Muslim Shishani, the Emir of Junud al-Sham, a small Latakia-based North Caucasian group of about 30 North Caucasian militants*, has given an interview to Turkish-language Al-Jazeera, which someone has conveniently translated into Russian. So I have translated it into English. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of the Russian translation from Turkish, and it sounds as clunky as heck, so caveat emptor. Continue reading Translation Of Muslim Shishani’s Interview With Al Jazeera Turkish
One of the speculations that arose* when Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar joined Jabhat al-Nusra was whether the group’s dwindling number of Russian-speakers, mostly North Caucasians, would join Katiba Sayfullah, the Uzbek-led group that has a dwindling number of Russian speakers.
And the answer is — Continue reading Katiba Sayfullah + JMA = Liwa Al-Muhajireen
Because I am a completist I have translated the statement given by Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar (JMA) on pledging allegiance to Jabhat al-Nusra. Continue reading JMA Statement On Pledging Bay’ah To Jabhat Al-Nusra
After months of speculation — well, since June when the group split, and the Caucasus Emirate (IK) in Syria left — Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar has joined Jabhat al-Nusra, Al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria.
Before I translate the official announcement from White Minaret, Nusra’s Russian language media wing — which contains some FASCINATING information — here are a few points to bear in mind (based on questions I have been asked…):
Amid all the reports of the Russian military build up in Latakia, there have been rumors and reports in the Russian media relating to Chechen militants in Assad’s coastal stronghold province.
Chechen-led faction Ajnad al-Kavkaz have denied a report in Russia’s pro-Kremlin RIA Novosti that the Syrian Army has killed 19 of its militants. Continue reading Ajnad Al-Kavkaz Deny Reports Syrian Army Killed Its Militants
Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar (JMA), the formerly Chechen-led group based in Aleppo province, has elected yet another new emir, the second following the ouster of its former leader Salakhuddin Shishani in June. Continue reading JMA Has (Another) New Emir, & He’s Saudi
Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar has released a new video, the first since the ouster of its former Emir, Salakhuddin Shishani. Continue reading JMA Releases Its First Propaganda Video Following Salakhuddin’s Ouster
Musa Abu Yusuf Shishani of the Islamic State (IS) group has appeared in a new Furat Media video in which he criticizes the Caucasus Emirate (Imarat Kavkaz) and congratulates militants in the North Caucasus on the establishment of IS’s “Vilayat Kavkaz.” Continue reading Musa Abu Yusuf Shishani Criticizes Imarat Kavkaz In New Furat Media Video
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.
Below is a transcript of a eulogy given by Murat Ozer of the Turkish group Imkander following the death of Chechen militant Seyfullakh Shishani in Aleppo province. Continue reading Transcript of Murat Ozer’s Feb 9, 2014 Eulogy To Seyfullakh Shishani