Emir Supyan, from the Kavkaz Center website.
Russian commandos killed the Islamic Caucasus Emirate’s second in command during a nighttime raid earlier this week. In addition, a physician known to accompany the terror group’s top leader is said to have also been killed during the raid.
The Islamic Caucasus Emirate confirmed that Emir Supyan, the deputy to Doku Umarov, the leader of the al Qaeda-linked terror group, was killed. Supyan’s death was confirmed in a martydom statement released at Kavkaz Center, a propaganda outlet for the Caucasus Emirate.
While the announcement of Supyan’s death did not explicitly state that he was killed during the Russian raid, the date of his death was listed as March 28, 2011, the same day that Russian commandos stormed a compound in Ingushetia. Seventeen Caucasus Emirate members and three policemen were killed during the clash. Earlier this week, reports speculated that Umarov, Supyan, and Khazmat, the head of the Caucasus Emirate’s suicide squads, were killed during the raid.
Supyan was a longtime jihadist who “went to the Jihad on November 26, 1994.” Kavkaz Center described him as an “experienced teacher, scout and commander” who “trained hundreds of young Mujahideen in warfare, Islam and Jihad.” He led forces against the Russians during both battles for Grozny in the 1990s, in which Russian armored forces and infantry were chewed up in deadly urban fighting.
Supyan also fought with the “Islamic Battalion,” the unit comprised of Arab and other foreign fighters. It is also known as the International Islamic Battalion. The senior leaders of the Islamic Battalion include al Qaeda commander Ibn al Khattab (killed in 2002); Abu al Walid (killed in 2004); Abu Hafs al Urduni (killed in 2006); and Muhannad, the unit’s current commander.
According to Kavkaz Center, Supyan was “the closest companion” to Umarov. It is thought that Umarov and Supyan frequently travel together, and this has fueled speculation that Umarov may also have been killed. But Russian officials have said they have not identified Umarov’s body among those of the 17 people killed during the March 28 raid.
Another jihadist close to Umarov killed during the March 28 raid was Yusup Buzurtanov, who is said to have served as Umarov’s personal physician.
“A bag with medical supplies, including syringes and vials with insulin was found near Buzurtanov’s body,” according to a report in RIA Novosti. Umarov reportedly has diabetes.
Russian security forces have been hunting Umarov and other top leaders of the Caucasus Emirates for years. Umarov and Khazmat have masterminded some of the most deadly terror attacks in Russia and the Caucasus republics. Umarov and Khazmat claimed credit for the deadly Jan. 24, 2011 suicide attack at Domodedovo International Airport in Moscow that killed 35 people and wounded scores more. Umarov also claimed responsibility for the March 29, 2010 suicide attack by two female bombers that killed 39 people in the Moscow metro.
Several times in the past, Umarov has been rumored to have been killed, but he has later appeared on videotapes to confirm he was alive. [See LWJ reports, US designates Caucasus Emirate leader Doku Umarov a global terrorist, and Caucasus Emirate leader thought killed in raid.]
For more information on the Islamic Caucasus Emirate and its war with Russia, see LWJ report, 35 killed in suicide attack at Moscow airport.
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.