Selected stories relating to extremism, terrorism, and the insurgency in Russia’s North Caucasus. 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 is not included for ethical and legal reasons. English-language material is only briefly summarised, with a link provided to the original content.
Kadyrov claims relatives inform authorities about Islamic State supporters: Chechen Head Ramzan Kadyrov tells local journalists that it is easy for the authorities to track those who join the Islamic State because even their own relatives inform the authorities of their intentions. Kadyrov claims people are motivated by a desire to avoid a third Chechen war. He also claimed 98% of the local population support the authorities’ efforts against insurgents, 98.3% support current religious and moral education efforts, and only 1.3% of the population are opposed to current counterterrorism efforts.
(Head and Government of the Chechen Republic, 16 October 2015, http://chechnya.gov.ru/page.php?r=126&id=17184)
Kadyrov says former members of Ichkerian government can return: Kadyrov says that former members of the government of Ichkeria can return home without fear of persecution, as most of them are now elderly and no longer pose a threat. Kadyrov offered assistance with any legal issues and cited the successful return of the Barayev family and former Ichkerian Defense Minister Khambiyev.
(RIA Novosti, 17 October 2015, http://ria.ru/society/20151017/1303398252.html)
Village head killed in Karachayevo-Cherkesia: Kaplan Tebuyev, head of the Uchkulanskiy settlement, was found dead on 15 October. Two people have been placed on the wanted list in connection with his death. Police are investigating possible financial motives for the crime.
(Life News, 16 October 2015, http://lifenews.ru/news/164711; Interfax, 16 October 2015, http://www.interfax-russia.ru/South/news.asp?id=663027&sec=1672)
Police find arms cache in Ingushetia: The National Antiterrosim Committee reported the discovery of an arms cache containing weapons and 20kg of explosives in Nazranovskiy Rayon. The cache reportedly belonged to members of the Nazran group who were killed in a 12 October special operation. Residents of Surkhakhi detained in the operation are still in police custody.
(Kavkazskiy Uzel, 16 October 2015, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/270715/)
Four killed in counterterrorism operation in Khasavyurtovskiy Rayon: A counterterrorist operation was introduced in Dagestan’s Khasavyurtovskiy Rayon at 0630 Moscow time on 17 October as security services hunted militants and their accomplices between the villages of Batayurt, Novyy Kurush and Sadovoye. Four alleged rebels from the Khasavyurt group were killed in the resulting clashes, and one member of the FSB was injured. The militants were suspected of involvement in the 9 September murder of an imam in Kurush. The National Antiterrorism Committee cancelled the counterterrorism operation at 1830 Moscow time on 17 October.
(RIA Novosti, 17 October 2015, http://ria.ru/incidents/20151017/1303469503.html; Life News, 17 October 2015, http://lifenews.ru/news/164891; Kommersant, 17 October 2015, http://www.kommersant.ru/doc/2835163; Kavkazskiy Uzel, 17 October 2015, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/270783/)
Counterterrorism operation cancelled: The National Antiterrorism Committee announced that, as of 1430 Moscow time on 17 October, it had cancelled a counterterrorism operation imposed on Dagestan’s Tsumadinskiy Rayon on 13 October.
(EurAsia Daily, 17 October 2015, https://eadaily.com/news/2015/10/17/v-dagestane-otmenyayut-rezhim-kto)
Chechen accused of attacking police: A case against a 25-year-old resident of Martan-Chu, Urus-Martanovskiy Rayon, has been transferred to court. The man allegedly wanted to destroy a homemade grenade in a unpopulated place but was questioned by police suspicious of his behaviour; according to prosecutors, sitting in the back of the police car, he threw the grenade into the front and tried to escape. Two policemen received shrapnel wounds in the incident. The suspect explained he feared the police would find the grenade. Urus-Martanovskiy court is due to hear the case next week.
(Kavkazskiy Uzel, 16 October 2015, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/270712/)
Dagestani resident sentenced for insurgent activity: Dagestan’s Levashinskiy Rayon Court has sentenced a resident of the village of Okhli to five years three months for membership of the insurgency. The man was accused of joining in May 2014 a group operating in the Buynakskiy and Karabudakhkentskiy Rayons and providing logistics and supply services.
(Kavkazskiy Uzel, 16 October 2015, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/270713/)
Court confirms arrest of Dagestani man: Dagestan’s Supreme Court has rejected an appeal against the arrest of a Makhachkala resident accused of illegal possession of a firearm. Police detained the man on 28 September 2015. His lawyer complained several days later that both she and members of the republic’s Public Monitoring Commission were denied access to the detainee. On 1 October a court ordered his arrest until 1 December.
(Kavkazskiy Uzel, 16 October 2015, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/270742/)
Local politician suspected of murder: Karachayevo-Cherkesia’s police have declared two people wanted on suspicion of the 15 October murder of Uchkulan head Kaplan Tebuyev, one of whom is a member of the Karachayevsk city council. According to EurAsia daily, the investigators’ main theory is that the murder was business-related: Tebuyev was a major local businessman, and one of his suspected murderer has links to a local criminal group.
(EurAsia Daily, 19 October 2015, https://eadaily.com/news/2015/10/19/odin-iz-podozrevaemyh-v-ubiystve-glavy-sela-v-kchr-municipalnyy-deputat)
Poland rejects extradition request: A Polish court rejected an extradition request from Russia for a Chechen man who has been living in Poland for 11 years as a refugee, on the grounds that the man could not expect a fair trial. Russia accuses the man of fighting in Chechnya between 1995 and 2003.
(Kavkazskiy Uzel, 19 October 2015, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/270890/)
North Caucasus specialists discuss the Islamic State’s presence in the region: Academy of Sciences expert Akhmet Yarlykapov argues that the Islamic State’s declaration of jihad against Russia should be taken “very seriously,” but that the Caucasus Wilayah cannot yet carry out major operations and needs time and resources to consolidate its presence in the region. Caucasus Geopolitical Club coordinator Yana Amelina argues that the Caucasus Wilayah lacks resources and the capacity the insurgency possessed 5-10 years ago.
(Kavkazskiy Uzel, 18 October 2015, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/270857/)