You know those days when you wake up and plan to write about Tajiks in IS, but then a totally unknown group of Tatars from Kazan appear and make a video address? Yeah, I know. Continue reading Meet The Tatar & Ural Katiba Al-Mahdi, in Syria via Kazan
One of the areas that I am interested in is “radicalization” — how do people get involved with militant groups and end up in Syria? In many (most) cases the journey is somewhat more complex than simply “s/he read some IS propaganda online and decided to go to Syria.” So with that in mind I am always interested in learning information about the background of militants. In terms of North Caucasian militants in Syria this is often not very easy. But maybe that is why it is more intriguing.
Anyway, a bit of recent research threw up the following item of interest: a man from Kabardino-Balkaria who is listed on the Federal Wanted List as having gone to fight in Syria in 2013 apparently complained of pressure and maltreatment against himself and other practicing Muslims from the security authorities in the republic back in 2007. Continue reading Kabardino-Balkaria Man Now In Syria Apparently Complained Of Harassment Against Muslims Back In 2007
Abu Abdullah, a JMA militant, has written an explanation of the situation surrounding deposed JMA emir Salakhuddin Shishani and military emir Abdul Karim Krymsky.
The explanation sheds a lot of light onto the dramatic events of the past few weeks and days regarding the leadership of JMA; it also provides some more information about the state of the group following the departure of its former Amir, Umar Shishani and his entourage in November-December 2013 for IS. Continue reading JMA Split After Losing Its North Caucasian Majority & Amid Weak Caucasus Emirate
A Facebook post on June 10 has confirmed that JMA emir Salakhuddin Shishani and military emir Abdul Karim Krymsky have been removed from their posts. Continue reading What Does Salakhuddin’s Ouster From JMA Mean For Caucasus Emirate In Syria?
I recently wrote this piece for RFE/RL about how North Caucasian Islamic State militants deal with grief, and the contradiction between jihadist ideology and lived experience as reported by the militants themselves. Continue reading In Their Own Words: North Caucasian Militants Talk About Grief
Almost three hours of video footage from 2014 featuring Umar Shishani, IS’s military commander, and his close confidante Abu Jihad has come to light, in which Umar addresses the then-emir of the Caucasus Emirate, Kebekov, and says he did not have a bay’ah to Dokku Umarov when he came to Syria in the autumn of 2012. Continue reading Umar Shishani To Kebekov: “I Didn’t Have Bay’ah To Umarov When I Came To Syria”
The Emir of the Chechen-led faction Ajnad al-Kavkaz, Abdul-Hakim Shishani has made a video address calling on North Caucasians to unite. Continue reading Abdul-Hakim Shishani Calls On North Caucasians To Unite
The Emir of Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar has given an interview (his longest yet) in which he says he fought in Chechnya under Ruslan “Hamzat” Gelayev including in Abkhazia. Continue reading Salakhuddin Shishani Fought Under Gelayev & In Abkhazia
The Chechen faction Ajnad al-Kavkaz (AAK) published a new video on May 10 showing footage of them fighting alongside two other Jaish al-Fateh groups in the village of Muqabala in Idlib province. Continue reading Ajnad al-Kavkaz Fighting In Joint Ops In Muqabala, Idlib Province
Ethnic Kist Muslim Shishani (Murad Margoshvili), commander of the Junud al-Sham faction based in Latakia, has been conspicuous by his absence in recent months. On 22 April, he reappeared in a new video released by members of his media team. Continue reading Muslim Shishani & His Military Emir Reappear In Jisr Al-Shugur