Selected stories relating to extremism and terrorism in Russia (excluding the 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.
Moscow police detain suspected Islamic State/Hizb ut-Tahrir members: Moscow police reportedly detained a large number of migrants from Central Asia on suspicion of membership of “radical organisations, including the Islamic State.” The detainees were suspected of recruiting for the organisation. Later reporting claimed the arrestees were actually Hizb ut-Tahrir members, demonstrating how Russian media outlets often conflate or misrepresent membership of all radical Islamic groups. Approximately 97 people were rounded up across 24 addresses and taken to the Interior Ministry on suspicion of membership of Hizb ut-Tahrir; of these, 20 were detained, at least 18 of whom were arrested until mid-December. Bank cards and extremist literature were seized in the process.
(Meduza, 20 October 2015, https://meduza.io/news/2015/10/20/v-moskve-10-chelovek-zaderzhali-za-prichastnost-k-islamskomu-gosudarstvu; Interfax, 20 October 2015, http://www.interfax.ru/moscow/474579; Life News, 21 October 2015, http://lifenews.ru/news/165424)
Man detained for wearing pro-Islamic State t-shirt: A 27-year-old Tajik was detained in St Petersburg for five days for wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the Islamic State’s logo. Police ascertained where the t-shirt was printed, but the owner of the print shop denied producing it.
(Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 20 October 2015, http://www.ng.ru/news/521375.html)
Krasnoyarsk Kray resident sentenced for attempting to join Islamic State: Moscow district military court has sentenced a 24-year-old Krasnoyarsk resident to two years two months for attempting to join the Islamic State. The man was detained at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport en route to Istambul; the detention occurred on 4 June, but the case was only reported in September.
(RAPSI, 22 October 2015, http://www.rapsinews.ru/judicial_news/20151022/274808544.html)
Official Caucasus Muslim board supports Russian policy in Syria: The Chairman of the Board of the Muslims of the Caucasus has issued a statement support Russian military actions against the Islamic State in Syria, claiming it is “extremely important” to oppose “religious fanaticism and extremism.”
(RIA Novosti, 22 October 2015, http://ria.ru/religion/20151022/1306257199.html)
Caucasus Emirate in Syria military emir killed: The Caucasus Emirate in Syria have announced the death of their military emir, Uvays al-Dagestani, south of Aleppo.
(From Chechnya to Syria, 22 October 2015, http://www.chechensinsyria.com/?p=24199)
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/)
Twelve North Caucasians detained in Istanbul: Turkish media have reported the detention in Istanbul of 12 natives of Chechnya and Dagestan on suspicion of links to the Islamic State. It is unclear whether the men are suspected of involvement in a recent terrorist attack in the Turkish capital.
(Kavpolit, 22 October 2015, http://kavpolit.com/articles/v_stambule_zaderzhany_12_urozhentsev_chechni_i_dag-20839/)
Two Chechens to face trial in Vienna: English-language Austrian media outlet The Local reported that two Chechens are to face trial in Vienna on suspicion of financing the Caucasus Emirate. A 37-year-old man is accused of sending the group €530,000 via couriers. A 28-year-old man in whose apartment some of the money was found is being tried as an accomplice. Both men reportedly face up to ten years in prison. In the course of translation into Russian by Gazeta.ru, the story went from the misleading “funding the al-Qaeda linked Caucasus Emirate” to the even worse “financing Al-Qaeda and the Caucasus Emirate group that is linked to it.”
(The Local, 21 October 2015, http://www.thelocal.at/20151021/chechen-on-trial-for-funding-jihadist-group; Kavpolit, 22 October 2015, http://kavpolit.com/articles/v_vene_dvuh_urozhentsev_chechni_sudjat_za_finansir-20843/)