photo GIMRAVII Abu-Usmanby Gordon M. Hahn

In the wake of the killing of Caucasus Emirate (CE) amir Ali Abu Mukhammad ad-Dagistani (born Aliaskhab Kebekov), his long-time, close associate and likely successor, Abu Usman al-Gimravi (born Magomed Suleimanov) has given a pep talk to the CE mujahedin in a recent audio communique` (www.kavkazcenter.com/russ/content/2015/05/01/108875.shtml). Gimravii is the Shariah court qadi of the CE’s largest network, the Dagestan Vilaiyat (DV), covering Russia’s North Caucasus republic of Dagestan, as well as amir of the DV’s Mountain Sector. As I noted in a previous posting, he is Dagistani’s likely successor as CE amir.

Speaking in Arabic and the North Caucasus Dagestani language of Avar (with a running Russian language text), Gimravii urges the CE mujahedin not to be discouraged and to stay the course of jihad. In the traditional jihadi way, he notes that true Muslims cannot consider those called ‘on the path of Allah’ (jihad) to be dead – “they are dead as well as alive. There are only two ways – the way of Satan and the way of jihad – according to Gimravii, and only Muslims of weak faith believe death on the path of jihad to be a loss. He also notes that Dagistani had always prayed to become a martyr (www.kavkazcenter.com/russ/content/2015/05/01/108875.shtml).

Gimravii also mentions the deaths of two mujahedin alongside Dagistani as well as the deaths of two AQ-tied theo-ideologists in Yemen, Sheikh Ibrahim Rubeish and Sheikh Haris al-Nazari (www.kavkazcenter.com/russ/content/2015/05/01/108875.shtml). The latter’s lectures have featured prominently on the DV’s and CE’s website over the last year.

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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.