The “Crimean Jamaat” — What We Know (& What We Don’t)

A few weeks ago, I came across a strange photograph of a group of Russian-speaking militants in Syria, who were holding a sign claiming that they were the “Taliban Fi Bilad a-Sham.” So what is this group?

Crimea Jamaat Taliban Bilad al-Sham Continue reading The “Crimean Jamaat” — What We Know (& What We Don’t)

Salakhuddin Shishani & The Phenomenon Of “Displaced Conflict” – Integration & Co-Existing Loyalties

Some thoughts on Salakhuddin Shishani, Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar, and the idea of “displaced conflict.” Continue reading Salakhuddin Shishani & The Phenomenon Of “Displaced Conflict” – Integration & Co-Existing Loyalties

JMA Emir Salakhuddin Shishani: ‘We Wanted To Go To Chechnya But Found Ourselves In Syria’

Turkish pro-jihadi website Ummet-i Islam has published an interview with the Emir of Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar (JMA), Salakhuddin Shishani. Continue reading JMA Emir Salakhuddin Shishani: ‘We Wanted To Go To Chechnya But Found Ourselves In Syria’

In Handarat, Seyfullakh Shishani’s Jamaat Report Using Donkeys To Transport Supplies

The Emir (Commander) of Seyfullakh Shishani’s Jamaat, an Uzbek-led foreign fighter faction that is part of Jabhat al-Nusra (JAN) has reported on the current situation in al-Madafa Hill in Handarat, Aleppo province, saying that the group is has purchased several donkeys to transport food, water and supplies to the fighters there, amid continuing fire and shelling from pro-Assad forces. Continue reading In Handarat, Seyfullakh Shishani’s Jamaat Report Using Donkeys To Transport Supplies

The Strange Tale Of New IS Chechen Emir Akhmed Chatayev & His Tour Of Europe

As a follow up to my piece for RFE/RL about how Akhmed Chatayev, aka Akhmed Shishani, has turned up in Syria in a video with Abu Jihad and apparently the Emir of a Chechen-led faction called the Yarmouk Battalion, below is a translation of an interesting piece from Kommersant, published after Chatayev’s arrest in Georgia in 2012.

Continue reading The Strange Tale Of New IS Chechen Emir Akhmed Chatayev & His Tour Of Europe

Via RFE/RL: Chechen Linked To Lopota Gorge Incident Heads IS Battalion In Syria

I wrote this piece for RFE/RL (read the full piece here) on February 25. Continue reading Via RFE/RL: Chechen Linked To Lopota Gorge Incident Heads IS Battalion In Syria

Caucasus Emirate Emir Calls Dagestani Pledges To IS “Act Of Treachery”

The Emir of the Caucasus Emirate group has called the recent pledges of allegiance to Islamic State by the former leader of Vilayat Dagestan an “an act of treachery.” Continue reading Caucasus Emirate Emir Calls Dagestani Pledges To IS “Act Of Treachery”

Which Dagestani Caucasus Emirate Groups Are Switching To IS?

There is an increasing crisis within the Dagestani and increasingly the Chechen branch (perhaps it is better to say network) of the Caucasus Emirate, with various groups announcing they have given an oath of allegiance to IS. Continue reading Which Dagestani Caucasus Emirate Groups Are Switching To IS?

IS’s Abu Jihad Slams Caucasus Emirate & Gives More Details of “Truce Request” Meeting In Raqqa

A new development in the ongoing and increasingly bitter infighting among North Caucasian militants aligned to the Islamic State group and Caucasus Emirate in Syria, and those in the North Caucasus has unfolded over the past week. Key events have centered on a recent audio/video address by Abu Jihad, the close confidante of the Islamic State group’s military Emir in Syria, Umar Shishani, which the Caucasus Emirate’s Sharia judge Abdulla Kostekskiy has criticized, as have pro-CE accounts on social media. Continue reading IS’s Abu Jihad Slams Caucasus Emirate & Gives More Details of “Truce Request” Meeting In Raqqa

Uzbek Imam Bukhari Jamaat In Syria Release New Training Camp Video

The Uzbek Imam Bukhari Jamaat (IBJ) in Syria has released a new video of its training camp activities, dated December 4. Continue reading Uzbek Imam Bukhari Jamaat In Syria Release New Training Camp Video