Category Archives: Chechens In Syria

Video: Syrians Swear Oath to Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar

US Designates Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar as a Foreign Terrorist Fighters

The US Department of State has designated Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar as “Foreign Terrorist Fighters”.

Here’s what the description says:

Formed in February 2013, Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar (JAMWA) is a Chechen-led terrorist organization based in Syria that consists primarily of foreign fighters. Cooperating with other violent extremist organizations in Syria, including al-Nusrah Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), JAMWA has launched deadly assaults against civilian communities, and kidnapped civilians and other foreigners in Syria.

There are some factual errors here that, frankly, are rather sloppy.

First of all, JMA’s re-naming from Kataib al-Muhajireen was announced in March 2013, not February.

In December 2013, JMA split, with the group remaining under the JMA name bearing little resemblance to the group has it had been under Umar Shishani.

JMA cooperated with ISIS/IS only from summer 2013 through Umar’s eventual pledge to Baghdadi in December that year. The current version of JMA is opposed to ISIS and has expressed that in official statements. There is intense, bitter rivalry between JMA and ISIS, though the faction has refused to fight ISIS).

There are no recorded incidences of JMA kidnapping foreigners or attacking civilian communities. JMA has concentrated on fighting the Assad government in Aleppo, mostly north-western Aleppo.

The time to designate JMA as a “foreign terror group” would surely have been last summer, when it fought with ISIS under the leadership of Umar Shishani. Not now, when the group has been weakened considerably (Assad’s forces have attacked JMA bases on multiple occasions) and the group has retrenched from its positions in Aleppo.

The effect of the designation will be this:


As a result of the designations, all property subject to U.S. jurisdiction in which these individuals or groups have any interest is blocked and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with them or to their benefit.

Which in the case of JMA means literally nothing, unless the US is concerned that JMA will commit terror attacks on US soil. While Russia has a definite reason to be concerned about JMA, and blowback from it and other Russian-speaking factions in Syria, does the US have a reason to fear blowback from Chechen groups?

New Video: Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar Capture “Spy Nest” In Aleppo

New Video: Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar Capture “Spy Nest” In Aleppo

Akhbar Sham, the website of the Chechen-led jamaat Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar, has published a new video claiming to show an operation in the Western Aleppo countryside to capture a group of Syrian men accused of spying on them on behalf of the Syrian Arab Army. Continue reading

New Video: Jaish al-Muhajireen Wal-Ansar in Layramoun, 13 Sept

New Video: Jaish al-Muhajireen Wal-Ansar in Layramoun, 13 Sept

Chechen-led faction Jaish al-Muhajireen wal Ansar have published a new video with the title, “Firing at the Positions of the Infidels. Syria. Aleppo. Layramoun.”

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Muslim Shishani Interview Pt. 3 – Conversation With The FSB

This is the third part of the video interview with Muslim Shishani,the Emir of Junud ash-Sham. Here, he recalls a meeting with an FSB officer when he was in custody in Ingushetia. Continue reading

Muslim Shishani Interview On The Caucasus: Part 2

Muslim Shishani Interview On The Caucasus: Part 2

Part 2 of Muslim Shishani’s interview on the North Caucasus (from roughly 9:00 through 16:00 in the video). Continue reading

Video: Muslim Shishani Answers Questions On The Caucasus (Part 1)

Video: Muslim Shishani Answers Questions On The Caucasus (Part 1)

Muslim Shishani, the Emir of the Latakia-based Junud a-Sham faction, has given a long-awaited video interview about his opinions of and relationship with the jihad in the Caucasus. Continue reading

New Video: Sayfullah’s Jamaat On “Fitna In Syria”

New Video: Sayfullah Shishani’s Jamaat On “Fitna In Syria”

Khalid Shishani of Sayfullah Shishani’s jamaat has published a video address talking about the “fitna” between IS and other groups in Syria. Continue reading

Chechen vs. Chechen? Sayfullah’s Jamaat on Ribat Against IS

Chechen vs. Chechen? Sayfullah’s Jamaat on Ribat Against IS

Sayfullah Shishani’s jamaat have published a video explaining why they are on the front line against the Islamic State. Continue reading

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22 Year Old Chechen Man Charged With Fighting In Syria

A 22-year-old Chechen man is facing charges of fighting with an illegal armed group in Syria, Russian news sources are reporting. Continue reading

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Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar Capture Claimed “Assad Spies” In Aleppo

Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar, fighting as part of the coalition Jabhat Ansar a-Din, claim to have captured a group of pro-Assad spies in Sayfat in the northern Aleppo countryside. Continue reading