Doku Umarov, the leader of the Islamic Caucasus Emirate, al Qaeda’s affiliate in the Caucasus, from a videotape in which he took credit for the March 29 suicide attacks on the Moscow Metro.
Via Kavkaz Center, the online propaganda arm of the Caucasus Emirate, Emir Doku Umarov lays bare the internal disputes within the terror group’s leadership that led to his resignation and bizarre retraction. Umarov claimed that Muhannad, an Arab who was the deputy emir of military forces in Chechnya (never let it be said that the Caucasus jihad is merely a local affair), has been “the main organizer of fitna (split/discord) among the Mujahideen in the Province of Nokhchicho (AKA Chechnya / Ichkeria).” From Kavkaz Center:
Since the very first day when I proclaimed the Emirate, when we all stood united under the banner of the Emirate, when we removed taghut (idolatry, impurity), when we purified ourselves, when we equalized what we have in our souls with what we have in our tongues, Muhannad exposed himself as an opponent of the Emirate.
Wherever he was among the Mujahideen, he claimed and contended to the Mujahedeen that the Jihad in Iraq and Afghanistan came to a standstill after the proclamation of Emirates, and that after the proclamations, there were great punishments from Allah. The tests from Allah he tries to present as punishments.
Now, at the latest Majlis al-Shura, Muhannad swore that the Majlis has the right of the last word, and that the Emir has no such right, that it was this way during our first Emir Maskhadov, and so it was during the second Emir Saidullayev.
I told him that he is not telling the truth, that there is a man, Sheikh Abu Supyan, who was present at both Majlises, so let us ask him.
Then we invited Abu Supyan, and Abu Supyan confirmed my words that the last word rests with the Emir, and he (Muhannad) did not even say Astaghfirullah.
Read the whole post to get the feel of what the equivalent of a jihadist slap fight in the Caucasus looks like.
While internal squabbling amongst jihadist leaders is never a bad thing, there is no indication that this will develop into anything more than a war of words (we can at least hope it will continue on the Internet). There have been no reports of battles between Emirate factions within the nearly two months since Muhannad and his supporters attempted their bloodless coup.
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.