Russians capture Arab judge for Caucasus Emirates


Kavkaz Center, a propaganda arm for the Islamic Caucasus Emirates, is reporting that a senior Arab leader for the group has been captured by Russian security forces. The Arab, who is known as Emir Abu Khalid [pictured above], served as a judge for the Caucasus Emirate’s province of Chechnya. From Kavkaz Center:

Sources in the Command of the CE [Caucasus Emirate] Mujahideen reported that the famous Arab volunteer fighter, Mujahid and Emir Abu Khalid, who recently assumed the responsibility of the Qadi, or Judge, of the Province of Nokhchicho (aka Chechnya/Ichkeria), was captured by Russian invaders.

The sources report that due to Emir Abu Khalid’s severe illness, which required hospital treatment, it was decided to send him abroad, some time ago. However, while crossing the border, Emir Abu Khalid was captured by the Russians. The details about what exactly happened were not given.

Before being appointed judge for Chechnya, Abu Khalid served as a “sector commander” of the “Eastern Front of the Armed Forces of the Caucasus Emirate,” according to a Kavkaz Center report from July 2010 that denied rumors of his death.

Abu Khalid is pictured below [right], with Hussein Gakayev [center], the deputy commander of the eastern front who was one of several senior leaders who attempted to oust Doku Umarov as the Caucasus Emirate’s emir in the summer of 2010. Yusuf Mohammed al Emirat, an Arab commander better known as Muhannad, also was among those who attempted to oust Umarov. Muhannad was killed by Russian counterterrorism forces during a raid in Chechnya on April 21, 2011. His death is thought to have paved the way for reconciliation between the Chechen commanders and the leadership of the Caucasus Emirate.


Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • Max Ocean says:

    This is a really big development. Usually most commanders in the North Caucasus are killed in action by Russian Spetznaz forces. Often they run into them in the forest and they shoot them dead. And every single Arab commander has been killed, from Khattab in 2002 to the latest one Muhannad last year. The fact that they got Abu Khaled alive is very interesting. Chechen and Ingush commanders have been captured before(though they too have been mostly killed in battle) like Raduayev and Magas, no prominent Arab field commander has been caught alive before. It would be interesting to see what the Russians gleam off of him. I think the whole Kavkaz report about him being sick and under torture he’s become delusional is a crock. They tend to exaggerate their claims so much that a 6 year old could see through it. How the hell would they know with so much certainty he’s become delusional under Russian interrogation? In the previous videos particularly from last year and 2010 he looks reasonably ok in health, so I am guessing he was not caught trying to leave the country for medical help abroad. I’m guessing his capture was meticulously prepared by the FSB like that of Magas. Remember Magas was this legendary commander ex-police officer that had a high success rate on the battlefield. And yet he was caught with his pants down so to speak. Likewise these Arab commanders have a notorious reputation for fighting to the death and not surrendering. Thus in all probability Abu Khaled fell into a very intricate FSB trap and now is regretting his decisions in life at the Lubyanka Prison.

  • Neo says:

    My suspicions have been confirmed, the winner of the best beard contest gets to be an al Qaeda “judge”.

  • sundoesntrise says:

    The Islamists, on some level, find it amazing that after all this time, the Russians are *still* fighting Islamist groups in the Caucasus areas with no let-up in their pursuit of terror groups. Russia may not be the most free nation in the world, but I, too, find it amazing that they are still fighting the evil scourge of Islamist extremism in the Caucasus areas.
    I will be blunt here. I can say this, but Bill cannot – the guys are scumbags. They indoctrinate schoolchildren and housewives to blow themselves up at checkpoints, they attack children in schools (Beslan, 2004), they massacre civilians in theatres, and more. Just look at them in the images and videos we have of them. They are pure evil, and they know it.
    I support Russia in it’s campaign in the Caucasus areas. It must not end until all armed groups cease their operations – permanently.

  • Neo says:

    The irony in this is that Chechen nationalists actually won the first round of the war and Russian troops were withdrawn. The problem was their Arab “Islamist” supporters had other ambitions, they supported incursions into Ingushetia and Dagestan to spread their ambitions of a regional caliphate. Thus started the second Chechen war. In the second war Chechen nationalists found themselves increasingly marginalized by an imported Salafist agenda. The Salafi’s co-opted the Chechen war and lost badly. Along with it they gradually lost the support of the Chechen people.
    What we see here is a vulgar remnant of the Chechen war. What remains are the ambitions of Arab Salafi supporters who keep injecting their agenda into local conflicts. The Salafi fight for the “Caucasus Emirate” had become the very definition of grotesque as was seen with the Beslan school hostage crises. What we see now are increasingly desperate attempts to dredge up another generation of low life’s to support the cause. This fellow and his nice full beard seem to be somewhat of a crude caricature. Who will they dig up to fill his spot.

  • sundoesntrise says:

    The Salafists in the Caucasus areas are brutal, to say the very least. I do believe you’re right Neo, Russia has killed off so many off their commanders and fighters, so now it’s time for the recruiters to find young people to take the place of the fallen fighters, and to carry on the war in the name of the Salafist cause.
    Russia has tried to negotiate with these people, and it has never worked. They tried to find common ground and instead were brutally attacked. The only solution to this conflict is to pursue all armed groups in that area until they all surrender or are killed. That region is very mountainous and large, I’m sure there are quite a lot of important guys, maybe even Doku Umarov holed up somewhere in there.
    Also, one other thing I must mention is the fusion of Arab Salafism into local cultures, such as in the Caucasus areas. Muslims around the world especially the youth need to realize that just because you are Arab, have a gun in your hand, have a long beard and can shout phrases from the Quran, does not mean you are guaranteed a spot in heaven. People especially in the Caucasus areas need to find their roots again, they need to find their own voice and their own culture, and that will empower them to reject Arab inspired Salafist extremism.

  • Max Ocean says:

    Very well said Neo. It was in fact the secular nationalist forces under Dzhokhar Dudayev and Aslan Maskhadov that won the First war back in 1994-1996. And it was the Wahabbi arrogance of Khattab and his Chechen blood brother Basayev that lost it in 1999-2000. The First Chechen War was an eye-opener for the Kremlin, so in 3 short years they revamped the military and simply waited to bait the Wahabbi idiots for another chance to go in. The invasion of Dagestan in August 1999 and the subsequent Apartment bombings in September 1999 gave the Russians the perfect entry into the Second Chechen War. And the idiot wahabbis took the bait whole. They sidelined Maskhadov and gave all the power to Basyev and his Arab mercenaries. Now look where they are. In 1999 they could face in open combat against the Russians. Today they’re lucky to kill a few police officers.

  • Khattab says:

    May the lord god grant victory to the freedom fighters


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