A group of jihadists based in the Afghan-Pakistan region who claim to be members of the “Caucasus Mujahideen in Khorasan” issued a videotape to their “brothers” in the Islamic Caucasus Emirate and their emir, Doku Umarov.
The videotape was released on the Ansar forum, and republished on several supporting jihadist blogs, including Kavkaz (Caucasus) Jihad and the Shurat al Mujahideen Fee Junubu, Afarika, which is “against the false religion of democracy and call for Allah’s Hakamiyah (sovereignty).”
The videotape identified the group of jihadis, in Russian text, as “The Caucasus Mujahideen in Khorasan,” according to a translation by the SITE Intelligence Group. The group is dressed in uniform, with masks, and is seated in a forested area with a flag of the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
The Khorasan is a region that encompasses large areas of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Iran. The Khorasan is considered by jihadis to be the place where they will inflict the first defeat against their enemies in the Muslim version of Armageddon. The final battle is to take place in the Levant – Israel, Syria, and Lebanon. Mentions of the Khorasan have begun to increase in al Qaeda’s propaganda. After al Qaeda’s defeat in Iraq, the group began shifting its rhetoric from promoting Iraq as the central front in their jihad and have placed the focus on the Khorasan.
Two jihadis, who are identified as Amir Abdullah and Abdul Rahman al Khorasani, speak on the videotape. Both speak in support of the jihad in the Russian Caucasus, implore the “brothers” there to ride out the “various troubles and misfortunes,” and call for the establishment of a global caliphate.
“Our message is to the brothers in the Caucasus and our emir [leader], Doku Abu Usman [Umarov],” Amir Abdullah said on the tape, which was created in July 2011 and released on Oct. 17. “We first greet you from Khorasan, and our Muslim brothers in the area from the Caucasus also greet you.”
“Praise be to Allah, we are thankful for our Emirate,” Abdullah continues. “We have announced the enemy of the Muslims to be our enemy, and we fight for the word of Allah. We are setting our nation not for worldly purposes, but in the name of an Islamic Caliphate and an Islamic State.”
Abdul Rahman al Khorasani said the fighters in the Khorasan are aware of Caucasus jihadis’ “hardships through our brothers with whom we communicate over the Internet,” and said they hope to stand with them in battle.
“We pray for you, and we want to unite with you side by side in the waging of jihad in the Caucasus. We ask Allah, Glorified and Exalted be He, to grant victory to all mujahideen in Khorasan and in the Caucasus,” Khorasani said.
Fighters from the Caucasus, who are often called Russians or Chechens, are known to fight in the Afghan-Pakistan region alongside al Qaeda, the Taliban, and allied groups such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and its offshoot, the Islamic Jihad Group. Last summer, two fighters, Samil Dagistanli, from Dagestan, and Ismail Azeri, from Azerbaijan, were killed during infighting among jihadists in Waziristan. “Chechens” have been spotted fighting in the Afghan north, including in the provinces of Kunar and Nuristan, and in the southeast.