Crimean Jamaat reportedly pledges allegiance to Al Nusrah Front

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Screenshot from a video showing a training camp ran by the Crimean Jamaat

A small group of mainly Crimean Tartars and other Russian-speaking militants, called the Crimean Jamaat, has reportedly pledged bayah (allegiance) to Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria. The pledge is said to have happened yesterday according to jihadists connected to Al Nusrah on Twitter. The official social media site of Al Nusrah’s Sayfullah Shishani Brigade, which is largely comprised of Chechens, reported the oath as well.

“Kataib Crimean Tartars under the leadership of Emir Ramadan al Krim [Crimean] pledged allegiance to al Qaeda in Sham and joined the Al Nusrah Front,” a statement on White Minaret, the Sayfullah Shishani Brigade’s social media page, reads. The page also included pictures of the group, which is reportedly based in the province of Hama. It is unclear how many jihadists belong to the Crimean Jamaat.

While it is likely a small group, the Crimean Jamaat did run a training camp in rural Hama Province. Russian speaking militants, as well as local Syrians, were shown in a video highlighting the training camp earlier this year. The video also showed Russian-speaking children being trained to fire weapons, including sniper rifles.

The pledge of allegiance to Al Nusrah from the Crimean Jamaat comes just days after the predominantly Uzbek group Katibat al Tawhid wal Jihad did the same. It also comes just weeks after Jaish al Muhajireen wal Ansar, a group comprised mainly of foreign fighters, also pledged allegiance to Al Nusrah. The ranks of Al Nusrah continue to swell with foreign fighters as it reorganizes and boosts its official footprint.

Photos of the Crimean Jamaat released by White Minaret:

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Children being trained by the group:

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Caleb Weiss is an intern at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a contributor to The Long War Journal.

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6 Comments

  • mike merlo says:

    good for Putin. Now he’s got degenerate flotsam from Crimea going public. This should make it easier for Russia’s FSB to hunt these guys down.

  • James says:

    More pukin rejects (like the chechnyen jihadists) ‘exported’ to there from Russia (with hate); all part of the pukin-plan to try to make his problem become our problem. Maybe we should just stay clear of the melee and let them duke (or nuke) it out. That might just be our best (or our only viable) option. I predicted on LWJ a while back that you may very well witness a nuclear exchange between these belligerents in this fracas within 5 years (if that). My estimates may very well have been much too conservative. You may very well see this occur before Obama leaves office. What do we need to do about it? Answer: Absolutely nothing ! ! ! We may need to just get our people out of there (both Iraq and/or Syria) and stay the hell out of it. That might just be our only sensible option.

  • rtloder says:

    al-Nurash must be attractive because IS is copping so much heat.
    Or it might just be their expecting a merger with the reforming FSA, they were Brothers in Arms until Salim Idris retired.

  • Islam.. The religion of hate peace says:

    I’m with James on this, pull out anyone that doesn’t want to die and go to paradise and that includes the christians,, leaving Putin & Assad to Duke it out with the muslims …

    There must be more than enough christians to satisfy the refugee quota for Europe, if you’re muslim and you get as much as a parking fine, you get a free ride in a Globemaster,

    The free world can spending their time keeping it that way !!!!

  • John says:

    TV tells me Al-Nusrah which if memory serves me is Al-Qaeda’s fighting force in Syria is moderate and they complain when Russia attacks them. But again my memory is so very foggy wasn’t 9-11 Al-Qaeda’s big attack on the US? I guess 14 years is a long time and although almost 3k dead Americans were caused by this moderate (human liver eating) group because the Russians are attacking them I as an American should be against that because the TV tells me too right?

  • Paul says:

    Time to hit reset.

Iraq

Islamic state

Syria

Aqap

Al shabaab

Boko Haram

Isis