On 4 August, Ajnad al-Kavkaz released* a video in Chechen with Russian subtitles featuring the jamaat’s amir Abdulhakim Shishani (read my recent interview with him here), Muslim Shishani (Amir of Junud al-Sham) and Salakhuddin Shishani** (Amir of Jaish Usro). The video is an address to the Syrian people and is a response to the recent and ongoing clashes between HTS and Ahrar al-Sham. I am writing a detailed analysis of the video for Jane’s looking at its significance and responses from various groups, so I will not give any analysis here, but for fun I just did an on the fly translation of the Russian subtitles (I would have preferred to translate the Chechen but I can still only pick out a few words…).
An essay written by a North Caucasian Russian-speaking woman and wife of a Russian-speaking jihadi formerly based in Latakia province in Syria (and not connected in any way with The Islamic State group) was posted on 8 July on the telegra.ph site. As part of my work I collect posts/essays/poems etc by Russian-speaking fighters — almost all of which are written by men. Because this is comparatively unusual I thought I’d quickly translate and share it. We don’t often get a glimpse of the lives of the Russian-speaking women who have accompanied their husbands to Syria — and the overwhelming majority of what has been written is about IS “jihadi brides” or women connected with IS in other ways. Anyway the original piece has some rather fascinating photos of the interior of the house that the woman describes, which I have also posted here.
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
I reported fairly recently on the fact that Tarkhan’s Jamaat have renamed themselves as Katiba Ibad ar—Rahman and had answered a few questions I put to them. Continue reading Tarkhan Gaziyev ‘Prevented By Illness From Joining Jamaat In Syria’
Khalid Shishani, an ethnic Chechen militant fighting alongside Jabhat al-Nusra, has written a letter warning that the IS group is winning the propaganda war among Russian-speaking Muslims and calling on his fellow non-IS jihadis to step up their game to reach Muslims (by which he means pro-jihadi Muslims of course) in Russia and particularly in the North Caucasus. Continue reading Khalid Shishani: IS is Winning the Propaganda War in Chechnya
Ajnad al-Kavkaz have provided a longer biography of the group’s military commander (emir), Khamza Shishani which I have translated below. I wrote a short biography of Khamza here, taken from Ajnad’s previous postings on their social media. Continue reading A More Detailed Biography Of Khamza Shishani of Ajnad al-Kavkaz
Abdul Hakim Shishani, the leader of the Latakia-based predominantly Chechen jamaat Ajnad al-Kavkaz was the Amir of the IK Nokhchiycho Wilayah Central Sector*, sources close to the group have said. Continue reading Ajnad al-Kavkaz Amir Abdul Hakim Shishani Was Amir of Central Sector In Chechnya
Salakhuddin Shishani and a group of North Caucasian fighters loyal to the Caucasus Emirate (CE) have sworn bay’ah to the new CE emir Abu Usman Gimrinsky (Magomed Alievich Suleimanov). Continue reading Salakhuddin Shishani Swears Bay’ah to New CE Emir
IS’s North Caucasian contingent, via the Russian-language Furat media wing, have released a video entitled “the oaths of allegiance of the Emirs of Chechnya and Ingushetia.” The video is important, because it is in effect an “official” IS reaction to the bay’ah of Emir Khamzat (Aslan Byutukayev), the leader of the Caucasus Emirate’s Vilayat Nokhchicho). Continue reading IS Furat Media Publishes Video Of Caucasus Emirate Bay’ah To Baghdadi
Extremist Russia (check out his blog on here and follow him on Twitter on @ExtremistRussia) is an expert on the Caucasus Emirate and has kindly allowed me to cross post his latest piece looking at the future of that group in the wake of recent events. Continue reading Via Extremist Russia: The Future of the North Caucasus Insurgency