In late June, a number of news reports in Russian and Georgian (I can’t read the latter) noted that a 39-year-old militant from Duisi in the Pankisi Gorge in Georgia had been killed “in Syria.” Some of the reports said that the militant had been in the “Yarmouk brigade” and had fought alongside Akhmad Chatayev. The first fact is almost certainly not true (he died in Iraq) and the second is flimsy and unverifiable, but let’s unpick it. Continue reading Umar Margoshvili IS militant from Duisi in Pankisi killed in Iraq
BY PETER DERGACHEV & JOANNA PARASZCZUK
In the light of the current media storm over the rumors that Chechen IS militant Akhmad Chatayev was behind the recent terrorist bombings in Istanbul, we are sharing some more information about him and his activities in Syria here. This is not to confirm the rumors in any way, but simply to add some facts to an increasingly speculative conversation. Continue reading Akhmad Chatayev Led IS’s North Caucasian Badr Katiba In Kobani, With Heavy Losses
A few days ago, the news broke on IS social media that Abu Aisha Kazakhi, an IS militant from Kazakhstan, had been killed. Here are some of the facts I have gleaned about Abu Aisha in my several months of tracking him. Continue reading Who Was Abu Aisha Kazakhi, The Kazakh IS Militant Killed In Palmyra?
Akhmad Medinsky, a Dagestani preacher who has joined IS in Iraq, has appeared in a new video address, “Послание Из Бейджи К Львам Халифата В Вилаяте Кавказ” (A Message From Baiji To The Lions Of The Caliphate In Vilayat Kavkaz). Continue reading Akhmad Medinsky Addresses ‘Vilayat Kavkaz’ From Baiji
IS’s announcement of “Vilayat Kavkaz,” the Islamic State group’s “province” in the North Caucasus was in large part the result of the rise to power and political machinations of North Caucasian militants not in Chechnya or Dagestan, but in Iraq and Syria. Continue reading Why Dagestani Preacher Nadir Abu Khalid’s Joining IS Was A Coup For Abu Jihad
Umar Shishani’s confidante Abu Jihad has appeared in a new video from the Russian-language Furat Media, which shows a group of Russian-speaking militants being “trained” (or hyped up) to become an elite “death squad” in Iraq’s Anbar province. A few notes about the video, which is entitled “Iraq: Yearning For Paradise.” Continue reading Abu Jihad Appears In IS “Iraq Death Squad” Video
Islamic State’s media wing, Al Hayat, has released another video in Russian (with English subtitles), entitled Визит в город Мосул (“A Visit To Mosul”). Continue reading IS Makes Another Russian-Language Video: A Visit To Mosul
On Tuesday, a strange thing happened: a video appeared on Facebook and Russian social network VKontakte claiming that the Emir of the Aukhovsky Jamaat in “Vilayat Dagestan” (the Caucasus Emirate’s name for Dagestan) had sworn allegiance to Islamic State (IS). There were a number of fishy things about this video, however. Continue reading Caucasus Emirate Casts Doubt On Video of “Dagestani Emir” Pledging To IS
ISIS military emir Umar Shishani appears in this video, showing the breaching of the border between Syria and Iraq.
The release of the video preceded an announcement by ISIS that they had declared the restoration of the Caliphate, with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as its Emir, and that the new name of the group was simply “Islamic State”.
— Abu Umar (@AbuUmar8246) June 29, 2014
A video posted by FiSyria, a group active on Russian-language social media and close to Umar Shishani’s faction in the Islamic State of Iraq and as-Sham (ISIS), claims to show the destruction of part of the border between Iraq and Syria. Continue reading FiSyria Claims Footage Of ISIS Destroying Syria-Iraq Border