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 Islamic State seeking to penetrate Chechnya: Chechen Head Ramzan Kadyrov claimed that the republic’s law enforcement agencies are producing “excellent results” in combatting extremism, but that the Islamic State is seeking to “use Chechnya as a platform for demonstrating their possibilities.” Kadyrov highlighted preventative work in the republic and claimed increased public trust in the police.
(RIA Novosti, 20 October 2015, http://ria.ru/society/20151020/1305383400.html)
Chechen Interior Ministry reports figures for first nine months of 2015: Chechnya’s Interior Minister told a meeting atttended by Kadyrov that, in the first nine months of 2015, 66 members or accomplices of the insurgency were detained or surrendered; 16 alleged rebels were killed; 170 crimes of a terrorist nature were recorded, of which 58 have been solved; and 11 arms caches were found.
(Head and Government of the Chechen Republic, 20 October 2015, http://chechnya.gov.ru/page.php?r=126&id=17200)
Dagestani man goes missing: The brother of a 43-year-old Dagestani man claimed that his brother had been kidnapped by unknown people in Kizilyurt on 20 October. The Dagestani Interior Ministry later confirmed that the man had been arrested on suspicion of possessing illegal drugs, which his relatives claim were planted on him.
(Kavkazskiy Uzel, 21 October 2015, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/270976/; Kavkazskiy Uzel, 21 October 2015, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/271007/)
Court upholds sentence of Chechen man accused of trying to join the Islamic State: Chechnya’s Supreme Court upheld the decision to sentence a 19-year-old Chechen man to five years in prison for attempting to travel to Syria and join the Islamic State. The man, from Groznenskiy Rayon’s Komsomolskoye, was detained in January attempting to board a flight in Mineralnyye Vody for Turkey and sentenced on 7 October. An unnamed NGO argued that the man was sentenced not for a crime but for his intentions, and drew a comparison with Moscow student Varvara Karaulova, who was not prosecuted for trying to join the Islamic State.
(Kavkazskiy Uzel, 20 October 2015, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/270932/)
Three Ingushetians arrested for militant links: Three residents of the Ingushetian village of Surkhakhi who were detained in a 12 October 2015 counterterrorism operation have been arrested on suspicion of involvement in “illegal armed formations.” The fourth man detained in the operation is under administrative arrest but is not likely to face trial.
(Kavkazskiy Uzel, 20 October 2015, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/270953/)
Case against Chechen man transferred to court: Chechnya’s Prosecutor’s Office has transferred to court the case against a Chechen resident accused of detonating a grenade in a police car. For details, see North Caucasus Insurgency Bulletin — 20 October 2015 (Court Cases/Investigations item one).
(Kavkazskiy Uzel, 21 October 2015, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/271041/)
Kabardino-Balkarian teacher accused of insurgency links: A 34-year-old maths teacher in Kabardino-Balkaria’s Cherekskiy Rayon is under investigation on suspicion of having links to the local insurgency. Police reportedly found a Makarov pistol and two fragment grenades in the suspect’s car.
(Kavkazskiy Uzel, 21 October 2015, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/271037/)
Two alleged rebels surrender in Dagestan: Two residents of the Dagestani village of Gimry who are suspected of involvement in the insurgency turned themselves in to police on 19 October.
(Kavkazskiy Uzel, 21 October 2015, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/271036/)
Case against Hizb ut-Tahrir cell in Dagestan sent to court: Prosecutors have sent a case to court against two residents of Dagestan and a Kyrgyzstani citizen accused of creating a cell of the banned Hizb ut-Tahrir in Dagestan. According to the prosecutors, the three men operated from at least late-2008 to their detention in December 2013.
(Kavkazskiy Uzel, 22 October 2015, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/271081/)
Nineteen people suspected of belonging to the Islamic State in Dagestan: The Investigation Committee have opened an investigation against 19 people suspected of belonging to the Dagestani branch of the Islamic State’s Caucasus Wilayah. Those named in the investigation include Caucasus Wilayah leader Rustam Asilderov and the Dagestani branch’s Southern Sector emir Gasan Abdullayev.
(Kavkazskiy Uzel, 22 October 2015, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/271101/)
Rosfinmonitoring updates extremism list: Rosfinmonitoring added 43 Russians, including 19 Kabardino-Balkarians, 2 Ingushetians, and one Chechen, to its list of people suspected of involvement in extremist and terrorist activity. There are now 4,465 people on the list, but not all are currently active.
(Kavkazskiy Uzel, 22 October 2015, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/271094/)
Suspected murderer of Karachayevo-Cherkesian village head detained: Police in Karachayevo-Cherkesia detained on 21 October a man accused of killing Kaplan Tebuyev, the head of the village of Uchkulanskiy in Zelenchukskiy Rayon, on 15 October.
(Kavkazskiy Uzel, 22 October 2015, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/271092/)
Commentators debate insurgency communications: Russian Academy of Sciences expert Akhmet Yarlykapov argues that the Caucasus Emirate is managed via the Internet and the leaders of the organisation are rarely in direct contact with one another, but instead benefit from improved mobile coverage. He also sees the Kabardino-Balkarian branch of the insurgency as being concentrated in Nalchik rather than the mountains and forests, as is the case in Chechnya and Dagestan. Journalist Orkhan Dzhemal argues that the period when the insurgency suffered serious communication problems has passed, and now they have communication means that the security services are unable to monitor. Caucasus Geopolitical Club coordinator Yana Amelina argues that militant leaders do not receive orders via the Internet and militant groups are largely autonomous
(Kavkazskiy Uzel, 20 October 2015, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/270952/)
Salafi mosque in Dagestan remains closed: Residents of the Dagestani village of Novyy Kurush, where a Sufi imam was killed on 9 September, report that a Salafi mosque remains shut and the situation calm. The villagers also stated that those killed in a 17 October special operation were harassed by the security services prior to their deaths.
(Kavkazskiy Uzel, 22 October 2015, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/271083/)