Islam, Islamism and Politics in Eurasia Report 39

Photo russian_mosque

30 April 2011

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

IIPER accepts article submissions 

CONTENTS:

RUSSIA

  • CE RELEASES COMPOSITE DATA ON ATTACKS AND CASUALTIES INFLICTED IN THE FIRST QUARTER OF 2011
  • ENTIRE CE OVKBK TOP LEADERSHIP KILLED
  • ARAB AMIR AND INV SPLITTER ABU ANAS MUHANNAD KILLED
  • MINSK METRO BOMBING: A CE CONNECTION?
  • CE AMIR UMAROV ADDS HIS OWN APPEAL TO AL QA`IDA’S APPEAL TO EGYPT’S AND TUNISIA’S MUSLIMS

CENTRAL ASIA by Yelena Altman (unless otherwise indicated)

  • MULLAH ABDULLAH (MULLO ABDULLO) KILLED
  • ‘THE MUJAHEDIN OF TAJIKISTAN’ CALL FOR UPRISING
  • TAJIK FUGITIVE KILLED
  • TAJIKISTAN CONVICTS 11 HIZB UT-TAHRIR MEMBERS
  • TAJIKISTAN’S PARENTS FACING PROSECUTION FOR SENDING THEIR CHILDREN TO MADRASAHS
  • CONTINUED BORDER CLASHES IN TAJIKISTAN
  • TAJIK CONVICTED IN TASHKENT BLAST INCIDENT
  • GERMAN IMU MEMBER EULOGIZES AFGHAN FIGHTER AND PRAISES CONVICTED FEMALE JIHADIST
  • SUSPECTED IMU MILITANT HANDED OVER TO GERMANY
  • IMU FACILITATOR CAPTURED IN AFGHANISTAN
  • UZBEK LEADERS ACCUSED IN KYRGYZSTAN
  • RUSSIAN EXTREMIST ARRESTED IN KYRGYZSTAN
  • NEW METAL DETECTORS IN UZBEKISTAN’S TASHKENT METRO
  • JIHADIS REACT AFTER U.S. ISSUES TRAVEL WARNING FOR UZBEKISTAN
  • HUMAN RIGHTS GROUP CLAIMING CONFESSION OF JIHADIST WAS THROUGH TORTURE
  • KYRGYZSTAN’S HAJJ QUOTA DISCUSSED
  • BOMB EXPLOSION NEAR POLITICIAN’S HOUSE
  • KAZAKH MAN ATTEMPS TO HIJACK PLANE

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

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CE RELEASES COMPOSITE DATA ON ATTACKS AND CASUALTIES INFLICTED IN THE FIRST QUARTER OF 2011

The Caucasus Emirate-affiliated website UmmaNews.com has been reporting monthly on the number of attacks carried out by the CE mujahedin and the casualties that have resulted from those attacks (and presumably Russian counter-terrorism operations) among both Russian state agents and on the side of the mujahedin as well.

This is a new development, marking the first time that the CE is releasing composite data on the number of attacks carried out by its mujahedin across the North Caucasus and their count of the casualties they both inflicted and suffered.

The data did not include – but I have in Table 1 below – the 24 January 2011 Moscow Domodedovo Airport suicide bombing carries out the CE, its Riyadus Salikhiin Martyrs’ Brigade, and specifically the ethnic Ingush mujahed and Ingushetiya native Magomed Yevloev.  The data does include the two 14 February 2011 coordinated suicide bombings carried out in Gubden, Dagestan by the ethnic Russian couple of Vitallii Razdobudko and Maria Khorosheva.

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Table 1. CE Data on Number of Attacks and Casualties in the First Quarter of 2011 (the top three numbersin each box are those for January-February-March; the larger number below in each box is the total for the quarter).

 

Vilaiyat of the  Caucasus Emirate  

Attacks/

Incidents

State Agents

Killed

State Agents

Wounded

Civilians

Killed

Civilians

Wounded

Mujahedin

Killed

Nokchicho Vilaiyat

(Chechnya)

6 – 5 – 2

13

7 – 0 – 2

9

16 – 9 – 5

30

0 0 0 – 11 – 0

11

Galgaiche Vilaiyat

(Ingushetia)

7 – 2 – 5

14

1 – 1 – 6

8

1 – 0 – 1

2

0 0 0 – 0 – 11

11

Dagestan Vilaiyat

(Dagestan)

29 – 26 – 36

91

21 – 9 – 12

42

31 – 44 – 18

93

0 0 18 – 7 – 8

33

 

OVKBK*

13 – 24 – 3

40

11 – 18 – 0

29

6 – 23 – 3

32

0 0 0 – 4 – 4

8

Nogai Steppe Vilaiyat** 0 – 2 – 1

3

0 – 0 – 5

5

0 – 5 – 1

6

0 0 0
Moscow*** 1 – 0 – 0

1***

 

0

 

0

37 – 0 – 0

37

180 – 0 – 0

180

 

1 (shakhid)

TOTAL 56 -59- 47

162

40 -28- 25

93

54 -81- 28

163

37 – 0 – 0

37

180 – 0 – 0

180

64

* OVKBK – the United Vilaiyat of Kabardiya, Balkariya and Karachai, the CE’s jihadi network the North Caucasus republics of Kabardino-Balkariya and Karachaevo-Cherkessiya.

** Nogai Steppe Vilaiyat covers the North Caucasus regions of Krasnodar Krai and Stavropol Krai for the CE.

*** This attack and the attendant casualties are from the 24 January 2011 suicide bombing at Moscow’s Domodeovo Airport not included in the mujahedin’s numbers on casualties in the North Caucasus.

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SOURCES: The data for attacks in the North Caucasus was provided by the CE-affiliated website UmmaNews.com: “Imarat Kavkaz. Svodka boevikh deistvii modzhakhedov Imarata Kavkaz za mesyats Safar 1432 goda po Khidzhre (Yanvar’ 2011),” Kavkaz tsentr, 5 February 2011, 23:30, http://www.kavkazcenter.com/russ/content/2011/02/05/78900.shtml citing UmmaNews.com

; “Imarat Kavkaz: Svodka boevykh operatsii modzhakhedov za rabi’ al’-avval’ 1432 goda po Khidzhre (4 fevralya – 5 marta 2011 g.,” Umma News, 6 March 2011, 14:31, http://ummanews.com/news/last-news/734———–1432—-4—5–2011-.html and Kavkaz tsentr, 6 March 2011, 17:09,

http://www.kavkazcenter.com/russ/content/2011/03/06/79792.shtml; and “Imarat Kavkaz: Svodka boevykh operatsii modzhakhedov za mesyats rabias-sani 1432 po khidzhre (6 marta – 5 aprelya 2011 g.,” UmmaNews.com, 6 April 2011, 13:30, http://ummanews.com/news/last-news/977–1432-6-5-2011-.html and “Imarat Kavkaz: Svodka boevikh operatsii,” Kavkaz tsentr, 7 April 2011, 13:19, www.kavkazcenter.com/russ/content/2011/04/07/80520.shtml.  For the Moscow Domodedovo Airport attack see “V osushchestvlenii terakta v aeroportu Domodedovo uchastvovali, kak minimum, 5 chelovek,” Ekho Moskvy, 8 February 2011, 21:00, http://echo.msk.ru/news/748417-echo.html and “Terakt v Domodedove podgotovili i proveli, kak minimum, 5 chelovek,” Ekho Moskvy, 8 February 2011, 22:03, http://echo.msk.ru/news/748430-echo.html.

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I consider these numbers to be accurate.  IIPER will present its numbers for the first quarter in the next issue, which is an average of these numbers with those numbers gleaned from reports of attacks, other jihad-related violent incidents, and counter-terrorist operations from non-jihadi sources as usual.

These numbers, if accurate, represent a sharp increase in the CE’s capacity, especially in Dagestan.  If the CE and its Dagestan Vilaiyat mujahedin continue on their respective paces of 162 and 91 attacks in the first quarter of 2011, then the CE will carry out more than 700 attacks/incidents (IIPER counted 583 in 2010) and the DV will outpace the CE’s annual total of 373 attacks/incidents for 2008.  Remember the first quarter is the third or fourth most active of the four quarters annually in terms of mujahedin operations.

The OVKBK also saw a continuation of its increasing operational capacity for the quarter overall, but also a sharp falloff in March.  The GV and the now split NV continue to be the laggards as they were last year.  It remains unclear what the independent NV (INV) led by Hussein Gakaev is up to and whether the CE has included any attacks carried out by INV mujahedin as having been carried out by its NV mujahedin.

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ENTIRE CE OVKBK TOP LEADERSHIP KILLED

Nearly the entire leadership of the CE’s United Vilaiyat of Kabardiya, Balkariya, and Karachai (OVKBK) was wiped on April 29th by Russian security forces on April XXth, confirmed what remained of the OVKBK command in a communiqué posted on the OVKBK’s website Islamidin.com and the CE’s best website Kavkaz tsentr.[1]  Russian security sources, as reported by Kavkaz uzel, say 10 mujahedin and six others were killed in the clash which took place in the village of Progess just over the border from the Republic of Kabardino-Balkariya in Stavropol Krai.[2]  Readers will recall that the OVKBK’s zone of responsibility encompasses the North Caucasus republics of kabardino-Balkariya, where it is primarily active, and Karachaevo-Cherkessiya.  The following OVKBK commanders met their demise:

Amir and Vali of the OVKBK ‘Abdullah’ Asker Dzhappuev

Amir of the OVKBK’s Northeastern Sector ‘Abdul Dzhabbar’ Tashu Kazbek

Amir of the OVKBK’s Southwestern Sector ‘Zakariya’ Ratmir Shameev

‘Abdul Gafur’ Aslanbek Khamurzov – Naib of OVKBK Northeastern Sector ‘Abdul Dzhabbar’ Tashu Kazbek

Also killed were Tamerlan Dyshekov, Albek Kokarov and Zalim Kunov, who were apparently rank-an-file mujahedin accompanying the amirs and naibs.  This leaves as likely successors to Amir/Vali Dzhappuev the amirs of the Central, Eastern, Northwestern, Southwestern or Baksan sectors or surviving naibs, the identities all of whom are unknown to IIPER.  We know of an amir named ‘Musa’ but his sector is unknown.

The amirs, who were killed near the village of Progress, could very likely have been gathering for a spring madzhlisul shura to plan for the upcoming peak season for jihadi operations just getting underway.  March saw a sharpt decline in the number of attacks in the KBR under the OVKBK’s jurisdiction, which suggests planning or regrouping of sorts may have been underway.

This destruction of the OVKBK’s top leaders, along with the killing of the CE naib Supyan Abdullaev in late March and the Dagestan Vilaiyat’s amir ‘Khasan’ Israpil Velidzhanov, makes this spring’s counter-jihadism operations even more successful for the Russians than last year’s which saw the killing of CE qadi and OVKBK amir ‘Seifullah’ Anzor Astemirov and the CE’s leading operative and propagandist Sheikh Said Abu Saad Buryatskii.  This is not to say, however, that killing the jihadi underground’s top amirs is sufficient or even the most important element for defeating the CE and the much smaller independent or breakaway sub-network, the Nokchicho (Chechnya) Vilaiyat (INV) insurgencies.

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ARAB AMIR AND INV SPLITTER ABU ANAS MUHANNAD KILLED

Arab Jordanian amir and formerly the CE’s military amir Abu Anas Muhannad has been killed by Russian forces along with another mujahed in Chechnya, the CE website Kavkaz tsentr confirmed on April 22nd.[3]  According to Russian media and official sources, Muhannad was born in 1970 as Khaled Yusuf al-Emirat to a well-to-do and well-known family in the Ez-Zarka, Jordan.  His parents sent him to study in the U.S. where he received military pilot training.  He returned home and served in the Jordanian army reaching thr rank of senior lieutenant.[4]  According to Kavkaz tsentr, Muhannad arrived in Chechnya in 1999 after stints in Bosnia, Kosovo, the Philippines, and Afghanistan fighting for the global jihad.[5]  The Russian daily Kommersant reports that Muhannad arrived in the North Caucasus in 1998 to teach North Caucasians how to properly observe Islamic tradition and says nothing about his stints fighting on other fronts in the global jihad.  In this report, his turn to jihad is attributed to his meeting AQ operative Ibn Al-Khattab in Chechnya.[6]  One CE source claims that Muhannad was sent to the North Caucasus by the Muslim Brotherhood.  However, this claim needs to be taken with some caution, as it could have been an attempt to discredit Muhannad after he was expelled from the CE by Umarov for supposedly instigating a split among the Chechen mujahedin discussed in IIPER.  The CE is highly critical of the Ikhwan, Hamas, and other non-global jihadi extremists for their unwillingness to declare violent jihad.[7]

In Chechnya he fought under, and served as deputy to the Arab amirs AQ operative Ibn al-Khattab, Abu Walid, and Abu Hafs likely in the Al-Ansar Brigade of Foreign Volunteer Fighters (ABFVF) founded on AQ funds and long led by Khattab.[8]  According to Russian security officials, it was Muhannad who drew up the operational plan for the invasion of Dagestan by hundreds perhaps as many as a thousand or more foreign, Chechen, Dagestani and other North Caucasian mujahedin led by Khattab and Shamil Basaev in August 1999 that kicked off the second war. [9]  He also fought in units of the Chechen mujahedin’s Eastern Front, where he likely formed a close relationship with field commander Hussein Gakaev.[10]

According to liberal Russian political analyst and no friend of Putin or the present Russian regime, Yulia Latynina, Muhannad is AQ’s representative in Chechnya, and it is through him that communications with AQ and foreign funding pass.  In 2006 after Abu Hafs’ demise at the hands of Russian forces, Muhannad became of the head of “the Arab mujahedin in Chechnya,” that is, amir of the ABFVF founded and long led by Khattab.[11]

With the formation of the CE in 2007, Muhannad rose to the rank of the ChRI’s deputy (naib) military amir under Ingushetiya’s amir ‘Magas’ Ali Taziev.  The Kavkaz tsentr summary of his jihadi activity does not mention what appeared to be the case – that he had risen to the position of military amir – after CE amir Dokku ‘Abu Usman’ Umarov temporarily resigned in favor of Aslanbek Vadalov in early August of last year.  Thus, Muhannad may not have been so promoted at that time as previously thought.

Muhannad’s most important contributions to the Caucasus jihad appear to have been in fund-raising and recruitment.  In 2006-2007 he organized a major fund-raising effort on Arabic and jihadist-oriented websites in 2007 preceding the declaration of the CE by amir Umarov.[12]  Muhannad’s efforts appear to have been crowned with some success, as Russian and Chechen law enforcement soon reported that the CE has received new tranches of financing from abroad, including “sponsors from unknown Arab countries.”[13]  All CE sources that have spoken to the issue credit Muhannad with recruiting the CE’s notorious late operative and propagandist Sheikh Said Abu Saad Buryatskii (born Aleksandr Tikhomirov) to the CE.  Buryatskii himself stated in a June 2009 video and a later article that he joined because of Muhannad’s video letter, which praised him as someone Muslims listen to, and this compliment moved him to begin jihad.[14]  However, perhaps because Muhannad was beginning to fall out of favor, Buryatskii writes in a later article that the letter was from Umarov rather than Muhannad.[15]

The Russian FSB and MVD claim Muhannad was involved in training suicide attackers.[16]  His ties to Buryatskii and Buryatskii’s key role in preparing suicide bombers lends credence to this view.  Muhannad reportedly recruited and trained suicide bombers in the forest around Vedeno and is suspected of participation in at least two of the eleven successful suicide bombings that occurred in Chechnya in 2009:  the July 26th attack by Rustam Mukhadiev on Grozny’s  Central Concert Hall in which four policemen and two civilians were killed in the explosion at the hall’s entrance and the August 25th attack by Argun resident Magomed Shakhidov that killed four or five policemen at an automatic carwash in the village of Mesker-Yurt, Chechnya.[17]

Without providing any evidence, Kommersant reports that Russian intelligence claims that Muhannad moved into opposition against CE amir Dokku ‘Abu Usman’ Umarov because of the latter’s policy of integrating the CE into the global jihadi revolutionary network.  Muhannad, according to the same source, supported seizing power in the republic first and then shifting focus to the global jihad.[18]  Muhannad appears to have played a lead role in the split within the CE’s NV Chechen mujahedin last summer, as IIPER detailed.  Both the CE leadership and its foreign jihadi theological and political patrons, such as sheikhs Abu Mohammed Asem al-Maqdisi and Basyr al-Tartusi, blame Muhannad for sewing dissent a eventually the split within the CE’s Nokchicho (Chechen) Vilaiyat mujahedin that occurred in August-September 2010.  An August 2010 letter written by CE qadi and CE Dagestan Vilaiyat amir ‘Seifullhah Gibdenskii’ Magomed Vagabov to Umarov confirms this view and suggests that a large part of the tensions that caused the schism had to do with Muhannad’s handling of foreign funds contributed to the CE from the Middle East.[19]

Muhannad is the last of the high-foreign ranking Arab and foreign amirs who were active in the North Caucasus.  In the last year the other remaining high-ranking foreign amirs, such as the African Yasir Aramat and the Arab Seif Islam, were killed by Russian forces.  There are likely some Arab middle-ranking amirs and rank-and-file fighters remaining.  Most foreign fighters recently discovered among the North Caucasus mujahedin have been from Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan.

The identity of Muhannad’s companion has been reported with some contradictions.  Kavkaz tsentr reported that a native of Ingushetiya was reportedly killed along with him.[20]  Kommersant, citing Russia’s National Anti-Terrorism Committee, reported, however, that Muhannad’s companion was 25-year old Ilez Sultygov from Grozny, Chechnya.  It also reported that Muhannad had lost all his teeth but one, which had been replaced with expensive implants, and he was extremely thin and underweight,[21] suggesting that the long winter in the mountains had been a difficult one for him and perhaps many other Caucasus or at least perhaps the group of Chechen mujahedin who left the CE in September 2010. 

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MINSK METRO BOMBING: A CE CONNECTION?

The Russian FSB has posited the possible involvement in the 11 April Minsk subway bombing of suspected Russian ‘Wahabbi’ Viktor Dvorakovskii, who has been wanted since mid-March by Russian law enforcement.  As noted in IIPER No. 37, Russian news agencies and the CE’s Kavkaz tsentr reported on March 9th 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.  Three days earlier an explosion occurred in Pyatigorski, Stavropol when an IED being dried on a heating battery exploded in Dvorakovskii’s apartment.[22]

The daily Komsomolskaya pravda published Dvorakovskii’s photo and interviewed some of his friends.  It reported that his girlfriend was one Sadulaeva, who was a native of jihad-plagued Dagestan studied and in the same Pyatigorsk pharmaceutical college as the ethnic Russian suicide bombing couple Vitalii Razdobud’ko and Maria Khorosheva.  That couple exploded themselves in Gubden, Dagestan in two separate but coordinated suicide bombings on St Valentine’s Day and possibly were tied to the group planning New Year’s Eve twin suicide bombings on Red and/or Manezh Squares on December 31st.  (On Razdobudko and Khorosheva see IIPER, Nos. 35 and 36.)  The landlord of the house where Dvorakovskii and his common law wife Sadulaeva lived said that she had seen the latter often dressed in black and sometimes in a hidjab.  Sadulaeva was reportedly injured by shards of glass in the accidental explosion in the apartment she shared with Dvorakovskii and her young child and was detained by the police.  Sources in the security organs of Russia’s North Caucasus Federal District said they were sure that the couple had been approached by the CE for recruitment.[23]

The Minsk metro bombing killed 13 and wounded more than 200.  Belorussian authorities have not tied any of the three captured suspects in the bombing to the Caucasus, though initial reports had one Belarus KGB source saying that one of the perpetrators could have been an Arab or someone from the North Caucasus.

I have noted previously that CE patron and Jordanian jihadi philosopher Muhammad Abu Asem al-Maqdisi has written that the value of bringing the CE into the global jihadi revolutionary movement was it could function as a gateway to Eatsern Europe.

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CE AMIR UMAROV ADDS HIS OWN APPEAL TO AL QA`IDA’S APPEAL TO EGYPT’S AND TUNISIA’S MUSLIMS

CE amir Dokku ‘Abu Usman’ Umarov issued a videotaped appeal to the Muslims of Egypt and Tunisia in the wake of a similar appeal issued by Al Qa`ida leader Osama bin Laden’s deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri.   Both were posted on the CE websites on April 18th and March 1st, respectively.[24]

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MILITANT FROM KAZAKHSTAN KILLED IN MAKHACHKALA

On 20 April, in the village of Hushet, security forces killed Sabitbi Amanov, a native of Kazakhstan. The 28-year-old radical was shot dead in a special operation by security personnel where he was hiding in a house in Makhachkala, on S. Kyuchkhyursky Street.[25] Amanov received training in Pakistan and according to RETWA, Amanov has been a close associate of Said Buryatsky.[26] He was a demolitions expert and a bomb making expert.[27] Radicalization like this in Western Kazakhstan has been increasing due to radical religious sentiment and discrepancy in the standard of living, according to Regnum news.[28] In the past two years there have been seven Kazakh citizens who have died in Dagestan due to fighting and even more recruits who have been arrested. 

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CENTRAL ASIA

MULLAH ABDULLAH (MULLO ABDULLO) KILLED

On 15 April, in the mountains of the Rasht district of Tajikistan, Amir Abdullah Rakhimov, known by his nom de guerre as Mullah Abdullah, and many of his supporters were killed by aircraft and heavy armor.[29]  According to Reuters, at least 10 of Abdullah’s accomplices and at least two Tajik military service officers were killed in the battle.[30]  Amir Abdullah and his followers allegedly were planning a series of bombings in Dushanbe during the 20th anniversary of Tajikistan’s independence in September 2011.  The fighting took place in the village Samsolik Nurabad area in an operation from 12-14 April.[31]

The warlord was not only involved in the September 2010 attack on the military convoy but also in many armed insurgency operations with his supporters.  Rakhimov did not accept the

peace agreements after the 1997 Tajik civil war and moved to Afghanistan from 2000 to 2009. Rakhimov was wanted for 14 years on charges of inciting unrest, organizing terrorist attacks, and killing hundreds.[32]

Apparently, while sweeping the area, the Tajiks unexpectedly came across a cave where the insurgents must have spent the winter months. The cave was equipped with arms, ammunition, extremist literature, a lot of explosives, and plans of attacks on important sites in Dushanbe.[33]

The Mujahideen in Tajikistan released an appeal in Tajik connected to the Shahada praising the efforts of the Amir and addressing the Muslims of Tajikistan.[34]

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‘THE MUJAHEDIN OF TAJIKISTAN’ CALL FOR UPRISING

          A previously unknown group, Mujohidini Tojikiston (The Mujahedin from Tajikistan), is threatening militant activity to avenge the death of Islamic militant leader Mullo Abdullo.  The group claims to include fighters from across Tajikistan, not just from Rasht and Badakhshan provinces.  The group posted on their Tajik-language site that they will carry out new attacks on the government to oust the leadership, pointing to Egypt and Tunisia as precursors.[35]  The militant group is unknown to the Tajik government, but the authorities are theorizing that after the peace agreement in 1997, a small fraction of dissidents could have crossed into Afghanistan to fight under the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.[36]  The credibility of the threat remains uncertain.

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TAJIK FUGITIVE KILLED

Out of the 25 inmates who escaped from the Tajik jail last summer, one more prisoner has been eliminated.  On 19 April, 31-year-old Fahriddin Kokulov was killed while resisting arrest in the Rasht Valley.  Twelve fugitives have been arrested and nine remain at large.[37]

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TAJIKISTAN CONVICTS 11 HIZB UT-TAHRIR MEMBERS

The Sogdian regional court sentenced 11 members of the Islamic movement, Hizb ut-Tahrir Islami, for participation in a banned organization, inciting ethnic, racial, and religious hatred as well as trying to overthrow the government violently.  Nine of the 11 members were Tajik citizens who were sentenced to terms ranging from 3 to 20 years.  The other two, who are Uzbek citizens, were convicted for illegally crossing the Tajik border, inciting hatred, and trying to overthrow the Tajik government.  They were sentenced to 14 years imprisonment.[38]

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TAJIKISTAN’S PARENTS FACING PROSECUTION FOR SENDING THEIR CHILDREN TO MADRASAHS

Five people in Tajikistan are facing prosecution for sending their children to study in foreign, underground madrasahs.  The Tajik government says that the parents are depriving their children of the right to education at Tajik schools.[39]  The government has warned that the foreign madrassahs are indoctrinating students.

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CONTINUED BORDER CLASHES IN TAJIKISTAN

A firefight broke out on the Tajik-Afghan border on the night of 24 April where one Afghan fighter was killed. A group of Tajik Mujahideen fighters from near the village Sarigor Shuroabad met with border guards who opened fire.  The one insurgent was killed, but the rest including some wounded, managed to escape to Afghanistan.[40]

The jihadi threat persists not only along the Tajik-Afghan border, but all along the borders of Central Asia and even in some capitals.  In both Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, Afghani insurgents pose a threat, especially as the weather warms.  Islamic militant groups are trying to gain influence in the region by exploiting discontent and ethnic unrest which worries Tajikistan tremendously.  Although the border with Uzbekistan continues to be closed, Tajikistan views the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, to be a looming threat.

According to Radio Free Europe, “Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan seem ill-prepared to counter the growing terrorist threat.”[41]  Kyrgyz Interior Minister Zarylbek Rysaliev said that there were only 8,000 policemen in the entire country.[42]  The recent border clashes between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan is even more worrisome as the two states need to be working together on security measures along the shared border.  The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan has been successful over the years in sewing conflict between the Central Asian states over issues related to stamping out the insurgents. 

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TAJIK CONVICTED IN TASHKENT BLAST INCIDENT

Umarali Abdurakhmonova, a Tajik citizen, was convicted by Uzbekistan for his alleged involvement in the 2004 terror attack in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Initially, he was wanted in Uzbekistan but he fled to Tajikistan where he was briefly held and released.  He is sentenced to ten years in prison for his role in the terror attack which killed several dozen.[43]

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GERMAN IMU MEMBER EULOGIZES AFGHAN FIGHTER AND PRAISES CONVICTED FEMALE JIHADIST

Mounir Chouka, known as Adam the German, recorded a message entitled, “The Martyr from the Military Camp,” which was released by the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.  The message eulogizes an Afghan fighter who worked as a translator for the German army.[44]  In another message entitled, “The Fall of ‘Schokocafe’”, Adam the German praised femal mujahed Filiz Gelowicz, who was found guilty for supporting foreign terrorist networks and urging Muslims to carry out attacks in Germany.[45]

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SUSPECTED IMU MILITANT HANDED OVER TO GERMANY

          On April 21, the United States handed over a suspected German national, Islamic Militant, Ahmed Wali Siddiqui, held for nine months in Afghanistan.  He was suspected of membership in the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan aiming to establish Islamic Shariah law in Central Asia.[46]

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IMU FACILITATOR CAPTURED IN AFGHANISTAN

In two raids on April 17th, the coalition forces captured an IMU facilitator in the northern Afghainstan province of Baghlan where he has been operating with the Taliban.  ISAF has begun locating safe havens and training camps allied with the IMU.  According to ISAF, the Movement has also shown signs of integrating its operations with the Haqqani Network in Afghan east.[47]

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UZBEK LEADERS ACCUSED IN KYRGYZSTAN

Kyrgyz authorities have accused Uzbek community leaders of fomenting separatism during last year’s ethnic clashes.  According to Lenta. Ru, they have additionally been accused of “inciting ethnic hatred and organizing mass riots.  Some of them also are accused of abuse of authority and establishment of illegal armed groups.”[48]

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RUSSIAN EXTREMIST ARRESTED IN KYRGYZSTAN

In the village of Belovodskoye Chui, Kyrgyzstan a Russian citizen from Uzbekistan was arrested on 18 April for suspicion of committing armed attacks against policemen as well as murder. Authorities have been searching for a 38-year-old armed Russian man responsible for several of these attacks.[49]

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NEW METAL DETECTORS IN UZBEKISTAN’S TASHKENT METRO

In response to the metro blast in Minsk, the Tashkent metro is getting new metal detectors. Even though the detectors will only be installed in the main stations, the locations where the devices have already been installed are up and working. According to Central Asian Newswire, “There are 29 stops on the Tashkent metro, which is used by 180,000 commuters on a daily basis.”[50]

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JIHADIS REACT AFTER U.S. ISSUES TRAVEL WARNING FOR UZBEKISTAN

The U.S. Department of State issued a travel warning for Uzbekistan on 25 April to exercise caution when traveling.  According to the warning, the U.S. government continues to receive information indicating planned attacks against U.S. interests in Uzbekistan.[51]  The jihadis in Uzbekistan are said to be enraged and plotting attacks on the U.S. interests there.[52]  They claim that the U.S., Israel, and other Western entities are bankrupting Uzbekistan.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

HUMAN RIGHTS GROUP CLAIMING CONFESSION OF JIHADIST WAS THROUGH TORTURE

An Uzbek human rights group claims that the criminal conviction of a group of jihadists in early February was based on confessions extorted through torture. The Families of the convicted have also suffered as they were fired and expelled from universities since their relatives’ convictions.  The sentences have not been changed since the accusations.[53]

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

KYRGYZSTAN’S HAJJ QUOTA DISCUSSED

Chubak ajy Jalilov, the Kyrgyz Mufti, went to Saudi Arabia to discuss the Hajj quote for Kyrgyz this year.  According to Central Asia Online, last year 4,500 Kyrgyz were permitted to visit Mecca, although the selection process became burdensome.[54]

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BOMB EXPLOSION NEAR POLITICIAN’S HOUSE

An explosion near the house of Kyrgyz parliament deputy, Marat Sultanov, occurred on 27 April.[55] Kyrgyz authorities are citing political motivation since Sultanov is running for president in the fall election.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

KAZAKH MAN ATTEMPS TO HIJACK PLANE

On an Alitalia flight from Paris to Rome, a Kazakh man pulled out a knife and tried to reroute the plane to Tripoli, Libya.  The suspect, Valery Tolmachev, 28, was arrested after flight AZ329 landed in Rome.[56]  Allegedly, he was a member of the Kazakh delegation at Unesco in Paris.[57]  The motives for the attack or Tolmachev’s association with any specific militant organization remain unclear.

 __________________

Footnotes

[1] Shtab vooruzhenykh sil Ob”edinennogo Vilaiyata KBK Imarata Kavkaz, “Voistinu, my prinadlezhim Allakhu i k nemu nashe vozbrashechenie,” Islamdin.com, 29 April 2011, 21:30, http://www.islamdin.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1105:2011-04-29-21-58-52&catid=2:kavkaz&Itemid=3 and Shtab vooruzhenykh sil Ob”edinennogo Vilaiyata KBK Imarata Kavkaz, “Komandovanie vilaiyata KBK podtverdilo Shakhadu Amira Abdullakha,” Kavkaz tsentr, 30 April 2011, 01:23, http://www.kavkazcenter.com/russ/content/2011/04/30/81162.shtml.

[2] “Na utochnennym dannym, na granitse Stavropolya i KBR ubito 10 boevikov,” Kavkaz uzel, 29 April 2011, 15:26, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/184579/.

[3] “Podtverzhdena informatsiya o gibeli arabskogo dobrovol’tsa Mokhannada,” Kavkaz tsentr, 22 April 2011, 13:56, http://www.kavkazcenter.com/russ/content/2011/04/22/80927.shtml.

[4] Sergei Mashkin, “Iordanskii letchik podbit pod Kurchaloem,” Kommersant, 23 April 2011, http://www.kommersant.ru/doc/1628210.

[5] “Podtverzhdena informatsiya o gibeli arabskogo dobrovol’tsa Mokhannada.”

[6] Sergei Mashkin, “Iordanskii letchik podbit pod Kurchaloem,” Kommersant, 23 April 2011, http://www.kommersant.ru/doc/1628210.

[7] Khasan al-Banna, “Zachem Priekhal Mukhannad,” JamaatShariat.com, 28 September 2010, 14:19, http://www.jamaatshariat.com/ru/-mainmenu-29/14-facty/1307-2010-09-28-13-24-18.html.

[8] “Podtverzhdena informatsiya o gibeli arabskogo dobrovol’tsa Mokhannada” and Mashkin, “Iordanskii letchik podbit pod Kurchaloem.”

[9] Mashkin, “Iordanskii letchik podbit pod Kurchaloem.”

[10] “Podtverzhdena informatsiya o gibeli arabskogo dobrovol’tsa Mokhannada” and Mashkin, “Iordanskii letchik podbit pod Kurchaloem.”

[11] Yulia Latynina, “Kod dostupa,” Ekho Moskvy, 7 August 2010, 19:08, http://www.echo.msk.ru/programs/code/701229-echo.

[12] “Militants Target Arabs in Massive Fundraising Campaign for Chechen Insurgents,” Transnational Security Issues Report, 13 December 2007.

[13] “Baranov: chislennost Vnutrennykh voisk v Chechne sokrashchat’sys ne budet,” Kavkaz uzel, 31 July 2008, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru; “Alkhanov: boeviki aktivno otrabatyvayut arabskie den’gi v Chechne,” Kavkaz uzel, 2 July 2008, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru; Interview with commander of the Joint Group of Forces in the North Caucasus, Major General Nikolai Sivak in Aleksandr Tikhonov, “Chechnya: mir prikhodit – problemy ostayutsya,” Krasnaya zvezda, 20 May 2008, http://www.redstar.ru/2008/05/20_05/index.shtml; and “Bunin: ‘Situation in Chechnya Tied to Foreign Financing’,” RETWA, 6 July 2008, http://www.retwa.org.

[14] Said Abu Saad Buryatskii, “Vzglyad na Dzhikhad iznutri: Geroi istiny i lzhi, Chast’ 2,” Hunafa.info, 24 June 2009, 4:04, http://hunafa.info/?p=1715 and Video “How I went to Jihad and What I have seen here (english subtitles) – Sheikh Sayeed of Buratia 1,” ‘i24  sishan  tschetschenien  jihad  islam  nasheed  qoqaz  kaukasus’, You Tube, 17 June 2009, www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgE19xcasEg.

[15] Said Abu Saad (Buryatskii), “Said Buryatskii: ‘Vzglyad na dzhikhad isnutri, po proshestvii goda,” Imam TV, 18 May 2009, http://imamtv.com/news-18-05-1009.htm citing Hunafa.com.

[16] Latynina, “Kod dostupa.”

[17] Mashkin, “Iordanskii letchik podbit pod Kurchaloem.”

[18] Mashkin, “Iordanskii letchik podbit pod Kurchaloem.”

[19] “Amir Seifullakh Gubdenskii (ra): Ot togo, chto my zdes’ voyuem, my nichego ne vyigraem,” JamaatShariat.com, 12 November 2010, 05:17, http://www.jamaatshariat.com/-mainmenu-29/14-facty/1345-2010-11-12-02-18-12.html.

[20] “Podtverzhdena informatsiya o gibeli arabskogo dobrovol’tsa Mokhannada,” Kavkaz tsentr, 22 April 2011, 13:56, http://www.kavkazcenter.com/russ/content/2011/04/22/80927.shtml.

[21] Sergei Mashkin, “Iordanskii letchik podbit pod Kurchaloem,” Kommersant, 23 April 2011, http://www.kommersant.ru/doc/1628210.

[22] Aleksandr Larintsev, “Bombu zabyli na gozovom kotle,” Kommersant, 9 March 2011, http://kommersant.ru/doc/1597320; “V Moskve ishut podozrevaemoe v  terrorizme,” Forbes.ru, 9 March 2011, 10:59, http://www.forbes.ru/taxonomy/term/10095; Pyotr Revenko, “V Moskve ishut russkogo smertnika,” Utro.ru, 9 March 2011, 10:15, http://www.utro.ru/articles/2011/03/09/960944.shtml; and “Vilaiyat Nogaiskaya Step’: Kafiry ishut esho odnogo ‘russkogo vakhkabita-smertnika’,” Kavkaz tsentr, 8 March 2011, 08:14, http://www.kavkazcenter.com/russ/content/2011/03/08/79833.shtml.

[23] Irina Kireeva, “Russkii vakhkahbit mozhet vzorvat’ sebya v Moskve,” Komsomolskaya pravda, 9 March 2011, http://ivanovo.kp.ru/daily/25648.4/812760/ and “V Moskve ishut podozrevaemoe v  terrorizme Viktora Dvorakovskogo,” Vesti.ru, 9 March 2011, 11:20, http://www.vesti.ru/doc.html?id=434680.

[24] See Umarov’s “Appeal to Muslims of Egypt and Tunisia” at “Obrashchenie amira IK Dokku Abu Usman k musulmanam Egipta i Tunis,” JamaatShariat.com, http://www.jamaatshariat.com, accessed 18 April 2011.  See a summary of Zawahiri’s appeal at “Al’-Kaida prizvala k povtornym revolyutisiyam v Tunise i Egipte,” Kavkaz tsentr, 1 March 2011, 01:12, http://www.kavkazcenter.com/russ/content/2011/03/01/79642.shtml.

[25] “Kazakh Leader of Makhachkala Terror Group Killed,” RETWA, 20 April 2011, www.retwa.com/home.cfm?articleId=11220.

[26] “Another Kazakh Militant Reported Killed in Daghestan,” Radio Free Europe, 20 April 2011, www.rferl.org/content/caucasus_report_another_kazakh_killed_in_daghestan/9500513.html and “Kazakh Leader of Makhachkala Terror Group Killed,” RETWA, 20 April 2011, www.retwa.com/home.cfm?articleId=11220.

[27] Ibid.

[28] “V Makhachkale byl unichtozhen eshe onin boevik is Kazakhstana,” Regnum News, 20 April 2011, www.regnum.ru/news/fd-abroad/1396709.html.

[29] “Mullah Abdullao planiroval terakti v Dushanbe,” Central Asia Online, 18 April 2011,
http://centralasiaonline.com/cocoon/caii/xhtml/ru/features/caii/features/main/2011/04/18/feature-02.

[30] “Tajikistan: Islamist Fighters Killed,” Reuters, 15 April 2011, www.nytimes.com/2011/04/16/world/asia/16briefs-ART-Tajikistan.html?_r=2.

[31] “TAJIKISTAN. Marionetki soobshayut o Shahade Amira Mullo Abdullo v rezultate ozhestochennih boyev na vostoke Tadzhikistana,” Umma News, 17:38 15 April 2011, http://ummanews.com/news/last-news/1039-2011-04-15-14-40-15.html.

[32] Ibid.

[33] Ibid.

[34] “TAJIKISTAN. Modzhahedi Tadjikistana vistypili s obrasheniem v svyaze s Shakadoii Amira Mullo Abdullo,” Kavkaz Center,” 21 April 2011,  http://www.kavkazcenter.com/russ/content/2011/04/21/80912.shtml and “TAJIKISTAN. Marionetki soobshayut o Shahade Amira Mullo Abdullo v prezultate ozhestochennuh boyev na vostoke Tadzhikistana,” Umma News, 17:38 15 April 2011, http://ummanews.com/news/last-news/1039-2011-04-15-14-40-15.html and “New statement from Jamā’at Anṣār Allah Tājīkistān: “On the Martyrdom of Amīr Mullo Abdullo,”Jihadology.net, 24 April,  http://jihadology.net/2011/04/24/new-statement-from-jamaat-an%e1%b9%a3ar-allah-tajikistan-on-the-martyrdom-of-amir-mullo-abdullo/.

[35] “Tajik Militant Group Warns Of New Attacks, Calls For Uprising,” Radio Free Europe, 28 April 2011,  http://www.rferl.org/content/tajik_militant_group_warns_of_new_attack_calls_for_uprising/16796289.html.

[36] “Tajikskiye eksperti usmotrleli v ugrozah novovo dvizheniya “Tadzhikskie modzhahedi” pocherk Uzbekistana,” Regnum.ru, 29 April 2011, http://regnum.ru/news/1399942.html.

[37] “Tajikistan: Begletz ubit, 9 storonnikov Abdullo opredeleni,” Central Asia Online, 19 April 2011, http://www.centralasiaonline.com/cocoon/caii/xhtml/ru/newsbriefs/caii/newsbriefs/2011/04/19/newsbrief-07.

[38] “V Tajikistane osydili 11 chlenov Hizb ut-Tahrir,” Lenta.ru, 26 April 2011, http://lenta.ru/news/2011/04/26/hizbut/ and “Tajik court convicts, sentences 11 for HT membership,” Central Asian Newswire, 26 April 2011, http://centralasianewswire.com/Tajikistan/Tajik-court-convicts-sentences-11-for-HT-membership/viewstory.aspx?id=3921.

[39] “Tajik Parents Prosecuted Over Kids’ Foreign Madrasah Studies,” Radio Free Europe, 14 April 2011, www.rferl.org/content/tajik_parents_prosecuted_foreign_madrasah_studies/3557112.html.

[40] “Afghanskiye boeviki zastrelili tadjikskogo pogranichnika,” Lenta. Ru, 25 April 2011, http://lenta.ru/news/2011/04/25/border/.

[41] “The Growing Threat Of Militants In A Corner Of Central Asia,” Radio Free Europe, 23 April 2011, http://www.rferl.org/content/militants_growing_threat_is_corner_of_central_asia/9503283.html.

[42] Ibid.

[43] “Grazhdanin Tajikistana osyzhdan po dely o vsrivah v Tashkente,” Lenta.Ru, 21 April 2011, http://lenta.ru/news/2011/04/21/jail/.

[44] “German IMU Member Eulogizes Former Translator for German Army,” Site Intel Group, 20 April 2011, https://news.siteintelgroup.com/…/628-german-imu-member-eulogizes-former-translator-for-german-army and “German IMU Member Praises Convicted Female Jihadist,” Site Intel Group, 19 April 2011, https://news.siteintelgroup.com/…jihadist…/623-german-imu-member-praises-convicted-female-jihadist.

[45] “German IMU Member Praises Convicted Female Jihadist,” Site Intel Group, 19 April 2011, https://news.siteintelgroup.com/…jihadist…/623-german-imu-member-praises-convicted-female-jihadist.

[46] “U.S. Hands Over Suspected Islamic Militant To Germany,” Radio Free Europe, 21 April 2011, www.rferl.org/content/us_hands_over_suspected_islamic_militant_to_germany/9501702.html.

[47] “ISAF captures Taliban/Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan commander in Afghan north,” Long War Journal, 18 April 2011, www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2011/04/isaf_captures_taliba.php.

[48] “Liderov Yzbekskoii obshini Kurgizii obvinili v seperatizme,” Lenta. Ru, 27 April 2011,
http://lenta.ru/news/2011/04/27/batyrov/.

[49] “Kyrgyzstan: arestovan Ryskii ekstremist,” Central Asia Online, 20 April 2011,
http://www.centralasiaonline.com/cocoon/caii/xhtml/ru/newsbriefs/caii/newsbriefs/2011/04/20/newsbrief-09 and “Kyrgyz Forces Arrest Alleged Terrorist Wanted By Russia,” Radio Free Europe, 20 April 2011, www.rferl.org/content/kyrgyzstan_arrest_alleged_terrorist_wanted_in_russia/9499870.html.

[50] “Tashkent metro gets metal detectors after Minsk blast,” Central Asia Newswire, 19 April 2011, http://centralasianewswire.com/Uzbekistan/Tashkent-metro-gets-metal-detectors-after-Minsk-blast/viewstory.aspx?id=3867.

[51] “Travel Warning: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE: Bureau of Consular Affairs: Uzbekistan,” U.S. Department of State, 25 April 2011, http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_5441.html.

[52] “Jihadis enraged at Zionist/Crusader occupation of Uzbekistan, plotting attacks on U.S. interests there,” Jihad Watch, April 2011, www.jihadwatch.org/2011/04/jihadis-enraged-at-zionistcrusader-occupation-of-uzbekistan-plotting-attacks-on-us-interests-there.html.

[53] “Uzbek jihadists’ confessions gained through torture, claims rights group,” Central Asia Newswire, 14 April 2011, http://centralasianewswire.com/Uzbekistan/Uzbek-jihadists39-confessions-gained-through-torture-claims-rights-group/viewstory.aspx?id=3821.

[54] “Kyrgyzstanskii Muftii obsuzhdayet kvoty na Hajj,” Central Asia Online, 28 April 2011,
http://centralasiaonline.com/cocoon/caii/xhtml/ru/newsbriefs/caii/newsbriefs/2011/04/28/newsbrief-02 and “Kyrgyz Mufti Visits Saudi Arabia To Negotiate Hajj Quota,” Radio Free Europe, 27 April 2011,  www.rferl.org/content/kyrgyzstan_hajj_quota/16795747.html.

[55] “Grenade Explodes At Kyrgyz Politician’s House,” Radio Free Europe, 28 April 2011, www.rferl.org/content/grenade_kyrgyz_politicians_house/16797081.html.

[56] “Man attempts to hijack Alitalia Paris-Rome flight,” British Broadcasting Company, 25 April 2011, www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-13184416.

[57] Ibid.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 ABOUT IIPER

               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 http://www.miis.edu/academics/faculty/ghahn/report

               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, http://www.russiaotherpointsofview.com.  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 gordon.hahn@miis.edu or gordon-hahn@sbcglobal.net.

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

Email: gordon.hahn@miis.edu

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About Gordon M. Hahn