Since the (long-awaited) announcement on 23 June from IK’s Shura Overseas and the KBK Shura Overseas regarding the ouster of Abdulaziz KBK, a furious row has been raging between the supporters of the new IK regime as led by Saad ad-Dagestani, and those who either support Abdulaziz (not many, admittedly), or (mainly) those who don’t support him but who are unhappy at how Saad ad Dagestani and his supporters have handled things, including the treatment of IK in Syria.
In the main there are two grievances: first, that Abdulaziz was accused of various crimes, in particular of misusing funds from the IK Bayt al-Mal or treasury — so why are Saad ad-Dagestani et al not putting these accusations before a Sharia court (those who argue this point say that the lack of a Sharia trial weakens IK’s position); and second, those who had been in IK in Syria are angry and upset at the way that members of Vilayat Dagestan (referred to by one source somewhat contemptuously as “the Avars”) imposed their new regime on IK in Syria — something that has led to the disintegration of that group. I will write about the latter grievance in another post — this post concentrates on the announcement on 1 July by Abu Khamza, the Amir of IK’s Majlis Shura of Vilayat Nohchicho Abroad (and a brother of Dokka Umarov).
The developments have stirred up and brought to the surface other well-known resentments within IK, including one that Abu Khamza refers to, between Vilayat Nohchicho and Vilayat Dagestan and KBK over the appointment of Abu Usman Gimrinsky as Amir of IK in June 2015. Abdul Aziz played a big role in that appointment, to the disapproval of IK’s Vilayat Nohchicho.
Abu Khamza writes (I translated it on the fly very quickly so sorry for inconsistencies/errors):
Regarding this announcement, many questions have arisen from brothers who are demanding clarification. Based on the questions that have been asked, Vilayat Nohchicho convened its Majlis Shura and analyzed the announcement and decided to make a statement with an explanation.
I, the Amir of the Majlis Shura of Vilayat Nohchicho, Abu Hamza, on behalf of the Majlis Shura of Vilayat Nohchicho, would like to remind all brothers and sisters, and first of all those who are responsible for this announcement, that I personally over two years ago, in March 2015, appealed to members of the Shura and to the Sharia judge of IK, Abdulla Kosteksky, with a demand to submit and consider the full financial report of the representative of IK Abroad Abdul-Aziz in order to determine the legitimacy of expenditures from IK’s Bayt al-Mal.
After the very first meeting, the process was frozen. I, like any reasonable Muslim, have every reason to accuse Abdulla Kosteksky of taking advantage of his official position in order to prevent the Sharia investigation and avoid the Sharia court in this case.
Abu Saad Dagestani, as a member of the Shura of IK and the representative of Vilayat Dagestan abroad, also played a key role in the matter of the actual blockade of the Sharia court on the claims presented to Abdul Aziz.
Today, it is Abu Saad himself as well as others who, on behalf of the whole of IK, is making a decision about what I have repeatedly talked about — i.e. the exclusion of Abdul Aziz from the Nizam. But with one significant and notable difference on the scales of Allah on the Day of Judgment: I demanded and still demand a Sharia trial of Abdul-Aziz — but Abu Saad ad-Dagestani, who replaced Abdul Aziz as the representative of IK abroad in Vilayat Dagestan and KBK, did not say a word about the necessity of a Sharia court.
It is worth noting that in the actual text of the announcement the former defenders of Abdulaziz admit his “disposal [i.e. of funds – ed] that was not rightfully entrusted to him by the amanat.” Is this not recognition that he committed an official crime for which he must be punished? And if there is no responsibility, no punishment, no consequences or judgement on the guilty party, then what nizam are the authors of the announcement talking about?
Unfortunately, then, two or three years ago, among those who opposed the Sharia investigation and the Sharia court were representatives of the Vilayats of Ingushetia and even Nohchicho. Having exhausted the use of exhortations and appeals to the brother-members of the IK Shura to decide the matter in a Sharia court, I made an open audio address and distributed it on YouTube. And then Abu Saad ad Dagestani disseminated an audio address in which:
— he accused me of making fitna among the brothers, ignoring them by refusing to turn to the existing Shura, and instead of that I unintentionally helped the infidels, by revealing the secrets of the jamaat to the intelligence services of Turkey and Russia.
— He in fact called me a wicked person, from whom communications needed to be double checked, he announced that there were living witnesses including Abdul Aziz himself, Abdulla Kosteksky and other members of the Shura, and they had all heard the audio addresses of Ali Abu Mukhammad and Abu Usman to Abdul Aziz.
— He accused me of insubordination to the Amir of IK Abu Usman and of not recognizing the Majlis Abroad that was appointed by him;
— He indirectly accused me of nationalism and clanism, posing the question without answering it, “He obeyed Dokka*, why doesn’t he obey Abu Usman?” (Abu Usmal, is the brother of Abu Saad by the way).
— He openly defended Abdul Aziz and gave him the very best recommendation. I quote:
“I know him well. I have never heard a lie from Abdul Aziz, he has reports that are even better than the others. He gave reports to Dokka and Ali Abu Mukhammad and to Abu Usman and I myself am a witness to this. And Abu Khamza is making fitna, he is a fitnach. Abdul Aziz does not have to give him a report, and he cannot demand a report from him, because Abdul Aziz was appointed by the Amir of IK and he must report to him. And before Abdul Aziz the representative of IK Abroad did not give a report except to the amir of IK.
Let me remind you that in August 2016, Abdul-Aziz replaced himself with Abu Saad as the representative of IK Abroad, approving this with the Shura, which they themselves elected and which retained control and influence in the structures of IK.
Among the misdemeanors claimed about Abdul Aziz today by the authors of the announcement of the so called “Command of the Mujahideen of IK abroad”, are: “the introduction of a split in the ranks of IK; Purposefully making a intrigues between the Mujahideen; Setting up brothers against the Amir of IK abroad, slandering them, making bukhtan and ghibat, trying to blacken the members of the Shura of IK abroad.”
I knew about these “outstanding” abilities of Abdul-Aziz much earlier than Abu Saad and the other authors of the announcement spoke about this.
Four years ago, Abdul Aziz and Abu Saad met at my house to resolve a dispute over a brother. They called me in as an arbitrator of their dispute. After Abu Saad left with his son-in-law, Abdul Aziz, looking for my support, asked me what I thought about them. I replied that their words had their truth. Then he went to the computer, and he found a video on YouTube and showed it to me. On it, a man resembling Abu Usman, whom I took because of his resemblance at first for Abu Saad, along with another man, who they called Abu Usman’s son-in-law, surrendered to the infidels with weapons. Abdul Aziz commented on the video as follows: “These people can not be trusted.”
Such “distrust” did not prevent Abdul Aziz four years later, in 2015, from declaring Abu Usman as the Amir of IK. This was done by a small group of people. The opinion of the Majlis of Vilayat Nohchicho was ignored, and we learned of the fact that IK had a new Amir — Abu Usman Gimrinsky — on 5 July via a post on the Kavkaz Center website referring to the command of the Mujahideen of IK. It was on this day, at the request of Abu Usman himself, that we Vilayat Nohchicho convened the Majlis and discussed the issue of electing the Amir of IK and, after agreeing on the candidature, were preparing to make a bayah to the new amir of IK.
But Abdul Aziz and those brothers who made that announcement decided that they had the right to declare the Amir of IK at their discretion, without the knowledge of Vilayat Nohchicho. Further from the announcement of Salakhuddin al-Shishani*, amir of Jaish-al-Muhajirin Wal-Ansar in Sham, the following proceeded: that they were very pleased that Abu-Usman al-Gimrinsky was approved as the amir of IK, and those who approved it was left out.
If any other Amir had been appointed to this position, for example, the Amir of Vilayat Nohchicho Khamzat, whom we considered as a candidate, Abdul Aziz and his supporters would have had to give a financial account of their activities abroad, which they could not permit. This was the main reason for all their intrigues around the posts of Amir of IK, the IK representative abroad and the IK shura. And it is because of the doubtful procedure of appointing Abu Usman as IK amir that the representation of Vilayat Nohchicho abroad afterwards did not give him a bayah.
Moreover, in my audio address I officially stated that Vilayat Nohchicho was not involved in the IK shura formed by Abdul Aziz. Accordingly, all the slander by Abu Saad ad-Dagestani about my alleged disobedience to the Amir has not and cannot be justified.
The statement of June 23, 2017, made on behalf of the “Command of the Mujahideen of IK Abroad” about the removal of Abdul Aziz from the Nizam has two interrelated goals:
— I believe that from from the point of view of the Sharia judge Abdulla Kosteksky and Abu Saad ad-Dagestani and others — [the aim is] to withdraw from Sharia responsibility for the financial report on the outgoings of the Bayt al Mal and withdraw Abdul Aziz from responsibility. The former used his powers to close off access to Sharia justice, and the second, through intrigues and family ties, supported Abdul-Aziz.
Having “whitewashed” the tarnished financial reputation of the IK shura, to attract new streams of financial assistance. In support of my words, I quote the Announcement itself: “Those who financially or somehow want to help the Nizam of IK should know that this person no longer has anything to do with the Nizam of IK and trust in him is lost …” and further: “To date, the Mujahideen of IK are conducting a military ribat in the lands of Sham, helping their brothers and sisters by faith. Today, when the war is being waged in such extremely difficult conditions, do not leave the Mujahideen without assistance!”
An indirect sign that the authors of the announcement are not being driven by sincere intentions is that today Abu Saad and those who are with him repeat my points of accusation against Abdul Aziz from two years ago, for which I was publicly insulted in my audio speech, and after a Sharia court and a confession of guilt where he gave his personal signature, he has not yet apologized to me — neither publicly, as it should be, nor personally. All the other former supporters of Abdul-Aziz did not apologize either.
I, Abu-Hamza, on behalf of Majlis Shura of Vilayat Nokchicho hereby remind all brothers: we, the Mujahideen and the Muhajireen of Vilayat Nohchicho, are not involved in the affairs of the “Shura IK”, which Abdul Aziz elected on behalf of Abu Usman al-Gimrinsky, and we do not recognize it. Also we remind you that Vilayat Nohchicho did not elect Abu Usman as IK Amir and did not give him bayah. Although we did not and do not have anything against Abu Usman al-Gimrinsky, and moreover, were inclined to approve his candidacy for this post, Abdul-Aziz and his supporters excluded the very possibility of our participation in the elections, believing that they should decide who was to be Amir and who was to be in the Shura.
We call on the authors of the Announcement of the “Command of the Mujahideen of IK Abroad” not to appropriate for themselves grand names and titles and to make their statements only on behalf of their vilayats: Dagestan and KBK.
Once again we call on all brothers from the regions of Dagestan, Ingushetia and KBK to convene a shura, form their majlis, elect an Amir and the Qadi of the majlis. For Vilayat Nohchicho, this work was carried out two years ago.
The next step is to convene a general shura from the four Majlises, elect the Amir and Qadi of the Majlis Shura of IK and, on this basis, begin positive work in all directions for IK as a whole.
If we want to raise the banner of jihad in the Caucasus, then it’s time to sit together, do taub (repentance) and start working for the benefit of the Muslims of the Caucasus and the Ummah.
*i.e. insinuating this was because Dokka was a Chechen
**At the time, Salakhuddin was the protege of Abdul Aziz…