Top Extremism- and Terrorism-Related Stories in Russia, 16 August-5 September 2014

This week’s highlights of media reports and developments relating to extremism, terrorism and insurgency in Russia. These highlights are intended to provide an overview of the most interesting stories rather than a comprehensive survey of all reporting on the issues.  Interesting material from extremist websites that may complement the picture is not included – for ethical (and legal) reasons, I choose not to link to extremist material.

Caucasus Emirate/North Caucasus

Kommersant: North Ossetian deputy mufti Rasul Gamzatov killed in Vladikavkaz (18 August 2014) (Rus)

Kommersant: Timeline of prominent murders of religious figures in the North Caucasus (18 August 2014) (Rus) Chechen Head Ramzan Kadyrov’s press secretary denies reports that Kadyrov lost his phone and mass detentions were subsequently carried out (19 August 2014) (Rus) Public Chamber calls for security guards to be assigned to religious leaders (19 August 2014) (Rus)

Kavkazskiy Uzel: Security services in Groznyy carry out massive passport-checking operation ahead of planned festivities (22 August 2014) (Rus)

Kavkazskiy Uzel: Experts offer their opinions on the reasons for the murder of North Ossetian deputy imam Rasul Gamzatov (24 August 2014) (Rus)

Kavkaz Online: Dozens of Muslims detained after Friday prayers in Derbent (24 August 2014) (Rus)

Kavkazskiy Uzel: Kabardino-Balkarian police officer suspected of participating in attacks (26 August 2014) (Rus)

Kavkazskiy Uzel: Former assistant to the Makhachkala prosecutor charged alongside his brother with attempted murder (28 August 2014) (Rus)

Kavkazskiy Uzel: More than 30 Salafis detained after prayers in Buynaksk (28 August 2014) (Rus)

Kavkazskiy Uzel: A man whom relatives claim was abducted is found among casualties from a special operation in Dagestan’s Kizilyurtovskiy Rayon (28 August 2014) (Rus)

Sova Center: A local imam in Stavropol Kray steps down after police search his home (29 August 2014) (Rus)

Kommersant: Public opinion polls show a more favourable view of the authorities handling of the 2004 Beslan siege (1 September 2014) (Rus)

CACI Analyst: Caucasus Emirate Suffers Higher Casualties Under New Leadership (3 September 2014) (Eng)

Kommersant: Rebel who was suspected of killing a judge who sentenced him two years previously is killed in a Dagestan special operation (5 September 2014) (Rus)


Kavkazskiy Uzel: Case against Chechen man accused of fighting in Syria transferred to court (16 August 2014) (Rus)

From Chechnya to Syria: The Chechen man accused of fighting in Syria is, unusually, suspected of membership of the Free Syrian Army (16 August 2014) (Eng)

From Chechnya to Syria: Guest poster Hasan Mustafa interviews a member of the Ahadun Ahad Jamaat, gives details of its composition (16 August 2014) (Eng)

From Chechnya to Syria: A Chechen in the Islamic State explains his journey from AQAP, calls on Caucasians in Syria to swear oath to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (21 August 2014) (Eng)

From Chechnya to Syria: Seyfullakh’s Jamaat appoints a new emir, features British man in video (22 August 2014) (Eng)

Kommersant: Dagestani man sentenced to four years for fighting in Syria; defence claim neither charges nor presence in Syria proven (25 August 2014) (Rus)

From Chechnya to Syria: A story about a fighter from Chechnya killed in Syria offers insights into the framing employed by Caucasian fighters (27 August 2014) (Eng)

From Chechnya to Syria: A member of the Seyfullakh al-Shishani Jamaat calls on Chechens in Europe to send money to the group, although he says supporting the North Caucasus insurgency is more important (1 September 2014) (Eng)

Kavkazskiy Uzel: Austrian prosecutors report the detention of a Chechen who fought in Syria (2 September 2014) (Rus)

Kavkazskiy Uzel: The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) distributes a video threatening to expand military operations to the North Caucasus in retaliation for Russia’s support for Bashar al-Asad (3 September 2014) (Rus)

Kavkazskiy Uzel: YouTube block ISIL video threatening Russia following a request by Roskomnadzor (4 September 2014) (Rus)

Nezavisimaya Gazeta: Experts claim that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant already has branches in Russia (4 September 2014) (Rus) Two experts from the Russian Academy of Sciences disagree over the threat posed by ISIL (3 September 2014) (Rus)

From Chechnya to Syria: Jund al-Sham release a video, intended for an English-speaking audience, drawing on the legacy of Khattab and Shamil Basayev (5 September 2014) (Eng)

From Chechnya to Syria: A social media account linked to ISIL’s Al-Aqsa Jamaat attacks Jaysh al-Muhajirin wal-Ansar’s alleged failure to implement Shariah law (5 September 2014) (Eng)

Court Cases/Investigations

Kommersant: Moscow district court sentences man to five years for posting anti-immigrant extremist videos (16 August 2014) (Rus)

Kavkazskiy Uzel: Case against woman accused of possession of suicide bomber belt delayed again because of the non-appearance in court of a witness for the prosecution (18 August 2014) (Rus)

Kavkazskiy Uzel: Chechnya’s Supreme Court sentences man accused of membership of illegal armed formations to 15 years (19 August 2014) (Rus)

Kavkazskiy Uzel: Three residents of Kabardino-Balkaria sentenced for supplying weapons to insurgency (20 August 2014) (Rus)

Kavpolit: Four people, including the imam of a local mosque, sentenced for membership of the Balakhaninskaya insurgency group (20 August 2014) (Rus)

Kavkazskiy Uzel: Chechen court sentences a resident of Groznyy to two years for possession of illegal firearms (4 September 2014) (Rus)

Rapsi: Police detain man accused of blowing up a St Petersburg branch of McDonalds in 2007 (5 September 2014) (Rus)


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