This presentation looks at some of the major leaders in Caucasus jihad in the past and present. Chechnya served as one of the first battlegrounds outside of Afghanistan for al Qaeda in the early 1990s. Al Qaeda sent thousands of foreign fighters to Chechnya to fight alongside the domestic Chechen resistance to the Russians during the First and Second Chechen Wars. Al Qaeda also funneled large amounts of money to the fight in Chechnya and used the theater as a training ground and well as propaganda and recruiting tool. The Chechen leadership became increasingly radicalized and the jihad expanded to the greater Caucasus. In the fall of 2007, Doku Umarov, the new leader of the Chechen jihadis, declared the Islamic Caucasus Emirate and impose sharia law.
Nick Grace from ThreatsWatch.org contributed to this presentation.