by Gordon M. Hahn
More groups of the global jihadi revolutionary alliance’s pro-Al-Qa`ida wing have sent condolences to the Caucasus Emirate (CE) mujahedin in connection with the death of its amir, Ali Abu Mukhammad ad-Dagistani (born Aliaskhab Kebekov), at the hands of security forces in Buinaksk located in Russia’s Dagestan Republic. The Syrian jihadi umbrella group called ‘Jabhat Ansar al-Din’ (or Jabhat Ansaruddin or JAD) sent its condolences, hailing Dagistani for being “a noble scholar and outstanding leader,” who “tried to help the jihad in Sham (Syria) by lending fighters and resources.” The JAD’s message appeared on the CE DV’s website, VDagestan.com, on 23 April 2015 (“Obrashchenie Dzhabkhat AnsaryDin v svyazi s Shakhadoi amira IK Sheikh Ali Abu-Mukhammad,” VDagestan.com, 23 April 2015, http://vdagestan.com/obrashhenie-dzhabxat-ansaruddin-v-svyazi-s-shaxadoj-amira-ik-shejxa-ali-abu-muxammada.djihad). VDagestan.com is the website of Dagistani’s native Dagestan Vilaiyat, the CE’s network in Dagestan. The JAD includes the CE-tied Jeish al Muhajirin al-Ansar (The Army of Emigres and Helpers or JMA), which is a unit of foreign fighters from outside Syria and Iraq.
The JMA appears to be the JAD’s core, with JAD including several smaller jamaats: ‘Katiba al-Hadra’, which joined the JMA outright, plus the jamaats ‘Harakat Fajru Sham’ (which includes many Turks) and ‘Harakat Sham Islamiya’ with which the JMA has been united for “several months” (See Interview with JMA amir Salahuddin, “Samoe silnoe chudo – eto priderzhivat’sya istinnogo puti do kontsa,” Akhbar Sham, 20 March 2015,www.akhbarsham.info/2015/03/20/121/ and Kavkaz tsentr, 21 March 2015, www.kavkazcenter.com/russ/content/2015/03/20/108429.shtml. See also “Emir Selakhuddin Shisheni: ‘Ummet-i Islam’ in Sorularini Yanitladi’,” Ummet Islam, 31 March 2015, www.ummetislam.net/emir-selahaddin-siseni-ummet-i-islamin-sorularini-yanitladi/. The JMA’s amir is Salahuddin al-Shishani, who is a Chechn Kist from georgia’s pankis Gorge who fought under the CE’s jihadi banner until he was sent by amir Dagistani’s predecessor, ‘Abu Usman; Doku Umarov, to Syria to be the CE’s envoy to the kujahedin there including the hundreds that were ’emigrating’ there to fight jihad. The JMA has still not sent its condolences, at least publicly, but posted on its website, Akhbar Sham, the announcement issued by VDagestan.com (http://www.akhbarsham.info/2015/04/21/131/).
In addition, one of the jihadi groups based in Jerusalem, Jeish al-Umma as-Salafi (the Army of the World’s Muslims and Salafis), recently sent its condolences (http://vdagestan.com/soboleznovanie-dzhejsha-al-umma-as-salafij-v-ierusalime-svyazi-s-shaxadoj-amira-shejxa-abu-muxammada-ad-dagestanij.djihad).
Al Qa`ida in the Maghreb (AQIM) was the first to send sent condolences to the CE or at least was the first to have its message appear on a CE website (http://www.kavkazcenter.com/russ/content/2015/04/22/108780.shtml).
Gordon M. Hahn is an Analyst and Advisory Board Member of the Geostrategic Forecasting Corporation, Chicago, Illinois; Senior Researcher, Center for Terrorism and Intelligence Studies (CETIS), Akribis Group, San Jose, California Analyst/Consultant, Russia Other Points of View – Russia Media Watch; and Senior Researcher and Adjunct Professor, MonTREP, Monterey, California. Dr Hahn is author of three well-received books, Russia’s Revolution From Above (Transaction, 2002), Russia’s Islamic Threat (Yale University Press, 2007), which was named an outstanding title of 2007 by Choice magazine, and The ‘Caucasus Emirate’ Mujahedin: Global Jihadism in Russia’s North Caucasus and Beyond (McFarland Publishers, 2014). He also has authored hundreds of articles in scholarly journals and other publications on Russian, Eurasian and international politics and wrote, edited and published the Islam, Islamism, and Politics in Eurasia Report at CSIS from 2010-2013. Dr. Hahn has been a Senior Associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (2011-2013) and a Visiting Scholar at both the Hoover Institution and the Kennan Institute.