Trusted sources who knew Rustam Gelayev, the son of Chechen commander Ruslan Gelayev, well (and who were also acquainted with Ruslan), have confirmed that Rustam was killed in Syria in August 2012 and have given more details about the early days of the North Caucasian involvement in the Syrian civil war, which show that Imarat Kavkaz was involved in the conflict, in a sense, from very early on. It also gives clues to the struggles within IK, including between its Chechen and Kabardinian elements. Continue reading 1st Imarat Kavkaz Amir in Syria Fought Alongside Gelayev In Chechnya, Died Fighting Alongside Ahrar
This is a current Imarat Kavkaz in Syria daily plan for military bases (though not during Ramadan). Continue reading Imarat Kavkaz in Syria Military Base Day Planner
I have written several pieces about how North Caucasian militants in Syria have used poetry to express emotions and share ideas.
However, North Caucasian jihadi poetry did not emerge in Syria, nor are all of the poems shared by North Caucasian militants in Syria (and their supporters in the Russian Federation) new and/or written by those fighting in Syria. Continue reading Imagining Imarat Kavkaz: The Poetry Of Jihad In The North Caucasus
Said Buryatsky, a.k.a. Said Abu Saad, continues to be an important and influential figure in North Caucasian jihad circles, even after his death in 2010. Buryatsky is frequently mentioned by various North Caucasian groups in Syria — including North Caucasian factions in the Islamic State (IS) group, who employ his words and image often including as part of their attempts to legitimize their movement as a natural successor to the Caucasus Emirate. Continue reading An Note On How IS Chechens Use Said Buryatsky In Mythmaking
A major theme in pro-Caucasus Emirate (IK) online groups — which still exist in the plural despite the erosion of IK in the North Caucasus and more recent upheavals in Syria — is a condemnation of the Islamic State (IS) group, a trend that has grown in momentum over the past year. I take a quick look at how this evolved, and share a Caucasus Emirate poem slamming IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Continue reading ‘Igishata’ vs. ‘Imaratovsty’: The Caucasus Emirate, Poetry & Fitna
The Caucasus Emirate (Imarat Kavkaz, IK) website Kavkaz Center has published a video showing a small group of 16 militants holding the IK v Shame (IK in Syria) banner and claiming to be preparing to fight alongside Jund al-Aqsa and Jabhat al-Nusra in the southern countryside of Aleppo. Continue reading Arabic-speaking Katiba Guraba fighting under auspices of IK v Shame in south Aleppo
Chechen militant Seiful Islam Shishani, a close associate of Salakhuddin Shishani, has been killed in clashes in Sheikh Maqsoud, a majority Kurdish neighborhood in northern Aleppo. Continue reading UPDATED: Seiful Islam Shishani of Jaish Usro killed in Sheikh Maqsoud, Aleppo
More information about Salakhuddin Shishani’s moves after leaving the Caucasus Emirate in Syria:
Continue reading Salakhuddin Shishani Is Emir Of Jaish al-Usrah, Khayrullah Shishani Is His Deputy
Ajnad al-Kavkaz, the Chechen-led militant group based in Latakia province, has posted some images and details about its military amir, Khamza Shishani, who like the group’s amir Abdul Hakim Shishani is a Chechen who fought in Chechnya before he came to Syria. Continue reading A (Very) Short Bio of Khamza Shishani, Military Amir of Ajnad al-Kavkaz
Salakhuddin Shishani has been removed as the emir of the Caucasus Emirate in Syria, but the name of the group’s new emir has not yet been announced, sources said on December 3.
This is a developing story, more news as it happens.