz tsentr, 26 January 2011, 21:12,  The statement was also posted at “Zayavlenie o granitsakh vilaiyat Idel-Ural,”, 25 January 2011, and, accessed 26 January 2011.

[9] “Zayavlenie o granitsakh vilaiyat Idel-Ural,” Kavkaz tsentr, 26 January 2011, 21:12,  The statement was also posted at “Zayavlenie o granitsakh vilaiyat Idel-Ural,”, 25 January 2011, and, accessed 26 January 2011.

[10] “Pis’mo v redaktsiyu: Obrashchenie modzhakhedov Idel-Ural k modzhakhedam Imarata Kavkaz,” Kavkaz tsentr, 1 February 2011, 00:03,

[11] “Pis’mo v redaktsiyu: Obrashchenie k molodezhi Idel-Ural,” Kavkaz tsentr, 12 February 2011, 21:11,

[12] “Pis’mo v redaktsiyu: Obrashchenie k molodezhi Idel-Ural,” Kavkaz tsentr, 12 February 2011, 21:11,

[13] “Pis’mo v redaktsiyu: Obrashchenie k molodezhi Idel-Ural,” Kavkaz tsentr, 12 February 2011, 21:11,

[14] Abu Khamza, “Tatarstan: Pryzyv k musul’manam Tatarstana ne boyatsya koznei kafirov i ikh prspeshnikov,” Kavkaz tsentr, 25 February 2011, 23:40, and, 25 February 2011, 02:25,

[15] “My za trditsionnyi Islam,” Kavkaz tsentr, 26 February 2011, 14:59, and “My za traditsionnyi Islam,” Vilaiyat Idel-Ural, 23 February 2011,

[16] “Obrashchenie Amira IK Dokku Abu Usman k musul’manam Kavkaza i Rossii: ‘Srazhaites’ s vragami vezde, gde dostanet vasha ruka!’,” Kavkaz tsentr, 3 March 2011,

[17] “Viktor Palagin: ‘Ekstremistov vovse ne shef FSB pridumal,” MediaKorSet, 16 December 2011, 21:43,

[18] Tatyana Maiorov, “V Bashkirr minuvshim letom predotvratili neskol’ko teraktov,” Rossiiskaya gazeta, 17 December 2010,

[19] “Viktor Palagin: ‘Ekstremistov vovse ne shef FSB pridumal,” MediaKorSet, 16 December 2011, 21:43,

[20] Sergei Tarasov “Tseloe pokolenie ekstremistov,” Nezavisimaya gazeta, 3 March 2011,

[21] Sergei Tarasov “Tseloe pokolenie ekstremistov,” Nezavisimaya gazeta, 3 March 2011,

[22] “Kazantsa predupredili o nedopustimosti ekstremistskoi deyatel’nosti,” Moya Kazan’, 18 February 2011,

[23] “Tatarstan: Terband FSB sh’yot novoe ‘delo’ o novom dzhamaate ,” Kavkaz tsentr, 19 February 2011, 11:28, and “Tatarstan: Terband FSB sh’yot novoe ‘delo’ o novom dzhamaate,”, 19 February 2011, 14:21,——lr—.html.

[24] Abu Khamza, “Tatarstan: Pryzyv k musul’manam Tatarstana ne boyatsya koznei kafirov i ikh prspeshnikov,” Kavkaz tsentr, 25 February 2011, 23:40, and, 25 February 2011, 02:25,

[25] “Suverennaya demokratiya v deistvii v: V Tatarstane zapretili khidzhab,”  Azan News, 17 February 2011, 14:21,

[26] “Tatarstan: Glavar’ mestnoi ‘administratsii’ zapretil musul’mankam nosit’ khidzhab a detyam poseshchat’ Islamskie uroki,” Umma News, 17 February 2011, 19:10,–lr-.html.

[27] “Suverennaya demokratiya v deistvii v: V Tatarstane zapretili khidzhab,”  Azan News, 17 February 2011, 14:21,

[28] Sergei Tarasov “Tseloe pokolenie ekstremistov,” Nezavisimaya gazeta, 3 March 2011,

[29] Muslim Ibragimov, “Pravookhranitel’nyie organy Chechni proveryayut informatsiyu o predpolagaemykh terroristkakh iz Pakistana,” Kavkaz uzel, 7 March 2011, 21:30,

[30] “Otvetstvennost’ za vzryv v Moskve pered adademiiei FSB vzyala sebya Brigada Shakhidov ‘Riyadus Salikhiin’,” Kavkaz tsentr, 11 March 2011, 00:56,

[31] “Mery bezopasnosti usileny v stolichnom metro posle dvukh vzryvov na severo-vostoke Moskvy,” Ekho Moskvy, 11 March 2011, 21:31,

[32] “V Moskve ishut podozrevaemoe v  terrorizme,”, 9 March 2011, 10:59,; Pyotr Revenko, “V Moskve ishut russkogo smertnika,”, 9 March 2011, 10:15,; and “Vilaiyat Nogaiskaya Step’: Kafiry ishut esho odnogo ‘russkogo vakhkabita-smertnika’,” Kavkaz tsentr, 8 March 2011, 08:14,

[33] Irina Kireeva, “Russkii vakhkahbit mozhet vzorvat’ sebya v Moskve,” Komsomolskaya pravda, 9 March 2011,  On them see IIPER, Nos. 35 and 36.  Three days earler an explosion occurred in Pyatigorski, Stavropol when an IED being dried on a heating battery exploded apparently in Dvorakovskii’s apartment. (“V Moskve ishut podozrevaemoe v  terrorizme Viktora Dvorakovskogo,”, 9 March 2011, 11:20,

[34] Marina Perevozkina, “V Moskvu edet esho odna smertnitsa – Spetssluzhby ishuy 24-letnyuyu Maliku Turazivu,” Moskovskskii komsomolets, 21 March 2011,

[35] “80% of Russians afraid of becoming terrorism victims – poll,” Interfax, 14 February 2011,

[36] “IMU becomes multinational force,”, 17 March 2011,

[37] “Taliban fighters disobey orders,”, 17 March 2011,

[38] “Afghans arrest Kyrgyz IMU suspect,”, 17 March 2011,

[39] “ISAF Joint Command Morning Operational Update,”, 24 March 2011,

[40] “ISAF strikes at 4 IMU commanders in ‘safe haven’ in Afghan north,”, 20 March 2011,

[41] “Afghan coalition forces target Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan military leader in Balkh province,”, 11 March 2011,

[42] “IMU becomes multinational force,”, 17 March 2011,

[43] “2 IMU suspects arrested in Germany,”, 09 March 2011,

[44] “Shamil Atakhanov: The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan endeavours to undermine the weakest place in Central Asia,”, 17 March 2011,

[45] “IMU Releases Fifth Video on Activity in Afghanistan,” Site Intel Group, 17 March 2011,

[46] “Modzhahedi Kyrgyzstana prisyagnuli Amiry Islamskogo Emirata Afghanistan Myllo Omary,” Kavkaz tsentr, 22 March 2011, 12:51,

[47] “Vopros o zakonnosti voennikh deistvii v Kazakhstane,”, 18 March 2011, 1:01, and “Vopros o zakonnosti voennikh deistvii v Kazakhstane,” Kavkaz tsentr, 19 March 2011, 12:16,

[48] “Vopros o zakonnosti voenikh deistvii v Kazakhstane.”

[49] “Kazakhstan to give Kyrgyzstan free military training, technical support,”, 18 March 2011,

[50] “Tajikistan asks EU to strengthen Afghan border defenses,”, 16 March 2011,

[51] “Tajik citizens turn in weapons despite violence,”, 24 March 2011,


               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

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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