Banner of the Riyad-us-Saliheen Martyrs’ Brigade, posted on Kavkaz Center’s website.
Tops leaders in the al Qaeda-linked Islamic Caucasus Emirate have rallied around the terror group’s emir after he retracted his resignation just days following its issuance earlier this month.
Sayfullah, the qadi, or “supreme judge” of the Islamic Caucasus Emirate and the emir of Dagestan; and Emir Adam, the governor of Ingushetia province, both issued statements pledging loyalty to Doku Umarov and urging others to keep their oath of allegiance. Also, the Riyad-us-Saliheen Martyrs’ Brigade, the suicide attack unit of the Caucasus Emirate, claimed it carried out a bombing in Russia based on an order issued by Umarov.
Both Sayfullah and Adam are rallying around Umarov, whose resignation on Aug. 1 and subsequent retraction just days later sowed confusion in the ranks of the Islamic Caucasus Emirate. Umarov’s resignation was issued via videotape at Kavkaz Center, the propaganda arm of the Caucasus Emirate. Kavkaz’s website was taken offline for about one day after the resignation announcement was released. After the website came back online, a new video from Umarov was issued in which he said he would continue to serve as the emir of the Caucasus Emirate and that his prior statement was “completely fabricated.”
Sayfullah, as the topic judge of the Caucasus Emirate and the group’s leader of Dagestan, made a legal argument for Umarov to remain the emir.
“I declare the following: The sole legitimate ruler of the Muslims of the Caucasus today is and remains the Emir Abu Usman [Doku Umarov],” Sayfullah stated. “The Mujahideen of Caucasus swear allegiance to him, and nobody has the right to violate this they [sic] Bayat [oath of allegiance], change mind or not obey him as long as he does not make a clear kufr [a person who rejects god or hides the truth].”
Sayfullah intimated that internal problems may exist within the Caucasus Emirate, and raised questions about Umarov’s health. He said that the individual provincial leaders in the Caucausus Emirate had no right to remove the emir, and said that Umarov’s health was not a reason for him to resign his position. Sayfullah also suggested that Umarov’s first resignation videotape was legitimate.
“Even the both video clips are authentic, then I would say this: Even if the two hadiths contradict each other, and they are both authentic – we look at tarih (queue), and later one cancels the previous (nasih wal mansuh) – the canceled one even if it was authentic has no credible force,” Sayfullah said.
Adam, the emir of Ingushetia province, reaffirmed the loyalty of his followers. He also said that the US’ addition of Umarov to its list of specially designated global terrorists did not faze the group.
“We are not in panic that infidels placed us into their ‘black list of terrorists’, for us it is yet another confirmation that we are on the right path…” Adam said. “We also declare that tricks of infidels, political games of hypocrites and faint-hearted do not affect us.”
As the leaders of two of the most important regions in the Caucasus Emirate propped up Umarov, a spokesman of the Riyad-us-Saliheen Martyrs’ Brigade claimed it carried out a bombing outside a Gazprom headquarters in Moscow. No casualties were reported in the bombing.
“Under the order of Doku Abu Usman, Emir of Caucasus Muslims, the Mujahideen of the Martyrs’ Brigades Riyad-us-Saliheen carried out an operation in Moscow against the central office of Gazprom, within the framework of the general spring-and-summer actions on the territory of Russia,” according to a statement published on Kavkaz Center’s website.
“The aim of this operation was to show Kremlin businessmen of Russia, and the leaders among them, represented by the leadership of the largest Russian company that, despite assurances of Russian leadership of a victory in a so-called ‘anti-terrorist operation’ that the war is not over, but on the contrary, it has come to your homes and your comfortable offices.”
The Riyad-us-Saliheen Martyrs’ Brigade spokesman also threatened to carry out further attacks inside Russia and warned allies of the Caucasus Emirate to leave the area.
“We would also like to warn again all Muslims and all sympathizers of the struggle of Caucasian peoples, living in Moscow and other cities Rusnya, to leave them because it will be only get worse in the future, Insha’Allah [Allah willing],” the statement continued.
Umarov was instrumental in reinstating the Riyad-us-Saliheen Martyrs’ Brigade in April 2009 after declaring the Islamic Caucasus Emirate in November 2007 and naming himself its emir.
• Caucasus Emirate leader Doku Umarov resigns, The Long War Journal
• Caucasus Emirate leader Doku Umarov retracts resignation, The Long War Journal
• Doku Umarov declares Islamic Caucasus Emirate, The Long War Journal
• Caucasus jihad: Terror tactics back on the horizon?, The Long War Journal
Are you a dedicated reader of FDD's Long War Journal? Has our research benefitted you or your team over the years? Support our independent reporting and analysis today by considering a one-time or monthly donation. Thanks for reading! You can make a tax-deductible donation here.