On May 6, 2016, a court in Magnitogorsk in Russia passed sentence on a man named A. I. Nuriddinov after finding him guilty of fighting alongside the militant jihadist group Jannat Oshiklari in Syria. Continue reading From South Korea to an Uzbek Al Qaeda group in Syria…to a Russian prison
Ever since the first reports of Russian-speaking militants fighting in Syria emerged in the media, questions have been raised about the specter of “blowback” — i.e. what would happen if and when some of these militants returned home to wage “jihad” in the Russian Federation. Here is evidence of one militant who did return from Syria to Dagestan, where he was killed in a counter-terrorism operation and was suspected of preparing to commit terror attacks in that North Caucasus republic. Continue reading Umar Shishani’s Man Who Fought At Menagh, Then Was Killed In Dagestan
A Chechen fighter from the Chechen-led militant group Ajnad al-Kavkaz (“Soldiers of the Caucasus”) has asked why the world does not condemn Russia’s bombing in Syria and why it has not done anything to stop what the fighter says are other Russian acts of aggression including in Ukraine and in Georgia.
The comment provides a fascinating insight into the opinions of this North Caucasian jamaat on current events. Here is what the fighter had to say. Continue reading Ajnad al-Kavkaz Fighter: Why Doesn’t The World Condemn Russia’s Syria Bombings?
One of the areas that I am interested in is “radicalization” — how do people get involved with militant groups and end up in Syria? In many (most) cases the journey is somewhat more complex than simply “s/he read some IS propaganda online and decided to go to Syria.” So with that in mind I am always interested in learning information about the background of militants. In terms of North Caucasian militants in Syria this is often not very easy. But maybe that is why it is more intriguing.
Anyway, a bit of recent research threw up the following item of interest: a man from Kabardino-Balkaria who is listed on the Federal Wanted List as having gone to fight in Syria in 2013 apparently complained of pressure and maltreatment against himself and other practicing Muslims from the security authorities in the republic back in 2007. Continue reading Kabardino-Balkaria Man Now In Syria Apparently Complained Of Harassment Against Muslims Back In 2007
The Latakia-based Chechen-led group Ajnad al-Kavkaz have made a short video showing off two “trophies” that they claim to have captured from Russian forces. Well, not captured exactly but rather found after Russian forces allegedly fled from a hilltop that Ajnad say they captured in Latakia. Continue reading Ajnad Al-Kavkaz Find Machine Gun & Bullet Proof Vest Belonging to ‘Sulimov’ in Latakia
Militants from the Uzbek-led Liwa al-Muhajireen in Al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra appear in a new video released on October 27, entitled ‘Sham Is The Graveyard Of The Occupiers.’ Continue reading Liwa Al-Muhajireen Appear In New Nusra Video: ‘Syria Is The Graveyard Of The Occupiers’
I thought it would be interesting to take another look at this interview published in August 2013 by Kavkaz Center (the mouthpiece of the Caucasus Emirate) translated an interview reveals the opinions of a Chechen fighter with Jaish al-Muhajireen wal- Ansar in Syria (then under the command of Umar Shishani, before his move to ISIS). Continue reading August 2013: JMA Fighter Slams FSA, Says Chechens Should Fight At Home, Not In Syria
The ethnic Circassian group Katibat Ahrar al-Sharkas has issued an audio statement announcing that it was joining the Junud al-Qawqaz faction. The move raises some interesting questions about Circassian nationalism, the Caucasus Emirate, networks of jihadis in Syria, and their extension into the North Caucasus. Continue reading “Displaced Conflict”: Ethnic Circassian Ahrar Al-Sharkas Joins Junud Al-Qawqaz
(UPDATED – see below) A Georgian news outlet has published an interview with a childhood friend of Muslim Shishani (Murad Margoshvili), the Emir of the Latakia-based jamaat Junud a-Sham. Continue reading Muslim Shishani’s childhood friend: “Everyone was surprised when Murad didn’t go to university”
Part 2 of Muslim Shishani’s interview on the North Caucasus (from roughly 9:00 through 16:00 in the video). Continue reading Muslim Shishani Interview On The Caucasus: Part 2