Ever since the first reports of Russian-speaking militants fighting in Syria emerged in the media, questions have been raised about the specter of “blowback” — i.e. what would happen if and when some of these militants returned home to wage “jihad” in the Russian Federation. Here is evidence of one militant who did return from Syria to Dagestan, where he was killed in a counter-terrorism operation and was suspected of preparing to commit terror attacks in that North Caucasus republic. Continue reading Umar Shishani’s Man Who Fought At Menagh, Then Was Killed In Dagestan
Security forces in Dagestan have killed a militant who studied, trained and fought in Syria, according to pro-Caucasus Emirate social media posts and the Russian media, citing security sources. Continue reading Russia Just Killed A Syria Returnee in Dagestan Counter Terror Op
IS’s Furat Media, led by Abu Jihad, has used German former rapper-turned-militant Deso Dogg aka Denis Cuspert for their new recruitment new video, “Rejoice In The Deal You Have Secured.”
Which sounds like a mortgage lender advert, but it’s not. In true Abu Jihad fashion, the video is a whopping 32 minutes long.*
I wrote about Cuspert’s part in this video here for RFE/RL where I wrote a little bit about the wider significance of the video.
Here are some more thoughts/ notes on the video. I do not have time to transcribe the whole video but there are some excerpts below from some of the speeches and a translation of Cuspert’s speech — or at least of the Russian subtitles.
This video is a self- congratulatory showreel, really, in which Abu Jihad and his Furat Media group have managed to gather together all of the popular Dagestani preachers he has recruited — including Nadir Abu Khalid, Akhmed Medinsky and Kamil Abu Sultan ad-Daghestani (Sultanakhmedov) — into one lineup and have them perform.
The theme of the video is the establishment of IS’s “province” in the North Caucasus, Vilayat Kavkaz.
Sultanakhmedov opens by greeting “the residents of the Caucasus in general and in particular to the mujahideen who have become part of this global project which our ummah has awaited for over 100 years.”
He then addresses Rustam Asildarov, aka Emir Abu Muhammad Kadarsky, the leader of the Vilayat Kavkaz, saying that he has become the Wali of the residents of the North Caucasus in general,
Here’s Nadir Abu Khalid.
And here’s Medinsky, who is a real rabble rouser and perhaps the most charismatic of the lineup. As I said, I don’t have time to translate all their speeches but they are on the same topic: join IS in the North Caucasus because it brings prestige.
I did translate Cuspert’s speech, since I used some of it in the RFE/RL story above. At least, I translated the Russian subtitles since I don’t speak German:
First I would like to greet my dear brothers in Vilayat Kavkaz with the best of greetings. I praise Allah who made you a part of this caliphate and made your province its province. This is the grace of Allah, that he took you out of decline and chaos and gave you light, the light of the caliphate, the light of victory. The light that lights up your path to paradise and which will lead you to the highest level. This was the reason for the blood shed by your martyrs. The blood that has been flowing for several years. Today we are in the land of the caliphate, in teh land of Sham. We decided to send a greeting to the vilayat Kavkaz, to our dear brother mujahideen. Dear brothers, this message, my little part. It is an honor for me to greet you and to see you as a part of us. We have pledged allegiance to the leader of the believers and you have pledged allegiance to him. We fought for this and you fought for this. And at the end of the journey there will be paradise, inshallah. Dear brothers, this is a message to the Chechen and Daghestani youth and the youth from all the rest of Vilayat Kavkaz. O, my brother mujahideen, O youth, I call on you to join the caravan of the caliphate. Join the vilayat Kavkaz. Those who have not yet pledged allegiance, I call on you to pledge the leader of the true believers. Hurry to wage jihad! Be a part of this caliphate… Allah called us together so that we woudl be in the same ranks.
I mentioned in my RFE/RL piece that Deso Dogg has been photographed alongside North Caucasian militants before — i.e. Muslim Shishani’s jamaat, Junud al-Sham. Here’s that pic, shared by the group of German media activists who used to be in charge of Muslim’s propaganda (it is likely they had a connection with Cuspert).
* The only glimmer of amusement here is wondering how on earth Deso managed to sit still through the roughly 25 minutes of preaching that was not his in a language I presume he does not speak.
A militant who gained experience fighting in Syria has been appointed as the Emir of the Caucasus Emirate’s Mountainous Sector of Dagestan, according to the VD.AG website and pro-CE social media. Continue reading Caucasus Emirate Appoints Syria Returnee As Emir Of Mountainous Sector Of Dagestan
IS’s announcement of “Vilayat Kavkaz,” the Islamic State group’s “province” in the North Caucasus was in large part the result of the rise to power and political machinations of North Caucasian militants not in Chechnya or Dagestan, but in Iraq and Syria. Continue reading Why Dagestani Preacher Nadir Abu Khalid’s Joining IS Was A Coup For Abu Jihad
Extremist Russia (check out his blog on here and follow him on Twitter on @ExtremistRussia) is an expert on the Caucasus Emirate and has kindly allowed me to cross post his latest piece looking at the future of that group in the wake of recent events. Continue reading Via Extremist Russia: The Future of the North Caucasus Insurgency
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
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
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’
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”