Interview & Letter from Ajnad al-Kavkaz Amir Abdul Hakim Shishani

The Nohchicho website has undertaken and published an interview with Ajnad al-Kavkaz Amir Abdul Hakim Shishani; Abdul Hakim also wrote a letter published on the same website in support of a rally in Strasbourg by Chechens on the anniversary of the 23 February 1944 mass deportations by Stalin.

I’m writing an analysis of these and as I was reading them and thinking about them I just typed them out in translation on the fly as I find that’s a good way to get space to think. Continue reading Interview & Letter from Ajnad al-Kavkaz Amir Abdul Hakim Shishani

Two more “Medina students” – a Dagestani & a Kyrgyz – killed near Mosul

Islamic State Russian-speaking social media accounts are reporting today (24 November) that the day before yesterday, i.e. 22 November, two more “Medina students” (мединские студенты — the name given in Russian to individuals who have studied in Medina) have been killed in fighting on the outskirts of Mosul. Continue reading Two more “Medina students” – a Dagestani & a Kyrgyz – killed near Mosul

‘IS’s Abu Waheeb Really Liked North Caucasians’ & Notes On Circassians & Shishanis

An Islamic State militant from Dagestan posted on social media about Abu Waheeb, the IS leader who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in May 2016, talking about how he really loved North Caucasian fighters. Continue reading ‘IS’s Abu Waheeb Really Liked North Caucasians’ & Notes On Circassians & Shishanis

Tarkhan’s Jamaat Renames Itself Katibat Ibad Ar-Rahman

The Chechen-led group Tarkhan’s Jamaat (Джамаат Тархана) — which is, of course, the Jamaat of Chechen amir Tarkhan Gaziyev — has renamed itself this week to Katibat Ibad ar-Rahman. Continue reading Tarkhan’s Jamaat Renames Itself Katibat Ibad Ar-Rahman

Khalid Shishani On Why Sayfullakh Shishani & Umar Fell Out

Someone on Twitter asked me why Sayfullakh Shishani left Umar Shishani’s jamaat back in 2013.

I realized that I had translated part of a letter written by Khalid Shishani, who used to be part of Sayfullakh’s jamaat, who gave his account of what had happened. Umar is not portrayed in a good light here — Khalid did not admire Umar. However, it seems as if I did not post my translation anywhere (if I did, I cannot find it here — the search has been terribly slow lately. Anyway it can’t do any harm to post it twice.) Continue reading Khalid Shishani On Why Sayfullakh Shishani & Umar Fell Out

“ЗАПИСКИ ИЗ МИНБИДЖА” (Notes from Manbij) — A Poem

Over the past weeks, as fighting raged in Manbij in Syria between IS and U.S.-backed fighters, a number of missives have emerged from the town and have been shared on Russian-speaking IS channels. A number of Russian-speaking fighters from a Russian-speaking battalion has been trapped in Manbij. Continue reading “ЗАПИСКИ ИЗ МИНБИДЖА” (Notes from Manbij) — A Poem

‘The Story Of How Umar Shishani Went Hungry So The Brothers Could Eat’

Since the announcement of Umar Shishani’s death on 13 July, there has been a process of mythologizing of Umar on Russian-language IS channels and other social media channels. This has been carried out both by “official” channels but also by regular posters on Telegram chats and Facebook. I’ve written about this in a piece for IHS Janes if you have access to that. Some of the mythologizing has taken the form of storytelling about Umar, which serve to emphasize some of his traits — in particular that he was a humble man who deeply loved his fellow North Caucasian IS fighters, who in turn loved him back. Here is the Story Of How Umar Shishani Went Hungry So The Brothers Could Eat’, plus some photos of Young Umar & Umar’s House.

Continue reading ‘The Story Of How Umar Shishani Went Hungry So The Brothers Could Eat’