Caucasus Emirate

Formed2007
DisbandedGroup is active.
First AttackNovember 6, 2008: The Riyadus-Salikhin martyr battalion of the Caucasus Emirate took responsibility for a suicide bomb in Vladikavkaz, North Ossetia. (14 killed, 43 wounded) [1]
Last AttackApril 3, 2014: Caucasus Emirate conducted an attack in Yandi village in Chechnya using a concealed explosive device to destroy a combat vehicle of Russian security forces. (4 dead, 7 wounded) [2]
UpdatedApril 11, 2014

Narrative Summary

The Caucasus Emirate is a Sufi nationalist organization created in October 2007 by Doku Umarov, after he resigned from his position as president of the Republic of Ichkeria (the self-proclaimed secessionist government of Chechnya).  The group aims to establish an independent Caucasus Emirate ruled under Shariah and to wage global jihad. [3]

The group consists of six vilayets (or provinces) that report  to their respective emirs who, in turn, report to Ali Abu Muhammad, the Emir of the Caucasus Emirate. These vilayets are located in the North Caucasus: Chechnya, Ingushetia and North Ossetia, Nogay Steppe (Northern Krasnodar Krai and Stavropol Krai), Cherkess and Southern Krasnodar Krai, Dagestan, and Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay. Originally, the Caucasus Emirate also served as an umbrella organization for other terrorist groups in the North Caucasus, including the Yarmuk Jamaat (Kabardino-Balkaria), Shariat Jamaat (Dagestan), Ingush Jamaat and the martyr brigade Riyadus-Salikhin, known for its suicide bombings. 


The Caucasus Emirate openly declared allegiance to the global jihadi movement in April 2009 at a meeting of the group’s top leaders  in Chechnya. At this same meeting the ‘Riyadus-Salikhin’ faction, which was active during the Chechen Wars and known for targeting civilians, reformed and reconciled with the Caucasus Emirate[4]

In February 2012, Umarov ordered a halt on attacks against civilian targets in response to protests against Russian President Vladimir Putin. [5] He rescinded this order in July 2013 and encouraged members of the Emirate to strike the Winter Olympics in Sochi. In December 2013, members of Vilayat Dagestan subsequently carried out two suicide bombings in Volgograd. In March 2014, Umarov was killed by Russian security forces and succeeded by Ali Abu Muhammad. [6]

Leadership

  1. Ali Abu Muhammad al Dagestani (2007 to Present): Current Emir of the Caucasus Emirate. Umarov appointed him to be the group’s qadi, or senior judge, in 2010 and he was named Emir after the death of Umarov in March 2014. He is the first non-Chechen Emir of the Caucasus Emirate. [7]
  2. Hussein Gakayev (2007 to January 24, 2013): Emir of Chechnya's Southwestern sector. Rescinded loyalty to Umarov in 2011, but after Abu Anas Muhannad's death he reasserted his loyalty to Umarov. He was killed by Russian security forces in January 2013.[8]
  3. Doku Umarov (October 2007 to March 2014): Founder and former Emir of the Caucasus Emirate, which unites the North Caucasus jamaats under one umbrella organization. He served as a field commander rather than an ideologue. He was killed by Russian security forces in March 2014.[9]
  4. Said Abu Saad Buryatskii (Alexander Tikhomirov) (2008 to March 3, 2010): Leading ideologue and prominent preacher in the Caucasus Emirate. He was invited to join the organization by Abu Anas Muhannad in spring 2008. He was killed by Russia forces in March 2010. [10]
  5. Khaled Yusef Muhammed al Emirat (Abu Anas Muhannad) (2008 to April 21, 2011): Jordanian military emir of the Caucasus Emirate. He was reportedly shot to death, which paved the way for reconciliation within the Caucasus Emirate.[11]
  6. Abdullah Asker Dzhappuyev (May 16, 2010 to April 19, 2011): Emir of Kabardino-Balkaria until his death at the hands of Russian security forces. [12]
  7. Aslam Aslambek Vadalov (August 1, 2010 to August 13, 2010): Umarov announced Aslambek as his successor in 2010; however, days later Umarov said he only “proposed” the appointment and that he was not stepping down. Aslambek briefly renounced allegiance to Umarov, but later re-affirmed his allegiance in 2011.[13]
  8. Alim Zankishiev (September 9, 2011 to March 27, 2012): Appointed Emir of Kabardino-Balkaria after the death of Dzhappuyev. He was killed by Russia security forces in March 2012. [14]
  9. Anzor Astermirov (Seifullah) (October 2012 to March 2010): Anzor Astermirov (Seifullah) (October 2012 to March 2010): Head of Yarmuk Jamaat and credited with proposing the Caucasus Emirate. Caucasus Emirate Kadi and Emir of the United Vilayat of Kabardia, Balkaria and Karachai, which brings together jihadists of Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachaevo-Cherkessia. [15]

Ideology & Goals

The Caucasus Emirate is a radical Islamist-Sunni (Salafi) group based in the North Caucasus. The Emirate’s predecessor, the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, had the nationalistic goal of secession from the Russian Federation. Now the Caucasus Emirate is part and parcel of the global jihadi movement. This change occurred because of the heavy influence from Al Qaeda, Taliban, and Islamic Jihad. [16]

Size Estimates

Designated/Listed

The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation designated the Caucasus Emirate a terrorist group on 8 February 2010 and prohibited the group’s activities on Russian territory. [18] In June 2010, the United States labeled Doku Umarov a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Executive Order 13224 and, in March 2011, the UN 1267 al-Qaeda and Taliban Sanctions Committee identified Umarov as a terrorist. In May 2011, the U.S. Secretary of State listed the Caucasus Emirate as a terrorist organization under E.O. 13224 [19] and the UN followed suit in July 2011.  [20].

Resources

The Caucasus Emirate mujahedin receive funding from ministers and bureaucrats in the Chechen government and members of Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov’s inner circle. [21] The group also receives significant funding from Al Qaeda. [22]

External Influences

The Caucasus Emirate is heavily influenced by other sub-national groups, especially the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Its shift to a jihadist ideology stems from a growing reliance on and support from these more globally recognized terrorist organizations. [23]

Targets & Tactics

The Caucasus Emirate targets civilians – especially “Russian infidels” – as well as non-civilians. While most of the group’s attacks have been domestic, both Umarov and Buryatskii have stated they are leading a global jihad against the West.

Any Western entity which not support the Caucasus Emirate's cause, governing the North Caucasus under Sharia, is considered an enemy. In 2010, the zone of combat activity broadened to include all of Russian territory outside the North Caucasus. [24]

The Caucasus Emirate uses suicide bombing as its primary mode of attack. They have also used kidnappings to extract ransoms.[25]

Political Activities

The Caucasus Emirate does not consider the current governing bodies in the North Caucasus, put in place by the Russian Federation, to be legitimate. It considers itself to be the only legitimate governing body in the North Caucasus and, as such, only recognizes leaders selected from within the Caucasus Emirate throughout the vilayets of the North Caucasus.  [26]

Major Attacks

  1. June 11, 2008: Riyadus Salikhin conducted a suicide bombing in Vladikavkaz, North Ossetia. (14 killed, 43 wounded).[27]
  2. June 5, 2009: Dagestani Jamaat Shariat faction of the Caucasus Emirate conducted a sniper attack on Dagestan Republic Ministry of the Interior (MVD) chief, Aldigirei Magomedtagirov in Dagestan. (1 killed, 7 wounded.).[28]
  3. June 22, 2009: Said Buryatskii conducted an attack on Ingush President Yevkurov's motorcade in Ingushetia using a car bomb . (3 killed, 1 wounded).[29]
  4. September 1, 2009: Caucasus Emirate conducted the first suicide bombing in Makhachkala, Dagestan. (12 killed).[30]
  5. November 27, 2009: Caucasus Emirate conducted an attack using a train bomb on the Nevsky Express. This was the first time federal officials, Duma member Sergei Tarasov and head of Federal Reserves Agency Boris Yevstratikov, were among the victims. (27 killed,100 wounded).[31]
  6. March 29, 2010: Riyadus-Salikhin conducted an attack on the Moscow Metro using bombs. Among the largest attacks conducted by the Caucasus Emirate. (40 killed, 100 wounded).[32]
  7. August 28, 2010: 60 Mujahedeen attacked Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov's native village, Tserontoy, Chechnya. Kadyrov was a possible target. (6 killed, 24 wounded).[33]
  8. January 24, 2011: Caucasus Emirate attacked the Domodedovo Airport in Moscow, Russia using bombs. (37 killed, 180 wounded).[34]
  9. December 29, 2013: Vilayat Dagestan province of the Caucasus Emirate conducted a suicide bombing at a train station in Volgograd, Russia. (18 killed, 44 wounded).[35]
  10. December 29, 2013: Vilayat Dagestan province of the Caucasus Emirate conducted a suicide bombing on a public bus in Volgograd, Russia. (16 killed, 41 wounded).[36]

Relationships with Other Groups

The Caucasus Emirate has been heavily influenced by other sub-national groups, especially the Taliban and Al-Qaeda (AQ). Its shift to a jihadist ideology stems from its growing reliance on and support from these more globally recognized terrorist organizations.  [37]

The Caucasus Emirate's links to AQ and the Taliban began prior to its formation in 2007. The Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, Riyadus-Salikhin, the Special  Purpose Islamic Regiment (SPIR) and the Islamic International Peacekeeping Brigade (IIPB) all had longstanding ties with AQ and the Taliban. These ties endured after the incorporation of all these groups into the Caucasus Emirate.

 

AQ and the Taliban developed a relationship with the North Caucasus rebel movements through two liaisons: Saudi Arabian mujahedin Ibn Al-Khattab and Chechen rebel Shamil Basayev. Khattab served as adviser and financier to Basayev, who undertook training in Afghanistan through AQ and recruited fellow Chechens and other North Caucasians to do the same. Basayev later allowed AQ and Taliban training camps to operate in the North Caucasus. [38]

Community Relationships

The Caucasus Emirate is popular in the North Caucasus and offers training camps and youth programs for Islamic education. Such programs help to expand its youth cohort across the North Caucasus and the Russian Federation more broadly. [39] The Caucasus Emirate seeks to mobilize militants across Russia. These programs are funded by foreign terrorist organizations, primarily Al-Qaeda, and by the Chechen government. [40]


References

  1. ^ Hahn, Gordon M. "Islam, Islamism, and Politics in Eurasia Report." Monterey Institute of International Studies. N.p., Report 3 30 Nov. 2009. Web. Jan. 2012. <http://www.miis.edu/academics/faculty/ghahn/report>.
  2. ^ Anishchuk, Alexei. "Four Russian Servicemen Killed in North Caucasus Bomb Attack." Reuters UK. N.p., 3 Apr. 2014. Web. 11 Apr. 2014. <http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/04/03/uk-russia-caucasus-chechnya-blast-idUKBREA321LV20140403>.
  3. ^ Kuchins, Andrew C., Matthew Malarkey, and Sergei Markedonov. "The North Caucasus: Russia's Volatile Frontier." Center for Strategic and International Studies. CSIS, Mar. 2011. Web. Feb. 2012. <http://csis.org/files/publication/110321_Kuchins_NorthCaucasus_WEB.pdf>.
  4. ^ Hahn, Gordon M. "Islam, Islamism, and Politics in Eurasia Report." Monterey Institute of International Studies. N.p., Report 2 20 Nov. 2009. Web. Jan. 2012. <http://www.miis.edu/academics/faculty/ghahn/report>
  5. ^ Roggio, Bill. "Caucasus Emirate Leader Orders Halt on Attacks against Russian Civilians."The Long War Journal. Foundation for Defense of Democracies, 3 Feb. 2013. Web. 11 Apr. 2014. <http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2012/02/caucasus_emirate_lea_4.php>.
  6. ^ Fuller, Liz. "Avar Theologian Named To Succeed Umarov As Insurgency Leader." Web log post. Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty - Caucasus Report. N.p., 19 Mar. 2014. Web. 11 Apr. 2014. <http://www.rferl.org/content/caucasus-report-qadi-abumukhammad/25302543.html>.
  7. ^ Fuller, Liz. "Avar Theologian Named To Succeed Umarov As Insurgency Leader." Web log post. Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty - Caucasus Report. N.p., 19 Mar. 2014. Web. 11 Apr. 2014. <http://www.rferl.org/content/caucasus-report-qadi-abumukhammad/25302543
  8. ^ Saradzhyan, Simon. ""Russia's North Caucasus, The Terrorism Revival"" Russia's North Caucasus, The Terrorism Revival. N.p., 23 Dec. 2010. Web.
  9. ^ "Russia's FSB Confirms Neutralization of Chechen Militant Leader Doku Umarov." The Voice of Russia. N.p., 8 Apr. 2014. Web. 11 Apr. 2014. <http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_04_08/Activities-of-Caucaus-emirate-terrorist-leader-Doku-Umarov-neutralized-FSB-
  10. ^ Hahn, Gordon M. "Islam, Islamism, and Politics in Eurasia Report." Monterey Institute of International Studies. N.p., Report 10 2009. Web. Jan. 2012.
  11. ^ Hahn, Gordon M. "Islam, Islamism, and Politics in Eurasia Report." Monterey Institute of International Studies. N.p., Report 1 2009. Web. Jan. 2012.
  12. ^ Fuller, Liz. "Balkar, Kabardian Insurgent Leaders Reported Killed." Web log post. Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty - Caucasus Report. N.p., 29 Apr. 2011. Web. 11 Apr. 2014. <http://www.rferl.org/content/balkar_kabardian_insurgent_leaders_reported_killed/
  13. ^ Roggio, Bill. “Internal Divisions Dissolved, Claims Caucasus Emirate” http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2011/07/caucasus_emirate_cla_1.php#ixzz1TKEnDQLI
  14. ^ Fuller, Liz. "Kabardino-Balkaria Insurgency Commander Killed." Web log post. Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty - Caucasus Report. N.p., 29 Mar. 2012. Web. 11 Apr. 2014. <http://www.rferl.org/content/kabardino-balkaria_insurgency_commander_killed/24531617.
  15. ^ Hahn, Gordon M. "Islam, Islamism, and Politics in Eurasia Report." Monterey Institute of International Studies. N.p., Report 1 2009. Web. Jan. 2012.
  16. ^ Hahn, Gordon M. "Islam, Islamism, and Politics in Eurasia Report." Monterey Institute of International Studies. N.p., Report 3 30 Nov. 2009. Web. Jan. 2012. <http://www.miis.edu/academics/faculty/ghahn/report>.
  17. ^ "Russia | The World Almanac of Islamism." Russia | The World Almanac of Islamism. N.p., 14 July 2011. Web. Mar. 2012. .
  18. ^ "Taliban, Al-Qaida, Sanctions Committee, United Nations 1267 Committee, Resolution 1267." UN News Center. UN, n.d. <http://www.un.org/sc/committees/1267/NSQE13111E.shtml>.
  19. ^ "Designation of Caucasus Emirate." U.S. Department of State. U.S. Department of State, 26 May 2011. Web. <http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2011/05/164312.htm>.
  20. ^ "Taliban, Al-Qaida, Sanctions Committee, United Nations 1267 Committee, Resolution 1267." UN News Center. UN, n.d. <http://www.un.org/sc/committees/1267/NSQE13111E.shtml>.
  21. ^ Hahn, Gordon M. "Islam, Islamism, and Politics in Eurasia Report." Monterey Institute of International Studies. N.p., Report 9 24 Feb. 2009. Web. Jan. 2012. <http://www.miis.edu/academics/faculty/ghahn/report>
  22. ^ Zelin, Aaron Y. "THE REUNIFICATION OF THE CAUCASUS EMIRATE." The Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst. The Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst, 31 Aug. 2011. Web. July 2012. <http://www.cacianalyst.org/?q=node/5619>.
  23. ^ Hahn, Gordon M. "Islam, Islamism, and Politics in Eurasia Report." Monterey Institute of International Studies. N.p., Report 6 8 Jan. 2009. Web. Jan. 2012. <http://www.miis.edu/academics/faculty/ghahn/report>}
  24. ^ Hahn, Gordon M. "Islam, Islamism, and Politics in Eurasia Report." Monterey Institute of International Studies. N.p., Report 2 9 Mar. 2009. Web. Jan. 2012. <http://www.miis.edu/academics/faculty/ghahn/report>
  25. ^ Nichol, Jim. "Stability in Russia’s Chechnya and Other Regions of the North Caucasus: Recent Developments." Federation of American Scientisits. CRS Report for Congress, 13 Dec. 2010. Web. Mar. 2012.
  26. ^ Stewart, Scott, and Ben West. "The Caucasus Emirate." Stratfor. N.p., 15 Apr. 2010. Web. <http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/20100414_caucasus_emirate>.
  27. ^ Hahn, Gordon M. "Islam, Islamism, and Politics in Eurasia Report." Monterey Institute of International Studies. N.p., Report 3 30Nov. 2009. Web. Jan. 2012.
  28. ^ {{Hahn, Gordon M. "Islam, Islamism, and Politics in Eurasia Report." Monterey Institute of International Studies. N.p., Report 2 20 Nov. 2009. Web. Jan. 2012. }}
  29. ^ Hahn, Gordon M. "Islam, Islamism, and Politics in Eurasia Report." Monterey Institute of International Studies. N.p., Report 2 20 Nov. 2009. Web. Jan. 2012.
  30. ^ Hahn, Gordon M. "Islam, Islamism, and Politics in Eurasia Report." Monterey Institute of International Studies. N.p., Report 3 30Nov. 2009. Web. Jan. 2012.
  31. ^ "North Caucasus: Guide to a Volatile Region." BBC News. BBC, 25 Jan. 2011. Web. Feb. 2012. .
  32. ^ Kuchins, Andrew C., Matthew Malarkey, and Sergei Markedonov. "The North Caucasus: Russia's Volatile Frontier." Center for Strategic and International Studies. CSIS, Mar. 2011. Web. Feb. 2012.
  33. ^ Nichol, Jim. "Stability in Russia’s Chechnya and Other Regions of the North Caucasus: Recent Developments." Federation of American Scientisits. CRS Report for Congress, 13 Dec. 2010. Web. Mar. 2012.
  34. ^ Kuchins, Andrew C., Matthew Malarkey, and Sergei Markedonov. "The North Caucasus: Russia's Volatile Frontier." Center for Strategic and International Studies. CSIS, Mar. 2011. Web. Feb. 2012.
  35. ^ "Consecutive Volgograd Suicide Bombing Kills at Least 15." RT.com. N.p., 31 Dec. 2013. Web. 11 Apr. 2014. <http://rt.com/news/russia-volgograd-trolley-blast-957/>.
  36. ^ "Consecutive Volgograd Suicide Bombing Kills at Least 15." RT.com. N.p., 31 Dec. 2013. Web. 11 Apr. 2014. <http://rt.com/news/russia-volgograd-trolley-blast-957/>.
  37. ^ Hahn, Gordon M. "Islam, Islamism, and Politics in Eurasia Report." Monterey Institute of International Studies. N.p., Report 2  910 May 2010. Web. Jan. 2012. <http://www.miis.edu/academics/faculty/ghahn/report>
  38. ^ Gartenstein-Ross, Daveed. "The American Spectator." The American Spectator. N.p., 14 July 2006. Web. Mar. 2012. <http://spectator.org/archives/2006/07/14/the-death-of-shamil-basayev>.
  39. ^ Hahn, Gordon M. "Islam, Islamism, and Politics in Eurasia Report." Monterey Institute of International Studies. N.p., Report 14  910 May 2010. Web. Jan. 2012. <http://www.miis.edu/academics/faculty/ghahn/report>
  40. ^ Hahn, Gordon M. "Getting the Caucasus Emirate Right." Center for Strategic and International Studies. CSIS, Aug. 2011. Web. Feb. 2012. <http://csis.org/files/publication/110930_Hahn_GettingCaucasusEmirateRt_Web.pdf>.

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