by Gordon M. Hahn
Little is being heard from the devastated Caucasus Emirate’s (Imarat Kavkaz or IK) three weakest and presumably still surviving vilaiyats. However, the IK’s most powerful vilaiyat since April 2010, the Dagestan Vilaiyat (DV), operating largely in Russia’s North Caucasus republic of Dagestan, is getting down to business putting in place amirs. Thus, the DV offers the IK some chance for revival in the wake of the mass defections to the Islamic State and its new Caucasus Vilaiyat (Vilaiyat Kavkaz Islamskogo Gosudarstva or VKIG).
On August 1st an announcement was posted on the DV’s main website, VDagestan.com, that recently appointed DV amir Sayid Abu Mukhammad Arakanskii has appointed a new amir for the DV’s Sountern Sector (Yuzhnyi sector or YuS), covering the southern part of Dagestan in and around ancient Derbent. The new YuS amir is Abu Abdulla Kasumkentskii (http://vd.ag/naznachenie-novogo-amira-v-yuzhnom-sektore-vilayata-dagestan.djihad).
Abu Abdualla Kasumkentskii
The IK DV’s YuS was the organizational base and staging point for the prevented 2012 Mumbai-style plot aiming at several multiple soft targets in Baku surrounding the Eurovision music festival held in the Azerbaijani capitol that year and an assassination attempt against Azerbaijan’s President Ilham heydar oglu Aliev.
The DV also issued a five-minute video of its recently appointed Mountain Sector (Gornyi Sektor or GS) amir, Abu Dujan Gimrinskii, taking the bayat to IK amir Abu Usman Gimravii (born Magomed Suleimanov).
DV Mountain Sector amir Abu Dujan Gimrinskii
DV GS amir Gimrinskii urges IK amir Gimravii to continue his efforts as amir and underscores the value of Muslim blood – a reference to the Islamic State’s more brutal terrorism and to the conflict for supremacy within the gobal jihadi movement between IS and groups siding with Al Qa`ida against IS such as the IK, Jabhat al-Nusra, Ahrar Sham, Jeish Shariah, Jeish al-Muhajirin wal-Ansar, the Imarat Kavkaz in Sham (the Caucasus Emirate in the Levant), and others (http://vd.ag/prisyaga-amira-gs-muxiammada-abu-dudzhany-gimrinskogo.djihad).
Both men, Gimravii and Gimrinskii, hail from the village of Gimri in the central mountainous region of Dagestan. IK amir Suleimanov-Gimravii made Abu Dujan Gimrinskii his first appointment, placing him at the head of the same DV sector Gimravii himself headed until becoming IK amir. Gimravii was also the DV’s shariah court qadi and may remain so, since no appointment of a new one to replace Gimravii has been made.
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.