1 June 2012

by Gordon M. Hahn, Senior Associate, Russia and Eurasia Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies






* IIPER is written and edited by Dr. Gordon M. Hahn unless otherwise noted.  Research assistance is provided by Sara Amstutz, Mark Archibald, Michelle Enriquez, Seth Gray, John Andrew Jones, Casey Mahoney, Anna Nevo, Daniel Painter, and Elizabeth Wolcott.  IIPER accepts outside submissions.



CE amir Dokku ‘Abu Usman’ Umarov convened a shura of the CE’s Chechnya-based sub-network, the Nokchicho (Chechnya) Vilaiyat (NV) on April 29th, according to a May 17th post on the CE’s main website Kavkaz tsentr. The brief announcement notes Umarov convened a shura of the NV’s Western Theater or Front (napravlenie), in which Umarov’s naib for the NV Khamzat Butyukaev and the Western Theater’s sector commanders took part.  The list of sector commanders participating consists of Achkhoi-Martan Sector amir Abu Muslim, Urus-Martan Sector amir Abdullah, Shatoi Sector amir Assadullah, Itum-Kala Sector amir Abu Daud, Sunzha (Nokchicho) Sector amir AbduSsabur (as written), Kurchaloi Sector amir Zaurbek, Gudermes Sector amir Aburrakhman, and amir Mokhammad of the never before mentioned formation, “the united Sunzha Sektor of the vilaiyats of Nokchicho and Galgaiche.”[1]  Given Umarov’s long-standing ties to the Sunzha district mujahedin in Ingushetiya (Galgaiche means Ingushetiya in the Chechen and Ingush Vainakh languages), reflected by among other things in his dispatching of the infamous jihadi terrorist and propagandis Sheikh Said Abu Saad Buryatskii (born Aleksandr Tikhomirov) to Sunzha, suggests a confirmation of my suspicion that Umarov spends much of his time moving back and forth between Chechnya’s and Ingushetiya’s Sunzha districts (raions).  The report adds that amirs Islam and Assad as well as “other amirs” were in attendance and that Umarov held meetings with “several operational groups of mujhahedin” in which “organizational-tactical issues connected with special operational groups (SOGs) were discussed.”  The report of the shura includes a series of photos of Umarov and the NV amirs and mujahedin and notes that a video had been received and would be posted shortly.[2]  The reference to the operational groups could be referring to, among other units, the notorious suicide bombing unit, the Riyadus-Salikhiin Martyrs Brigade (RSMB), which early last year had a base in Sunzha.

A report posted the next day includes a video and text.  The text again notes Umarov’s meetings with SOGs saying that Umarov conducted “inspections of several operational and permanently acting military bases of the mujahedin in the mountains of Chechnya.  The report also noted that Umarov visited one of the “study and training bases which prepared the next output of 30 newly recruited mujahedin.”  The videotape and accompanying audio mentions and shows the amirs listed in the previous announcement and then shows some 23 unnamed “other amirs.”[3]  Whether these were all sector amirs or included some lower-standing jamaat amirs is unclear.  The existence of 23 sectors would suggest a cadre capable of producing much more operational activity than has occurred so far this year.

The videotape includes another brief concluding vignette that shows the amirs in what is presumably one of the camps, perhaps in one of the Sunzha districts, mingling about in a forested mountain ravine.  Some are laughing and talking, others are eating, others are taking photographs, and at one point applause breaks out.  Altogether, the impression is of a boys’ summer camp, excluding the Kalashnikovs, jihadi banners, and violence to come.  The video shows approximately 50 mujahedin mingling about.[4]  The number of amirs involved in the NV shura and the fact of the shura’s convocation itself suggest that an increase in the operational activity of the CE in Chechnya can be expected in June.

Days later a videotaped appeal from the shura to “brothers and sisters – Muslims of Russia and the Caucasus” calling them to jihad was posted on Kavkaz tsentr and other CE websites.  It shows Umarov with some 50 mujahedin standing behind him while he issues his appeal that Russia’s Muslims join the CE’s jihad.  It appears that the appeal was issued during the shura or Umarov’s visits to mountain bases that followed, as many of the same mujahedin present, including naib Butyukaev, were in the photos and previous video accompanying the reports on the NV shura.  At one point he turns back and touches a young mujahed on the shoulder noting that the mujahed’s father had joined the jihad 18 years prior.  Otherwise, the text of Umarov’s appeal to Russia’s Muslims is unremarkable.  Of interest was Umarov’s growing mastery of Islamist terminology and Arabic language salutations and prayer.[5]

Umarov’s appeal came in the wake of the appearance on Kavkaz tsentr of a declaration from a group of ethnic Russian mujahedin, posted on May 19th.  The declaration warns that Russia is “at a crossroads” and calls on Russian youth to convert to Islam as they are in “America, England, Europe, and the whole world.”  Although jihadi is not mentioned, the Russian Muslims condemn “the burning of peaceful villages in Afghanistan and Iraq.”  Oddly, the signature to the declaration misspells the word ‘Russian’ in the phrase ‘group of Russian Muslims’, which reads ‘gruppa ruskii musulman’ rather than the correct ‘gruppa russkikh musul’man’.[6]  More importantly, as IIPER readers will recall, there is a recent history of growng numbers of ethnic Russian mujahedin and, in particular, suicide bombers.  One should also recall Umarov’s attempt to align himself with Russians against the Kremlin that came with his announcement in January that he was changing the status of Russia’s population from that of legal targets to protected in response to the rise of the nascent ‘white ribbon’ revolution or protest movement that emerged in December of the last year in response to perceived and real falsification in the State Duma elections.  Putting all this together, it appears that Umarov is putting greater emphasis in his propaganda strategy on luring ethnic Russians and other, non-Caucasus Muslims from across Russia to the jihad.



As noted in IIPER 56, the second successful jihadi suicide bombing attack of this year occurred at 22:20 local time on May 3rd in Makhachkala, Dagestan when a brother and sister team consisting of 23-year old Rizvan Aliev and 19-year old his sister Muslimat Alieva detonated bombs in sequence on a bridge near a police station along a highway linking Dagestan and Astrakhan.[7]  Some new details have emerged since May 4th.


The attack was a signature sequenced dual bombing typical of jihadi organizations like the CE.  The first explosion occurred when police stopped a Mitsubishi Charisma headed in the direction of Kizlyar at the police post ‘Alaska-30’ on the outskirts of Makhachkala, prompting the driver or a passenger to detonate a bomb with explosive power equivalent to 30-50 kilograms of TNT.[8]  This first car bomb was driven, according to one report, by a female, who would have been Muslimat Alieva, and was supposed to drive into the police station but was prevented from doing so when stopped some distance away by police.[9]  As police, emergency, and fire personnel were fighting to rescue the wounded, to put out the fires from several cars that resulted from the explosion and to set up a security perimeter, a second automobile identified as a Gazel drove into the thick of the scene from a side street detonating its bomb with a force equivalent to approximately 100 kilograms of TNT.[10]  It appears that the bulk of the casualties occurred from this second bombing.

According to the statements of law enforcement, the Makhachkala Sector of the Caucasus Emirate’s Dagestani network, the so-called Dagestan Vilaiyat (DV), was likely behind the attack.  One report noted law enforcement claiming that the chief organizer was 24-year old ‘Khamza’ Khusein (Gusein) Mamaev.[11]  I have been able to identify one amir ‘Khamza’ of a Makhachkala-based jamaat in June 2010, but I have no evidence that he has risen to the position of amir of the DV’s Makhachkala Sector or Jamaat replacing amir al-Bara, who was killed in 2011, not to be confused with the amir of the DV ‘al-Bara’ Magomed Umalatov killed in January 2010.  Also wanted in connection with the attack are: 24-year old Ruslan Kazanbiev, 27-year old Rasul Medzhidov, and 23-year old Kurban Omarov.[12]

As a result of the two explosions, 14 people were killed and more than 100 were wounded.  There were 10 state agents among the 14 persons killed: 8 MVD policeman and 2 firemen.  One fireman who was at the scene after the first bombing was still missing as of May 6th.  Among the wounded were 57 MVD personnel.[13]  According to one report, the fire truck took the brunt of the second explosion, suggesting that many of the remaining casualties will be among the Makhachkala firemen.[14]

Russian security forces announced that on May 15th Mamaev, the alleged organizer of the double attack, was surrounded in a house, refused to surrender, fired on SpetsNaz forces, and was killed in the ensuing shootout.[15]

The global jihadi tactic of double attacks, whether suicide or otherwise, is taking root among the CE mujahedin.  Since the beginning of 2011, there have been at least six such attacks in the North Caucasus.[16]  Also, March 2010 saw the double suicide bombing on Moscow’s subway system.  November 2009 saw a double attack in the bombing of the high-speed Moscow-Petersburg ‘Nevskii Express’ commuter train.


IIPER readers will recall from IIPER No. 56 that the Dagestan’s chief mufti had issued an appeal for tolerance among Dagestanis, including Sufis, Salafis, and law enforcement personnel.  Subsequently, a first agreement was reached between the Muslim SpIritual Administration of Dagestan (DUMD) led by mufti Akhmad-khadzhi Abdulaev.  The agreement on an agenda of issues to be resolved and on “parity access to the information space” for both Sufis and Salafis emerged from a meeting of Muslim leaders of various theological orientations held in Makhachkala’s central mosque on April 29th.  At the meeting, leading Islamic clergy spoke, including five representing traditional Sufi Islam and the DUMD and five representing the Salafis, in particular the increasingly prominent leader of the Salafist association of Islamic scholars (ulema) ‘Akhlyu Sunna’ Khalilurakhman Shamatov.[17]

It was precisely four days after this unprecedented meeting that this major terrorist attack occurred.  Such a practice follows a pattern found across the global jihadi revolutionary alliance in which jihadis often time explosion in order to undermine agreements between pro-regime and Salafist opposition elements.  Dagestan’s president Magomedsalam Magomedov and other leading proponents of dialogue between the Islamists and official Islamic and secular authorities, such as Abbas Kebedov, the brother of a leading Dagestan jihadist, argued the timing was clearly determined by the beginning of dialogue and accord between Sufis and Salafis in Makhachkala.[18]


These second and third suicide bombings of the year for Russia or also the second and third of the year for Dagestan; that is, all three suicide bombings that have occurred in Russia so far this year have taken place in Dagestan, the spearhead of the Caucasus Emirate mujahedin network.  For comparison, in 2009 there were 16 successful suicide bombings with one of them having occurred in Dagestan.  In 2010, there were 14 successful suicide bombings in Russia, with 6 of them occurring in Dagestan.  In 2011, there were 6 successful suicide bombings in Russia, with 3 of them occurring in Dagestan.  Therefore, while the total number of successful suicide bombings in Russia this year could come to the fewest since CE amir Dokku ‘Abu Usman’ Umarov’s revival of the Riyadus-Salikhiin Martyrs’ Brigade (RSMB) in 2009, the pace of such successful attacks in Dagestan is set to equal if not surpass its previous peak of 6 in 2010.  IIPER readers will know that the CE’s DV created its own Riyadus Salikhiin Jamaat (RSJ) in late 2010 and that the legendary DV amir ‘Seifullah Gubdenskii’ Magomedali Vagabov strongly supported the use of suicide bombings.

One report notes that two other female shakhidkas, who were detained also driving a Mitsubishi with a bomb on the border of North Ossetiya and Ingushetiya on April 29th and were allegedly planning an attack for the May day celebrations, may have been part of the group that planned the May 3rd Makhachkala attack.  They were Zalina Gabibulaeva and Zalina Akaeva and were said to be the wives of two mujahedin.[19]  One of them was identified as being the 28-year old from Dagestan.[20]  This raises the question of whether DV’s RSJ has been extra-territorialized to carry out suicide bombings wherever it is capable of doing so, irrespective of the DV’s area of operations.  Another suicide bombing was also prevented in Makhachkala on May 1st when law enforcement discovered a truck filled with explosives in a paring lot in Makhachkala.[21]



Ever since the second and third suicide bombings in Russia this year that occurred on May 3rd on the outskirts of Dagestan’s capitol Makhachkala, the republic has seen an increase in likely and confirmed jihadi activity and attacks.  The Caucasus Emirate’s (CE) Dagestan-based network, the so-called Dagestan Vilaiyat (DV), is picking up where it has left off the previous two years as the CE’s vanguard vilaiyat.

On the same day as the double suicide bombing attack, Russia’s National Anti-Terrorist Committee (NAK) reported on May 3rd that on May 2nd it detained a mujahedin or facilitator, one Islam Magomed was detained.  Subsequent investigation led to a large cache of relatively small arms ammunition including 160 grenade launcher grenades and more than 13,000 bullet cartridges of 5.45 and 7.62 calibre.[22]  Days later, on May 6th, a car exploded in Makhachkala wounding 29-year old master of sport Alidibir Rasulov, who was hospitalized.  It still remains unclear whether Rasulov was a victim of, working for, or was injured without any relationship to the CE jihadists.[23]

Days later a series of battles and attacks raged across the republic simultaneously beginning in the late evening hours following Russia’s traditional May 9th Victory Day commemorations.  The CE’s main website, Kavkaz tsentr, boasted of “battles” and “diversionary strikes” on May 9-10.[24]  Kavkaz tsentr and Russian news sites reported that late in the evening of May 9th a group of policemen were shot at in Izberbash, killing one and wounding one.[25]  Although it remains unclear whether the mujahedin were behind the attack, almost all such attacks are CE DV attacks.  At the time members of the DV’s Izberbash Jamaat were about to go on trial in Makhachkala.

In mid-May a battle ensued between the DV’s very active Kizlyar Sector and security forces in which the Kizlyar mujahedin were ventually encircled, suffering and inflicting heavy casualties.  Kavkaz tsentr cited the Interfax news agency on a May 10th battle between mujahedin and police in the jihadi hotbed of Kizlyar that supposedly occurred as a result of a police operation.  Two policemen were killed and four were wounded, with no immediate report on whether any mujahedin had been killed, and additional forces needed to be brought in, including MVD Internal Troops, helicopter gunships and armored vehicles.[26]  The fighting at Kizlyar continued through May 11th, and officials reported by May 14th that a total of 8 mujahedin had been killed.  In addition, 3 more police were wounded, bringing the number of police killed and wounded in May’s battle at Kizlyar to 2 and 7, respectively.[27]  One of the mujahedin was identified by Russian and CE websites as the qadi of the DV’s Kizlyar sector, ‘Mukhammad Didoiskii’ (born Magomed Makhmudov), in a post that included one of his propaganda videos.[28]  Later posts on CE websites featured other videos of the Kizlyar Jamaat and theo-ideological propaganda statements made previously by Didoiskii, including one which highlighted the fact that the Kizlyar mujahedin were encircled at that very moment.[29]

Around noon on May 10th another shooutout occurred near the village of Balakhani in Dagestan’s Untsukul raion between mujahedin, on the one hand, and SpetsNaz and MVD Internal Troops, on the other hand and, according to Kavkaz uzel, grew into an “intense combat action.”[30]  Another altercation or “diversionary operation,” as Kavkaz tsentr characterized it, occurred in Babayurt raion in the early hours of May 10th near the village of Muzhukai when a group of mujahedin attacked traffic policemen and wounded at least five of them, with one of them in critical condition.[31] Thus, the first decade of May in Dagestan resembled a province of Afghanistan in the level of insurgent and terrorist attacks with tens killed and over a one hundred wounded.

As noted in IIPER 56, NAK reported that on May 11th during a battle in Sergokala with mujahedin one SpetNaz soldier was killed, and the amir of the DV’s Sergokala jamaat or sector and a citizen of Turkey, one Sheikh Abduslam, was also killed.  It was later reported that two powerful IEDs 28 kilograms of TNT strong were found at the scene.[32]

On May 13th amir Asadullah, amir of the DV’s Temirkhan Shura Sector posted a statement expressing confidence in the ultimate victory of Islam, the DV, and the CE and promising “to lead an active struggle” against not just the occupiers but also the law enforcement organs and all those who help them not just in Temirkhan Shura but across the “vilaiyat,” likely signaling upcoming attacks.[33] Another missive from Asadullah was posted one day later.[34]  Such a flurry of statements is a good sign that a wave of attacks is upcoming in Temirkhan Shura.  On the same day an IED was uncovered and defused in an automobile in downtown Makhachkala.[35]

In the early morning hours of May 15th a policeman was wounded when his car was fired on in Khasavyurt producing no casualties, but it remains unclear whether this was a jihadi attack.[36]  On the same day, three counter-terrorist operations were carried out in search of those involved in the May 3rd double suicide bombing attack.[37]  In one no one was detained, and in the other security forces killed the alleged organizer of the May 3rd attack, amir of the DV’s Makhachkala sector ‘Khamza’ Gusein Mamaev.[38]  Also on May 15th, three bombs with the equivalent strength of 18 kilograms of TNT were uncovered in a garage and pre-emptively detonated by sappers.[39]

On May 18th a gas pipeline caught fire, depriving three districts of Dagestan of natural gas.  The CE website Kavkaz tsentr cited the FSB announcement that the fire was actually a diversionary attack, but it did not claim responsibility for the possible attack.[40]

Also on May 18th security forces surrounded a house on Yubileinyi Strret in Makhachkala because one of the participants in the May 3rd double suicide bombing was inside.  Other presumably possibly innocent civilians were trapped in the surrounded house along with the suspect Makhmud Mansur, who was caliming he had no role in the attack and was eventually killed in a shootout.  Human rights activists and members of Dagestan’s committee for the adaptation of militants, which tries to convince mujahedin to surrender to the authorities, claimed that initially FSB personel refused to talk to them so that the innocents could be released before the building was stormed and that they were not given access to Mansur so they could talk him into surrendering.  On the morning of May 19th after negotiations between Mansur and chairman of the committee for the adaptation of innocents, Rizvan Kurbanov, the innocents were allowed to leave.  In the process Mansur tossed a grenade at SpetsNaz troops, slightly wounding two policemen, and was killed in a siege that carried over into the morning of May 19th.  Protests resulted after the killing and more than ten protesters and several of those holed up in the house, including members of the family of the house’s owner, were detained for questioning by the police.  Kurbanov later reported that Mansur had no intention of surrendering and was delaying and preparing an escape all along.[41]  More protests continued for days, as the original detainees were being interrogated with claims they were being beaten.  Police were forced to shoot in the air and eventually break up the protests near the Kirov riaon ROVD building on May 19th.  Some 70 protesters, including many relatives of the detained, arrived, remained all day and scuffled with police by evening, again forcing police to shoot warning shots into the air.  Eventually, the crowd grew to 100 but was then dispersed in the late hours of May 19th with ten being deatined.  Eight of the detained received 3-5 day jail sentences.[42]  Also on May 19th two suspected mujahedin were killed in a shootout with police in the ethnic Lak-dominated Novolak raion and two more were killed in Makhachkala.[43]

On May 20th, the DV’s websites released a video highlighting a DV shura, likely convened to finalize plans for the peak jihadi season in summer and establish the authority of the DV’s new amir Abu Mukhammad, such announcements are often followed by major attacks or a general increase in jihadi violence.[44]  Abu Mukhammad was described as merely the DV’ “acting amir” in a recent posting (see IIPER, No. 56).  On the same day, two more suspected mujahedin were killed and one SpetsNaz soldier was wounded in a shootout in Khasavyurt raion.[45]  One of them was identified as the naib of the DV amir And amir of the DV’s Northern Sector (SS) and the DV SS’s Khasavyurt Jamaat  ‘Muaz’ Aslan Mamedov.[46]  According to the mujahedin, Mamedov’s apparent predecessor, Eldos Zulfugarov, was killed just two months earlier.[47]  Also on May 20th, a secret cache of nine bombs was uncovered in Sergokala raion, and seven were 15 kilogram bombs.[48]  On the next day, May 21st, police found two 8-kilogram bombs on a mountain road in Sergokala.[49]  Also on May 21st, a burnt out car was found with a dead body inside in Untsulkul raion.  The police said it was a mujahed whose IED detonated unexpectedly in his car, but the dead man’s relatives rejected such a version of events.[50]  On May 22nd unknown assailants fired on a police car on the outskirts of Makhachkala, killing one and wounding three of the policemen in a likely jihadi attack.[51]

This is a typical peak season month of jihadi activity in the CE’s Dageatan Vilaiyat.  The CE mujahedin websites Kavkaz tsentr and Umma News published data on the number of “combat operations” and casualties suffered and inflicted by the CE mujahedin covering this period as part of a larger period from April 22nd to May 21st.  According to that data, as usual the DV led all other vilaiyats, carrying out 42 attacks in this month-long period, including 13 important (rezonansnyi) attacks.  For comparison, the CE’s Chechnya network, the Nokchicho Vilaiyat (NV), carried out only 2 both categorized as important.  The CE’s Ingushetiya network, the Galgaiche Vilaiyat (GV), carried out 5, only 1 of which was important, and the United Vilaiyat of Kabardiya, Balkariya, and Karachai (OVKBK) covering the republics of Kabardino-Balkariya (KBR) and Karachaevo-Cherkessiya (KChR) for the CE, carried only 2, one of which was rezonansnyi.[52]  Thus, the CE’s jihad has become by May 2012 an almost entirely Dagestani affair, with approximately 80 percent of attacks being carried out in Dagestan.



The Caucasus Emirate has displayed an ability to expand its area of operations since its founding in October 2007.  Although the CE is a declared emirate encompassing Russia’s entire North Caucasus, CE amir Dokku ‘Abu Usman’ Umarov and other CE leaders and theo-ideologists have declared the goal of establishing Islamist rule based on Salafist and takfirist interpretations of Shariah law across Russia and the former Soviet Union.  Although the presence of CE jamaats outside the North Caucasus has been episodic, episodes have been persistent.  CE-tied mujahedin are continuously being arrested or killed in new and different regions across the North Caucasus and Russia.

IIPER readers are well aware of the several suicide bombings in Moscow over the last few years and the bombing of the Moscow-St. Petersburg ‘Nevskii Express’ train in November 2009 after Umarov declared the revival of the Riyadus-Salikhiin Martyrs Brigade (RSMB) and CE plans to strike deep inside Russia. The single operation in Moscow in 2011 – the January suicide bombing at Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport – equates with the single operation there in 2010.  Last year CE jamaats carried out attacks in North Ossetiya and an unprecedented 6 attacks in Karachaevo-Cherkessiya and 4 in Stavropol in addition to its usual filed of operations under its vilaiyats in Dagestan, Kabardino-Balkariya (KBR), Ingushetiya, and Chechnya.  Outside the Caucasus, jamaats that were possibly tied to the CE were uncovered in Astrakhan and perhaps in Tatarstan and Bashkortostan as well.  Indeed, Astrakhan saw several violent incidents involving alleged jihadists.  In Russia’s Volga and Urals, both Tatarstan and Bashkortostan continued to experience very low levels of jihadi activity with little or no organizational connection to the CE’s activity.  This activity was almost certainly inspired by the CE and its global jihadi takfirist theo-ideology, continuing a trend that emerged in 2010.  However, in 2011 neither Tatarstan nor Bashkortostan saw the kinds of violent jihad-related incidents they experienced in 2010 when there was 1 violent incident in the former and 4 in the latter.

In just five months of this year, the geographical expanse of CE operations is already equally impressive to that of 2011.  That expanse has revealed itself immediately with the beginning of the mujahedin’s peak operational season in April.  The CE has been able to show a presence in and abroad in Azerbaijan in addition to the territory of its four main vilaiyats’ bases in Dagestan, KBR, Ingushetiya, and Chechnya.  Azerbaijani authorities uncovered a CE-tied jamaat in April (see IIPER, No. 56).  In the North Caucasus, nine mujahedin were killed in Russian-dominated Stavropol Krai (Territory) during the same month – an unprecedented number of any region outside the CE’s four base republics, noted above.  Four suspected jihadists were killed in Stavropol on April 9 when police checked a car in the krai’s Neftekumsk raion along the Achikulak-Budennovsk highway.  Those inside allegedly opened fire on the police and were shot dead.  Two IEDs were found in the car.  The FSB reported information that thses mujahedin were planning attacks during upcoming religious and May holidays.[53]  On April 10, another five alleged rebels were killed during a counter-terrorist operation in Stavropol’s city of Mineralnye Vody.  Security forces claimed that a large quantity of weapons and ammunition was found during that operation.[54]

In North Ossetiya, as noted above, two female shakhidkas were detained also driving a Mitsubishi with a bomb on the border of North Ossetiya and Ingushetiya on April 29th and were allegedly planning an attack for the May 1st May Day and/or May 9th Victory Day celebrations, may have been part of the group that planned the May 3rd Makhachkala attack detailed above.  They were Zalina Gabibulaeva and Zalina Akaeva and were said to be the wives of two mujahedin.[55]  One of them was identified as being the 28-year old from Dagestan.[56]  In addition to operations by CE combat jamaats, several facilitator jamaats were uncovered inside and outside the North Caucasus, including in North Ossetiya.  A group of arms traffickers arrested on the evening of 11-12 April there were allegedly supplying CE mujahedin with arms procured overseas.[57]

Moving into the region’s predominantly Muslim republics, in the little jihadi-plagued Republic of Karachaevo-Cherkessiya (KChR) on April 9th a suspected mujahed, identified as Soltan Gappoev, seized a weapon from an FSB officer, shot and killed him, and wounded a policeman and an FSB border guard who were also involved in the attempt to detain Gappoev.  He was a resident of the village of Kardonikskoi in KChR’s’s Zelenchuksky district, allegedly a member of a rebel group, and had a criminal record.[58]  As noted above, six attacks or violent incidents that were related to the CE occurred in 2011.

Moving outside the North Caucasus, in March an eleven-member jamaat tied to the Caucasus Emirate mujahedin was uncovered in a joint MVD-FSB operation in the southwestern Siberian region of Novosibirsk.  According to press reports, all eleven member of the jamaat were arrested and were involved in the “direct financing” of the CE through theft, robbery, extortion. They also were involved in recruiting fighters for the CE.  A large arsenal of weapons was found in their residences.  Russia’s National Anti-Terrorism Committee (NAK) withheld the names of the jihadists for purposes of the security of the investigation.[59]

This geographical expansion has implications for international security, as I have stressed numerous times.  For one, possible CE activity or presence in Azerbaijan puts the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline potentially at risk.  Secondly, as noted in IIPER numerous times, the CE’s Dagestan-based network, the Dagestan Vilaiyat, has promised to attack the 2014 Winter Olympic Games to be held in Sochi in Russia’s Krasnodar Krai.  CE activity in Stavropol and connected with Stavropol, including suicide bombings raises the spectre of DV operations moving west in order to set up an auxiliary and facilitating network for operations in Krasnodar.  Thirdly, CE activity in the KChR, which along with the KBR is the area of operations of the CE’s United Vilaiyat of Kabardiya, Balkariya, and Karachai (OVKBK) network suggests a similar possibility.  The KChR is the easternmost region of the ethnic Circassians, besides the Republic of Adygeya, located inside Krasnodar.  Sochi itself and many of the Olympic sites are located on historically Circassian lands, from which the Circassians were in part forcibly and in part willingly exiled to Turkey, Syria, and other locales of the Ottoman Empire during Imperial Russia’s 19th century conquest and massacres of the Circassians.  The KBR’s Kabardins, the KChR’s Cherkess, Adygeya’s Adygs, as well as the Abkhaz, Abazin, and Shapsugs are all Circassian peoples.  Given this background, the announcement by Russia’s NAK that a CE plot to attack the Sochi Games was being hatched in the de facto independent but de jure Georgian republic of Abkhaziya and was supported by Georgian intelligence raises concern (see below).



On May 10th Russia’s NAK announced that security forces in Russia and Abkhaziya had uncovered a Caucasus Emirate (CE) mujahedin plot in its “early stage” to carry out a series of terrorist attacks at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games to be held in Sochi, Krasnodar Krai (Territory).  The CE plot was said to be “coordinated” and “managed personally” by the CE’s amir Dokku ‘Abu Usman’ Umarov, was backed by Georgia’s intelligence services, and involved CE-tied underground jamaats, presumably consisting of Circassian and/or Chechen elements, based in Turkey and connected with the Georgian special services.  The report emphasized that Umarov “maintains close ties with Georgia’s special services.”  NAK also announced that the plot was being carried out by an alleged CE jamaat called the ‘Abkhaz jamaat’ and that three members of its leadership had been detained in the special operation.[60]

According to the NAK report, after a long investigation that began in August 2011, Russian and Abkhazian security forces carried out a special operation on 4-5 May in Abkhaziya uncovering several stores of weapons, ammunition, and explosives that included: two antitank rocket launchers, three shoulder-fired ground-to-air missiles, a mortar with 36 ordinances, a flame thrower, 29 rocket-propelled grenade launchers, 15 anti-tank and anti-infantry mines, 39 grenades, 2 machine guns, a sniper’s rifle, and 12 improvised explosive devices, among others. Umarov is said to have ran the transportation of materiel to Abkhaziya through Georgia.  The FSB claims that the arms were to be transferred to Sochi in 2012-2014 for attacks to be carried out both before and during the Games. According to the report, the FSB first destroyed an Abkhaz jamaat cache of weapons in August 2011 in the village of Plastunka on the outskirts of Sochi.  In February 2012 a courier of the jamaat was captured on Abkhaz territory in possession of 300 detonators which, according to the report, were transported to Abkhaziya through Georgia.[61]

As noted above the CE’s Dagestani Vilaiyat (DV) pledged to attack the Sochi Olympics back in 2010, and in February 2011 the CE’s United Vilaiyat of Kabardiya, Balkariya, and Karachai (OVKBK), which covers the Circassian-populated republics of Kabardino-Balkariya (KBR) and Karachaevo-Cherkessiya (KChR), undertook a series of simultaneous attacks in the KBR’s winter resort area around mt. Elbrus, which appeared like something very similar to preparation for an attack on the Sochi Games.

Although one needs to take them with a grain of salt, the Abkhaz, Georgian, and Turkish connections in this alleged plot have some logic.  The Russian security services’ claim that Georgian security organs supported the CE operation should not be rejected out of hand.  The Abkhaz of the de facto independent Republic of Abkhaziya, like South Ossetiya, is de jure part of Georgia, and Tbilisi has sought the return of both to Georgia’s de facto jurisdiction ever since the Georgian ultra-nationalist Zviad Gamsakhurdia regime drove the Abkhaz, South Ossetians, and Ajars to seek independence.  These breakaway republics received Russian support and fought wars to win de facto independence in the early 1990s; hence the August 2008 Georgian-Ossetiyan-Russian war.  Since Russia’s post-war recognition of the independence of both South Ossetiya and Abkhaziya, the Georgians have begun a campaign for a boycott of the Sochi Olympics.

Towards this end Georgia has encouraged Circassian nationalism, attempted to develop ties with Kabardin, Cherkess, and Adyg Circassian nationalist movements formerly, and lobbied for the recognition of the Russian massacres and exile of the Circassians as genocide.  Abkhaziya’s Abkhaz are also a Circassian people and include a significant diaspora based in Turkey, where an underground group tied to the Abkhaz jamaat plot and the Georgian special services was said to exist, according to the report.  Tbilisi also has eliminated visa requirements for residents of Russia’s North Caucasus and established a television station, Kavkaz One, which broadcasts anti-Russian propaganda to the North Caucasus peoples and supports other ethnic Muslim minorities in Russia.  Moreover, former allies of Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili turned political opponents, like former Georgian parliamentary speaker Nino Burjanadze, as well as one former U.S. government official, have claimed that Saakashvili’s regime is supporting the CE mujahedin.  Furthermore, elements in the Georgian government have cooperated with U.S.-based think tanks that have interviewed CE jihadists, such as late CE qadi and OVKBK founder and amir ‘Seifullah’ Anzor Astemirov, an ethnic Kabardin from the KBR.[62]

It should also be noted that Georgia has had a long history of harboring Chechen separatist and jihadist fighters in the Kodori Gorge and facilitating transfers of funds to the CE’s predecessor organization, the Chechen separatist ‘Chechen Republic of Ichkeriya’ (ChRI) and allied foreign jihadists in the 1990s and 2000s.  So much so that the U.S. got involved by establishing the ‘Train and Equip’ program in Georgia’s Kodori Gorge designed in part to help the Georgians finally expel the fighters after a change in heart in Tbilisi brought about by Saakashvili’s desire to have Georgia become a member of NATO.

Regarding the existence of an Abkhaz jamaat, it should be noted that the CE’s Dagestan Vilaiyat has claimed to have an Azerbaijan jamaat.  An amir of an “Azerbaijan jamaat” was mentioned in a DV communiqué to have attended the 30 May 2010 shura of the DV’s Central Sector convened by the well-known ‘Seifullah Gubdenskii’ Magomed Vagabov, killed in August 2010.[63]  The Azerbaijan jamaat’s amir was identified as one ‘Abdullah,’ who also he attended the first post-Vagabov DV shura convened on 19 October 2010.[64]  Therefore, the creation by the CE of a jamaat tasked with carrying out operations outside Russia would not be a novelty.  To this one can add the CE-tied Belgium plot uncovered in 2012 and the Dagestani cell broken up in the Czeck Republic in 2011.

Regarding the Turkish connection, Islamizing Turkey hosted an international conference on the North Caucasus at which many delegates reportedly called for recognizing the CE as the legitimate authority in the region.  This conference received considerable coverage on CE websites.[65]  In addition, fighters from Turkey have been found fighting with the CE somewhat more frequently of late.  In May, for example, NAK as well as the CE’s main website, Kavkaz tsentr, reported the killing of a volunteer mujahed from Turkey named Sheikh Abdusalam who, according to the announcement, was the amir of an unidentified subunit of mujahedin in the CE’s DV.[66]

Further evidence will be required to before a reliable assessment of the veracity of the information published by Russia’s NAK can be made.




IIPER readers know, last year marked the arrival of jihad in Kazakhstan with suicide bombings and other attacks.  Claims of responsibility came from a previously declared but unknown Kazakh jamaat called ‘Jund al-Khalifat’ or variously Jundallah al-Khalifat (JK) apparently based in Waziristan, Pakistan and allied with the Islamic Jihad Union (IJU) and Al Qa`ida (AQ) (see IIPER, Nos. 50 and 49).  Readers also will recall that the first pronouncements from the Kazakhstani mujahedin were made on the Hunafa.com website of the Caucasus Emirate’s (CE) Ingushetiya-based network, the Galgaiche Vilaiyat (GV) (see IIPER, Nos. 30 and 37).

Recently a debate has stirred surrounding the JK and jihad in Kazkahstan, including criticism of these from certain quarters.  One of the articles critical of the JK, jihadists in general, and in Kazkahstan in particular was written by one Abu Jafar and appeared on the Internet titled “To the Soldiers of the Virtual Caliphate or an Ojection of the Objections.” Abu Jafar accuses “jihadists” of “not troubling themselves with seeking (Islamic) knowledge and refusing to listed to (Islamic) scholars” and inclined towards “emotional demagogy” and “one-sidedness.”  He implies that they are kharijites but leaves a final decision on that to scholars while noting that jihadists are intolerant and “meet any criticism with hostility.”  In an aside while making legal arguments based on Shariah law, Abu Jafar calls JK “a gang of theieves.”[67]

Turning to several “concrete issues,” he argues first that any decision regarding takfir (sacrilege often accompanied by excommunication from Islam) must be made by scholars and cites several scholars to prove this point.  Second, he emphasizes that decisions on military operations, truces, and punishments can be made only by a Muslim ruler or caliph.  If there is no caliphate and the umma is not strong, then any proposals to undertake such actions are to be temporarily set aside.  Citing the medieval Islamic scholar Ibn Taimiyya, he adds that the caliph by himself cannot decide to execute someone or cut off someone’s hands in punishment, so how can a simple Muslim decide who deserves to die in the name of his/her jihad.  Thus, only a scholar can determine the question of whether or not Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbaev is an “obvious infidel,” as the jihadists in the debate have claimed.  Although it is clear from the violations of Shariah law listed by Abu Jafar which Nazarbaev would have to commit for a scholar to rule Kazakhstan’s president an infidel – for example, introducing laws that contradict Shariah law or equating secular laws and systems with those based on Shariah law – that any Islamic scholar would so rule.  Similarly, regarding the issue of whether Kazakhstan should be regard the ‘abode of the infidel’ (darul kufr), Abu Jafar demonstrates that this is not the case by citing Sheikh Ibn Usaimin and several other scholars who agrue that wherever the rites of Islam are performed is the abode of Islam not the infidel, regardless of the kind of rule or ruler reigning over that territory.  Thus, while the Kazkahstani opposition and the JK have in common their rejection of Nazarbaev and his system, the opposition must reject “violence and terror” because “no injustice or arbitrariness can justify” them.[68]

However, Abu Jafar turns the tables on jihadists like those of the JK by noting it is the JK that behaves in violation of Shariah by having “elected themselves a leader and thought up a special system by themselves.”  Usurping the role of the caliph, the leader, Abu Jafar notes, “plans their criminal activity for them,” “decides when, how and against whom to attack,” and “orders them to attack Muslims.”  Thus, if anyone should be declared a non-believer, Abu Jafar says, it should be the JK’s leader.[69]

Turning to jihadi tactics, Abu Jafar notes that the JK and its defenders in the debate consider “diversion against state institutions to be legal” and that the personnel of state institutions killed are “participants in the system.”  He rejects this view citing Sheikh Saleh Ibn al-Fauzan’s and Sheikh Abdur Rakhman al-Barrak’s answers to questions getting at the same issue.  Thus, Abu Jafar rejects the terrorism of jihadists like Mohamed Merah who carried out the March attacks in France that killed seven, because no act should be based on an unjust act like killing innocent people.  Abu Jafar elaborates on this point: “Unfortunately, it is not a secret to anyone that many Muslims expressed enormous joy when the two towers were exploded on September 11th in America.  Some continue to be joyous now with each terrorist attack.  This shows that the understanding of Islam among those who enjoy this is distorted and incorrect.  Can a true Muslim really be happy by the fact that someone commits fornication or drinks wine?!  Of course not!  So how can one be joyous by the committing of a sin greater than fornication and wine-drinking – unjustified murder?!”[70]

Abu Jafar condemns the mujahedin’s self-appointed qadis and scholars by citing the Prophet Mohammed’s invocation against issuing fatwas without sufficient Islamic knowledge, emphasizing that the cited hadiths were verified as good by Sheikh al-Albani.  He himself warns: “Each Muslim must follow the scholars in understanding religion, especially when it comes to issues of the Muslim community.  You see, it is impossible to imagine that all thses scholars from various countries and cities, speaking as one, were mistaken and deluded on these issues.  But even if we imaging that all of these scholars have been mistaken in this question, then there is no doubt in the fact that there is little or no sin at all for those who followed them.  This is different from those who follow in these questions some groups and tendencies within which there are not only no scholars but not even students truly demanding knowledge. … In this way, there is no sin by an uninformed Muslim if he relies on the opinion of scholars even if these scholars are mistaken, but one must know that in order for a person issuing a fatwa took all responsibility on himself, and he must be authorized to do this.  Many Muslims, saying that all responsibility lies on those who give fatwas, do many things that are impermissible, not understanding that if a person relies on someone who does not have the right to issue fatwas, then he is not relieved of responsibility.” He supports his view by citing another “good” hadith.[71]

Abu Jafar concludes by expressing his doubts that the jihadists will read his article, but if they do then they will have a chance for “repentance” and “correction.”[72]

The mujahedin’s response was posted on the CE-tied UmmaNews website and reposted on the CE’s main website Kavkaz tsentr on May 1st.  It appeared to be from someone defending JK perhaps than from a JK amir or mujahed as it was signed amorphously “Jihad in Kazakhstan (Jihad KZ).”  Rejecting Abu Jafar’s charges that jihadists are “one-sided, do not thirst for knowledge, and so on,” Jihad KZ acknowledges that it is important to obey scholars but then immediately takes the jihadists’ self-appointed position of interpretator of the Koran and Allah’s will.  The jihadists “see the clear indications in the Koran and Allah Himself regarded takfir those who put non-Shariah laws above Shariah law.”  Thus, according to the jihadists, “the opinion of the majority or unanimity of the scholars is not required, since the establishment of non-shariah law is haram (heresy) and is recognized by the infidel and, moreover, this is the sin of idolatry (monotheism or shirk) in essence (because), you see, only Allah has the right to indicate to us how to live.”[73]  By claiming the right to interpret Allah’s will then, all jihadists reserve the right to tell all Muslims and non-Muslims how to live.

Moving to Abu Jafar’s specific points, the Jihad KZ post regards Nazarbaev as an infidel, pointing out that he “dares to order Kazakh Muslims how to live and in what to believe” by putting limits on Islamic practice such as the banning of daily prayers or namaz in hospitals, schools and army units.”  Thus, “Allah already declared takfir against Nazarbaev “in the 44th ayat of the 5th sura of the Holy Koran,” and a Shariah Court ruling is not needed to condemn him, since there is no proof he is a Muslim and his words and deeds indidctae he is not, claims Jihad KZ.  Taking a decidedly democracy-minded stance unusual for jihadists, Jihad KZ emphasizes that Nazarbaev’s nullification of referenudum results puts hit him at oddes with Shariah law, since “the people’s voice is on the same level as the instruction of Allah.”[74]

The missive adds further evidence to my thesis that the Kazakhstani mujahedin had a special connection with the CE’s GV and, in particular, a special affinity for the late CE martyrdom propagandist and operative, the ethnic Buryat-Russian Aleksandr Tikhomirov, aka Sheikh Said Abu Saad Buryatskii.  The first Kazakh mujahedin pronouncements, as noted above, appeared on the CE GV’s Hunafa.com, and it was at that time that Buryatskii was based with the GV in Sunzha and carrying out istishkhad or suicide operations in Ingushetiya and Chechnya in league with the CE’s suicide bombijg unit, the Riyadus-Salikhiin Martyrs’ Brigade (RSMB) (see IIPER, Nos. 30 and 37).  Hence, Hunafa.com boasts a separate page dedicated to Buryatskii, his propaganda videos, and theo-ideological lectures some of which were given in Kazakhstan (see IIPER, No. 53).  Thus, last year’s suicide bombings and other attacks in Kazakhstan (see IIPER, Nos. 42 and 48) and perhaps even the very emergence of the JK is attributable to Buryatskii’s influence.  In particular, the Jihad KZ post refers to Buryatskii’s series of lectures “Tal’bis Iblis” in rejecting Abu Jafar’s implied charge of kharijism against the JK.[75]

Regarding the issuance of death sentences in the absence of a Shariah court and a caliphate, Jihad KZ notes that since “(j)ihad is being waged precisely in order to establish Shariah law and restore the Caliphate” and “Nazarbaev and his system are an obstacle” to those goals,” then the mujahedin would find themselves in a “deadend.”  Their Catch 22 would be that “a Shariah Court is needed to get rid of Nazarbaev, but is necessary to get rid of Nazarbaev to have a Shariah Court.”  This, the author(s) say(s) is an “absolutely illogical formulations.”  In addition, Jihad KZ cites a few brief phrases of Nazarbaev’s to show that in fact he has placed secular law above Allah’s Shariah law and is therefore an infidel, according to Abu Jafar’s own criteria.[76]  In other words, the JK reserves the right or at least Jihad KZ reserves the right for the JK to assassinate Nazarbaev.

On Muslims, Jihad KZ notes that those who are not fighting on behalf of jihad are infidels, but “if Muslims work for the infidels, then they are associating themselves with a non-Islamic way of life, with non-Islamic faith, and a non-Islamic society and as is well-known those who imitate some people or community are one of them.”  Acknowledging that terrorist attacks “pose a risk also for Muslims,” Jihad KZ notes that so does open battle whether in the forests where villagers or lumberjacks might be or in cities where there are many non-combatants.  This point is buttressed by reference to US drone attacks which also occasionally kill non-combatants, despite their higher technological capabilities compared with “the special operations of the mujahedin.”  Jihad KZ even claims that “mujahedin show greater respect for the infidels than the infidels do to peaceful Muslims.[77]

Jihad KZ denies that the Kazakhstani mujahedin have called Kazakhstan “abode of the infidel” (“dar al-kufr”).  Rather, Kazakhstan is “dar al-harb” – that is, where Muslims are in a minority and are persecuted – “where non-believers, non-believers’ Muslim lackeys, and Muslim hyprocrites are occupiers over the Muslim majority.”  Apparently, Jihad KZ coniders Muslims to be a persecuted minority in Kazkahstan, because of the high number of allegedly ‘false’ or ‘hypocritical’ Muslims, according to Salafi standards, as well as atheists in what is a post-Soviet society.[78]

Jihad KZ rejects Abu Jafar’s claim that no injustice by the secular authorities can justify “terror and violence,” arguing that “murder of an enemy is not a sin, and jihad is war against fals law with the goal of establishing Shariah law.  Moreover, if Nazarbaev was the wors tyrant but remained a faithful Muslim, then the problem would not be as great as the present one.  Nazarbaev is not a Islamic ruler – he is a secular dictator unconnected with any obligations with the Islamic Umma.  Obedience to the Caliph or Amir who acknowledges Shariah authority over himself is the obligation of the Muslim.  But Nazarbaev does not acknowledge anything from Shariah law to be legitimate over him.”  To this Jihad KZ includes a list of complaints against Kazakhstan’s president that would accord with a list composed by Kazakh democrats perhaps in order to appeal to them for possible conversion: conducting a referendum for declaration of himself to be free of the criticism of the dissatisfied, the repression of muslims by the security forces, bans on Muslim prayers and dress, and building statues to himself.  The only point a democrat would not buy would be his inclusion of “putting referendums above the Allah’s Law” on the list of Nazarbaev’s negatives. [79]

Regarding the French Muslim terrorist Mohamed Merah, the jihadists note that he killed French intelligence officers during wartime and did so not because they were infidels but because they were working “for the enemy of the mujahedin of the Islamic Umma.”  He calls on Allah to punish France for oppressing its Muslims and sending troops to fight Muslims in Afghanistan.  The post concludes by reiterating that jihad’s goal is to establish Shariah law.[80]

All in all, the anti-jihadi Abu Jafar offered much more in the way of citations from the holy texts and especially by Islamic scholars to support his argument.  However, the Jihad KZ post supporting JK made some strong political points that might resonate with the disaffected under Nazarbaev’s authoritarian regime.  It is clear that just as in the case of jihad itself the discourse on jihadism prevalent across the Muslim world has entered into the political discourse among some of Kazakhstan’s Muslims.



[1] “Amir IK Dokku Abu Usman provel Shuru s amirami vilaiyata Nokhchiicho’,” Kavkaz tsentr, 17 May 2012, 21:09 and 23:05, http://www.kavkazcenter.com/russ/content/2012/05/17/90620.shtml.

[2] “Amir IK Dokku Abu Usman provel Shuru s amirami vilaiyata Nokhchiicho’,” Kavkaz tsentr, 17 May 2012, 21:09 and 23:05, http://www.kavkazcenter.com/russ/content/2012/05/17/90620.shtml.

[3] “Amir IK Dokku Abu Usman provel Shuru i posetil bazy modzhakhedov,” Kavkaz tsentr, 18 May 2012, 16:18, http://www.kavkazcenter.com/russ/content/2012/05/18/90641.shtml.

[4] “Amir IK Dokku Abu Usman provel Shuru i posetil bazy modzhakhedov,” Kavkaz tsentr, 18 May 2012, 16:18, http://www.kavkazcenter.com/russ/content/2012/05/18/90641.shtml.

[5] “Amir Imarata Kavkaz Dokku Abu Usman prizval musul’man Rossii k Dzhikhadu!,” Kavkaz tsentr, 22 May 2012, 23:42, http://www.kavkazcenter.com/russ/content/2012/05/22/90743.shtml.

[6] Gruppa Russkii musul’mam (as written), “Vybor: Mezhdu mrakom i t’moi ili mezhdu mrakom i svetom!,” Kavkaz tsentr, 19 March 2012, 02:46, http://www.kavkazcenter.com/russ/content/2012/03/19/89502.shtml.

[7] Yuliya Rybina and Nikolai Sergeev, “Primirenie vzorvali dvazhdy,” Kommersant, 6 May 2012, http://kommersant.ru/doc/1929686?stamp=634719929655022383; and Abdulla Alisultanov, “Predvaritel’no opaznan odin iz smertnikov, sovershivshikh dvoinoi terakt v Dagestane,” Kavkaz uzel, 4 May 2012, 19:53, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/206071/.

[8] Rybina and Sergeev, “Primirenie vzorvali dvazhdy”.

[9] Alisultanov, “Predvaritel’no opaznan odin iz smertnikov, sovershivshikh dvoinoi terakt v Dagestane”.

[10] Rybina and Sergeev, “Primirenie vzorvali dvazhdy”.

[11] Rybina and Sergeev, “Primirenie vzorvali dvazhdy”.

[12] Alisultanov, “Predvaritel’no opaznan odin iz smertnikov, sovershivshikh dvoinoi terakt v Dagestane” and Rybina and Sergeev, “Primirenie vzorvali dvazhdy”.

[13] Rybina and Sergeev, “Primirenie vzorvali dvazhdy”.

[14] Alisultanov, “Predvaritel’no opaznan odin iz smertnikov, sovershivshikh dvoinoi terakt v Dagestane”.

[15] “Unichtozhen prganizator dvoinogo terakta v Makhachkale,” NTV.ru, 16 May 2012, 6:57, http://www.ntv.ru/novosti/297736/.

[16] “Na Severnom Kavkaze s nachala 2011 goda proizoshlo ne menee shesti dvoinykh teraktov,” Kavkaz uzel, 4 May 2012, 12:35, http://ingushetia.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/206053/.

[17] Akhmednabi Akhmednabiev, “V Makhachkale predstaviteli raznykh vetvei Islama dogovorilis’ o paritetom osveshenii svoei deyatel’nosti,” Kavkaz uzel, 30 April 2012, 11:35, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/205817/ and Rybina and Sergeev, “Primirenie vzorvali dvazhdy”.

[18] Rybina and Sergeev, “Primirenie vzorvali dvazhdy” and Abdulla Alisultanov, “Kebedov: vzryvy v Makhachale – podtverzhdenie namerenii sorvat’ mironoe reshenie problem Dagestana,” Kavkaz uzel, 4 March 2012, 20:40, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/206072/.

[19] Rybina and Sergeev, “Primirenie vzorvali dvazhdy”.

[20] “V Severnoi Osetii predotvrashen terakt – MVD,” Regnum.ru, 2 May 2012, 13:44, http://www.regnum.ru/news/1526822.html.

[21] Rybina and Sergeev, “Primirenie vzorvali dvazhdy”.

[22] “Informatsionnyie soobsheniya,” National Anti-Terrorist Kommittee, 3 May 2012, 13:05, http://nak.fsb.ru.

[23] Patimat Makhmudova, “Pri vzryve avtomobilya v Makhachkale postradal master sporta po dzyudo,” Kavkaz uzel, 6 May 2012, 12:47, http://dagestan.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/206167/.

[24] “V Dagestane rezko obostrilas’ obstanovka. Idyt boi, uchastilis’ diversionnyie udary,” Kavkaz tsentr, 10 May 2012, 21:22, www.kavkazcenter.com/russ/content/2012/05/10/90523.shtml.

[25] Patimat Makhmudova, “V Dagestane v resul’tate obstrela pogib politseiskii,” Kavkaz uzel, 10 May 2012, 00:01, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/206305/.

[26] “V Dagestane rezko obostrilas’ obstanovka. Idyt boi, uchastilis’ diversionnyie udary” and “V Kizlyarskom raione Dagestana v perestrelke sboevikami pogibli dvoe politseiskikh,” Interfax, 10 May 2012, 21:16, http://www.interfax.ru/society/news.asp?id=245046.  See also “V boestolknovenii v Kislyarskom raione Dagestana ranen politseiskii,” Kavkaz uzel, 10 May 2012, 11:08, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/206322/.

[27] “MVD: v Kizlyarskom raione Dagestana naideno telo esho odnogo boevika,” Kavkaz uzel, 14 May 2012, 10:50, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/206517/ and “Siloviki obnaruzhili na meste spetsoperatsii v Dagestane tela chetverykh predpolagaemykh boevikov,” Kavkaz uzel, 12 May 2012, 19:43, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/206451/.

[28] “NAK: v Dagestane opaznany pyatero boevikov, unitykh v khode spetsoperatsii,” Kavkaz uzel, 14 May 2012, 16:31, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/206538/; “Vilaiyat Dagestan. Boi v Kizlyarskom raione prodolzhaetsya. Soobshaetsya o Shakhade kadiya Kizlyara Mukhammada Didoiskogo,” Kavkaz tsentr, 12 May 2012, 01:48, http://www.kavkazcenter.com/russ/content/2012/05/12/90535.shtml; and “Siloviki obnaruzhili na meste spetsoperatsii v Dagestane tela chetverykh predpolagaemykh boevikov”.

[29] “’L’vy islama’. Eto video o nashikh bratyakh iz Kizlyarskogo sektora, kotoryie seichas’ nakhodyatsya v okruzhenii,” VDagestan.com, 11 May 2012, http://vdagestan.com/2012/05/225130-lvy-islama-eto-video-o-nashix-bratyax-iz-kizlyarskogo-sektora-kotorye-sejchas-naxod/ and “K”adii Kizlyarskogo sektora VD Sheikh Mukhammad Didoiskii ‘Obyazatel’nost’ dzhikhada’,” VDagestan.com, 10 May 2012, http://vdagestan.com/2012/05/kadij-kizlyarskogo-sektora-vd-shejx-muxammad-didojskij-obyazannost-dzhixada/.

[30] “V Dagestane rezko obostrilas’ obstanovka. Idyt boi, uchastilis’ diversionnyie udary” and “V Dagestane obstrelyany sotrudniki vnutrennykh voisk,” Kavkaz uzel, 10 May 2012, 15:35, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/206336/.

[31] “V Dagestane rezko obostrilas’ obstanovka. Idyt boi, uchastilis’ diversionnyie udary” and “V Dagestane pri obstrele raneny pyat’ politseiskikh,” Kavkaz uzel, 10 May 2012, 00:40, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/206310/.

[32] “V Sergokalinskom raione spetsoperatsii v Dagestane naideny i unichtozheny dve moshnyie bomby,” Kavkaz uzel, 14 May 2012, 11:35, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/206520/.

[33] “Zayavlenie Amira mudzhakhedov Temir-Khan Shurinskogo sektora Asadullakha,” Kavkaz tsentr, 13 May 2012, 01:05, http://www.kavkazcenter.com/russ/content/2012/05/13/90553.shtml and VDagestan.com, 13 May 2012, http://vdagestan.com/2012/05/zayavlenie-amira-mudzhaxedov-temir-xan-shurinskogo-sektora-asadullaxa/.

[34] “Vilaiyat Dagestan. Napominanie ot Amira Temirkhan Sgurinskogo sektora,” VDagestan.com, 14 May 2012, http://vdagestan.com/2012/05/napominanie-ot-amira-temir-xan-shurinskogo-sektora/ and Kavkaz tsentr, 15 May 2012, 01:21, http://www.kavkazcenter.com/russ/content/2012/05/15/90579.shtml.

[35] “Razminirovannyi v Dagestane avtomobil prinadlezhit bezrabotnomu mestnomu zhitelyu,” Kavkaz uzel, 12 May 2012, 15:45, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/206488/ and “Molniya: V Makhachkale obezvrezheno vzryvnoe ustroistvo,” Kavkaz uzel, 12 May 2012, 14:10, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/206484/.

[36] “V Khasavyurt ranen politseiskii pri obstrely ego mashiny,” Kavkaz uzel, 15 May 2012, 10:30, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/206576/.

[37] “V Makhachkale i v Kumtorkalinskom raione Dagestana otmenen rezhim KTO,” Kavkaz uzel, 16 May 2012, 17:49, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/206661/ and “V dvukh raionakh Dagestana vveden rezhim KTO,” Kavkaz uzel, 15 May 2012, 19:59, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/206603/.

[38] “Ubit organizator dvoinogo terakta v Makhachkale, soobshil NAK,” Kavkaz uzel, 16 May 2012, 01:28, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/206618/ and “NAK: nakanune vzruvov v Makhachkale organizator terakta poziroval v zaminirovannoi mashchine,” Kavkaz uzel, 16 May 2012, 13:15, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/206643/.

[39] “NAK: moshnost’ bomb, naidennykh v Makhachkale, sostavila 18 kg v trotilovom ekvivalent,” Kavkaz uzel, 15 May 2012, 18:34, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/206599/.

[40] “Imarat Kavkaz. Russkaya banda FSB soobshila o diversii na gazoprovode v Dagestane,” Kavkaz tsentr, 20 May 2102, 15.40, http://www.kavkazcenter.com/russ/content/2012/05/20/90685.shtml.

[41] “Glava kommissii po adaptatsii boevikov: ubityi zhitel Dagestana ne sobiralsya sdavatsya silovikam,” Kavkaz uzel, 18 May 2012, 15:28, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/206825/.

[42] “V Makhachkale proizoshla potasovka mezhdu silovikami i rodnymi zaderzhannykh na Yubileinoi,” Kavkaz uzel, 19 May 2012, 19:45, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/206833/; “V khode potasovki vozle ROVD v Makhachkale politseiskie strelyali v vozdukh,” Kavkaz uzel, 19 May 2012, 20:32, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/206835/; and “V Dagestane sud vynes prigovory v otnoshchenii zaderzhannykh uchastnikov aktsii protesta,” Kavkaz uzel, 21 May 2012, 18:50, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/206910/.

[43] “V Novolakskom raione Dagestana ubity dve predpolagaemykh boevikov,” Kavkaz uzel, 19 May 2102, 17:36, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/206828/ and “V Makhachkale ubity dva predpolagaemykh boevikov,” Kavkaz uzel, 19 May 2012, 20:50, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/206836/.

[44] “Shura mudzhakhidov VD pod rukovodstvom amira Abu Mukhammada,” Guraba.info, 20 May 02:23, http://guraba.info/2011-02-27-17-59-21/30-video/1314-2012-05-19-23-26-53.html.

[45] “Spetsnazovets ranen v khode spetsoperatsii v Dagestane,” Kavkaz uzel, 20 May 2102, 15:15, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/206862/.

[46] “NAK: v Khasavyurte ubit lider boevikov severnoi chasti Dagestana,” Kavkaz uzel, 20 May 2102, 15:59, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/206865/ and “Vilaiyat Dagestan. Kadiry soobshayut o Shakhade Amira Severnogo Sektora Muaza,” Kavkaz tsentr, 20 May 2012, 18:30, http://www.kavkazcenter.com/russ/content/2012/05/20/90687.shtml.

[47] “Boi v Shamil’kale: Shakhad Amira Shamil’kalinskogo sektora VS DF,” Kavkaz tsentr, 12 March 2012, http://www.kavkazcenter.com/russ/content/2012/03/12/89394.shtml.

[48] “C Sergokalinskom raione Dagestan naiden tainik s devyatyu bombami,” Kavkaz uzel, 20 May 2102, 19:09, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/206869/.

[49] “C Sergokalinskom raione Dagestana naideny dve bomby,” Kavkaz uzel, 21 May 2102, 16:30, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/206906/.

[50] “V Dagestane rodstvenniki Magomedkhanova otritsayut versiyu o ego smerti v rezul’tate vzryv samodelnoi bomby,” Kavkaz uzel, 21 May 2102, 15:40, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/206903/.

[51] “Odin iz ranenykh v Dagestane politseiskikh umer v bol’nitse,” Kavkaz uzel, 23 May 2102, 2:10, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/206995/.

[52] “Imarat Kavkaz. Svodka boevykh operatsii modzhakhedov za nesyats dzhumada-s-sani 1433 goda po khidzhre (22 aprelya -21 maya 2012 g.),” 22 May 2102, 22:23,  www.kavkazcenter.com/russ/content/2012/05/22/90741.shtml and Umma news, 22 May 2012, 16:28 http://ummanews.com/news/last-news/7006————1433—-22—21–2012-.html.

[53] “Unichtozhennyie na Stavropol’e boeviki gotovili terakty v predstoyashie prazdniki,” Itar Tass, 10 April 2012, 10:16, http://www.itar-tass.com/c96/387932.html.

[54] “V Minvodakh proshla spetsoperatsiya, ubity pyat’ predpologaemykh boevikov,” Kavkaz uzel, 10 April 2012, 08:25, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/204578/.

[55] Rybina and Sergeev, “Primirenie vzorvali dvazhdy”.

[56] “V Severnoi Osetii predotvrashen terakt – MVD,” Regnum.ru, 2 May 2012, 13:44, http://www.regnum.ru/news/1526822.html.

[57] “NAK: v Severnoi Ossetii perekryt kanal postavkioruzhiya boevikam,” Kavkaz uzel, 12 April 2012, 16:47, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/204751/.

[58] “V Karachaevo-Cherkessii ustanovlena lichnost’ napavshevo na silovikov,” Kavkaz uzel, 11 April 2012, 15:14, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/204673/.

[59] “V Novosibirske zaderzhana banda ekstremistov i iz”yat bol’shoi arsenal oruzhiya,” Pervyi Kanal, 3 March 2012, 18:03, http://www.1tv.ru/news/crime/200479 and “V Novosibirske zaderzhany uchastniki elstremistskoi gruppy,” Regnum.ru, 3 March 2012, 16:55, http://www.regnum.ru/news/1505599.html.

[60] “Informatsionnyie soobsheniya,” National Anti-Terrorist Kommittee, 10 May 2012, http://nak.fsb.ru; Pyotr Ruzavin, “Sochi-14 ugrozhali terakty?,” TV Dozhd’, 10 May 2012, 17:12, http://tvrain.ru/news/sochi_2014_ugrozhali_terakty-248031/.

[61] “Informatsionnyie soobsheniya,” National Anti-Terrorist Kommittee, 10 May 2012, http://nak.fsb.ru; Pyotr Ruzavin, “Sochi-14 ugrozhali terakty?,” TV Dozhd’, 10 May 2012, 17:12, http://tvrain.ru/news/sochi_2014_ugrozhali_terakty-248031/.

[62] For more on Georgia’s flirtations with Circassian nationalism and the North Caucasus in general see, for example, Gordon M. Hahn, “Irrationality and Rationality in the Caucasus: Connecting All the Dots,” Russia – Other Points of View, 27 November 2010, http://www.russiaotherpointsofview.com/2010/11/irrationality-and-rationality-in-the-caucasus-connecting-all-the-dots.html and Thomas de Waal, “North Caucasus of the Bizarre,” The National Interest, 1 November 2010, http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/caucasus-bizarre-4334.

[63] “Znamenie Allakha Vo Vremya Boya v Vilaiyate Dagestan, Golos Amira Khattaba (Shakhid Inshallakh) Prizval Kafirov k Sdache,” Jamaat Shariat, 7 June 2010, 17:43, http://jamaatshariat.com/ru/new/15–/861-2010-06-07-16-44-40.html.

[64] “Shura amirov Dagestana. Bayat Amira Dagestana Khasana, 19 October 2010,” JamaatShariat.com, 1 December 2010, http://www.jamaatshariat.com/ru and Kavkaz tsentr, 1 December 2010, http://www.kavkazcenter.com, last accessed 3 December 2010.

[65]  “Mezhdunarodnyi Kavkazskii Kongress v Stabmule priznal Imarat Kavkaz edinstvenno zakonnoi vlast’yu,” Kavkaz tsentr, 14 May 2012, 1:34, http://www.kavkazcenter.com/russ/content/2012/05/14/90560.shtml; “Mezhdunarodnyi Kavkazskii Kongress v Stabmule,” Kavkaz tsentr, 13 May 2012, 11:10 and 17:35, http://www.kavkazcenter.com/russ/content/2012/05/13/90554.shtml; and “Doklad Akhmada Sardali na Mezhdunarodnom Kavkazskim Kongresse v Stanbule,” Kavkaz tsentr, 16 May 2012, 14:33, http://www.kavkazcenter.com/russ/content/2012/05/16/90604.shtml.

[66] “Opaznany lichnosti vsekh ubitykh v khode spetsoperatsii v Sergokalinskom raione Dagestana,” 4 April 2012, 17:05, http://dagestan.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/204264/ and “Vilaiyat Dagestan. Kafiry soobshayut o Shakhade Sheikha Abduslam,” Kavkaz tsentr, 12 May 2012, 23:41, www.kavkazcenter.com/russ/content/2012/05/12/90552.shtml.

[67] Abu-Jafar, “Voinam ‘virtual’nogo’ khalifat ili ‘oproverzhenie oproverzheniy’,” Islam.ucoz.net, 20 April 2012, 18:32, http://islam.ucoz.net/news/voinam_virtualnogo_khalifata_ili_oproverzhenie_oproverzhenij/2012-04-20-110.

[68] Abu-Jafar, “Voinam ‘virtual’nogo’ khalifat ili ‘oproverzhenie oproverzheniy’”.

[69] Abu-Jafar, “Voinam ‘virtual’nogo’ khalifat ili ‘oproverzhenie oproverzheniy’”.

[70] Abu-Jafar, “Voinam ‘virtual’nogo’ khalifat ili ‘oproverzhenie oproverzheniy’”.

[71] Abu-Jafar, “Voinam ‘virtual’nogo’ khalifat ili ‘oproverzhenie oproverzheniy’”.

[72] Abu-Jafar, “Voinam ‘virtual’nogo’ khalifat ili ‘oproverzhenie oproverzheniy’”.

[73] Dzhihad v Kazakhstane (Dzhikhad KZ), “Vtoroi otvet na kritiku v adres ‘Dzhund al’-Khalifat,” Umma News, 1 May 2012, 18:14, http://ummanews.com/opinions/6747——-l–r.html and Kavkaz tsentr, 1 May 2012, 18:43, http://www.kavkazcenter.com/russ/content/2012/05/01/90319.shtml.

[74] Dzhihad v Kazakhstane (Dzhikhad KZ), “Vtoroi otvet na kritiku v adres ‘Dzhund al’-Khalifat”.

[75] Dzhihad v Kazakhstane (Dzhikhad KZ), “Vtoroi otvet na kritiku v adres ‘Dzhund al’-Khalifat”.

[76] Dzhihad v Kazakhstane (Dzhikhad KZ), “Vtoroi otvet na kritiku v adres ‘Dzhund al’-Khalifat”.

[77] Dzhihad v Kazakhstane (Dzhikhad KZ), “Vtoroi otvet na kritiku v adres ‘Dzhund al’-Khalifat”.

[78] Dzhihad v Kazakhstane (Dzhikhad KZ), “Vtoroi otvet na kritiku v adres ‘Dzhund al’-Khalifat”.

[79] Dzhihad v Kazakhstane (Dzhikhad KZ), “Vtoroi otvet na kritiku v adres ‘Dzhund al’-Khalifat”.

[80] Dzhihad v Kazakhstane (Dzhikhad KZ), “Vtoroi otvet na kritiku v adres ‘Dzhund al’-Khalifat”.




Gordon M. Hahn, “Putin and Medvedev Liberalize Government,” forthcoming in Russia – Other Points of View, May 2012, posted in Johnsson’s Russia List, #96, 25 May 2012.

Gordon M. Hahn, “Medvedev’s Conservatism,” Russia – Other Points of View, 13 May 2012, www.russiaotherpointsofview.com/2012/05/medvedevs-conservatism.html#more.

Gordon M. Hahn, “Perestroika 2.0 and the Moscow Spring,” Fair Observer, 11 May 2012, www.fairobserver.com/article/perestroika-20-and-moscow-spring.

Gordon M. Hahn, “Russia, the West, and the Sunni-Shia Trap,” Russia – Other Points of View, 3 May 2012, www.russiaotherpointsofview.com/2012/05/russia-the-west-and-the-sunni-shiite-trap.html#more.

For Dr. Hahn’s March 3rd discussion on cyber security with Robert Sachs on ‘Voice of Russia’ Radio, please see “Cyber Security for peace on Earth” at Voice of America using this link: http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_05_03/73631757/.



               Islam, Islamism and Politics in Eurasia Report (IIPER) is a project of the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.  It focuses on all politically-relevant issues involving or bearing on Islam, Islamism, and Jihadism in Russia and Eurasia writ large.  All issues of IIPER will soon be permanently archived at http://csis.org/program/russia-and-eurasia-program.  All back issues temporarily remain archived 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 a Senior Associate (Non-Resident) in the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, D.C., Senior Researcher and Adjunct Professor at the Monterey Terrorism Research and Education Program (MonTREP), Monterey, California.  He is also a Senior Researcher at the Center for Terrorism and Intelligence Studies (CETIS), Akribis Group and an Analyst and 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 MonTREP.  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 on any aspect of Islamic, Islamist, or Jihadist politics in Eurasia as well as financial contributions to support the project.  For related inquiries or to request to be included on IIPER’s mailing list, please contact:

Dr. Gordon M. Hahn

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

Email: ghahn@miis.edu or gordon-hahn@sbcglobal.net