As part of its “And the Best Outcome is for the Righteous” series, the Islamic State has released videos of jihadists from the Caucasus and the Philippines renewing their allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for a shooting at a church in Kizlyar, a town in Dagestan, earlier today. Russian officials have confirmed that at least five people were killed and four more wounded.
The State Department has added a former Guantanamo detainee, Ayrat Nasimovich Vakhitov, to the US government’s list of designated terrorists. According to press reports, Vakhitov was recently arrested in connection with the terrorist attack at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport. Also designated today is Aslan Avgazarovich Byutukaev, who leads the Islamic State’s forces in Chechnya.
Abu Muhammad al Julani, the head of al Qaeda’s Al Nusrah Front in Syria, addresses Russia’s intervention in an audio message. Julani calls for reprisal attacks against Russians and says the jihadists must strike Shiite villages in order to extract concessions from Bashar al Assad’s regime.
The Islamic Caucasus Emirate (ICE) publicly recognized Muhammad Abu Usman as its new emir earlier this month. The ICE, which is affiliated with al Qaeda, has suffered a string of defections to the Islamic State since last year.
The Ansar al Din Front in Syria has released a statement mourning the death of Harith al Nadhari, a sharia official in al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula who was killed in a US drone strike on Jan. 31. The statement is further evidence that Ansar al Din is, at a minimum, closely allied with al Qaeda’s international network.
Sharia officials from both Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the Al Nusrah Front, two official branches of al Qaeda, have signed a statement saying that the Islamic State’s ‘caliphate’ is invalid. The statement is addressed to the Caucasus jihadists who announced their allegiance to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi in December.
Dozens of fighters fanned out across the Chechen capital and attacked police and other government targets. The Press House was set ablaze.
Ali Abu Muhammad al Dagestani quietly served as the senior sharia official for the Islamic Caucasus Emirate for three years before assuming the position of emir after Doku Umarov’s death.
Jihadists from either the Al Nusrah Front or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham carried out the execution. A mentally ill man is said to have been among those to be killed.
The emir of the “Mujahid Subversive Group of Ansar al Sunnah” said its suicide bombers attacked transportation targets in Volgograd at the end of last year. He also said the group has sworn allegiance to Doku Umarov.
A trolley was demolished in a blast that is thought to have been carried out by a male suicide bomber. The attack is the second suicide bombing in Volgograd in two days.
Before waging jihad in Syria, Kenneth Sørensen spent time in Yemen at Zindani’s Imam University as well as in Lebanon, Egypt, and Libya.
One of the Boston Marathon bombers made a trip to Dagestan and Chechnya last year. US officials are investigating whether or not he made contact with jihadist groups operating in the region. The investigation is ongoing.
Omar al Chechen has formed Jaish al-Muhajireen wa Ansar, or Army of the Emigrants and Helpers, and merged his Muhajireen Brigade with several Syrian jihadist groups.
Omar al Chechen is a key leader in the Muhajireen Brigade, a jihadist group that fights alongside the Al Nusrah Front for the People of the Levant against the regime of President Bashir al Assad.
Khuseyn Gakayev, one of the two commanders reported killed, split with Doku Umarov in the summer of 2010, but reconciled in July 2011 and was named commander of the terror group’s eastern front.
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Assassination Of Daghestan’s Sufi Spiritual Leader Raises Specter Of New Violence
The attack is the third in six weeks against prominent Muslim clerics who were working to promote moderate versions of Islam in Russia. Two others were targeted in Tatarstan in July; one was killed.
Umarov Names New Commander Of Insurgency In Daghestan
Radical Islamic Attacks in Moderate Region Unnerve Kremlin
William Plotnikov, a Canadian turned militant killed in Dagestan
Pragmatic jihad in Tatarstan
Analysis: Fight over Islam, money and power brings violence to Volga
Tatarstan Attacks Spark Fears That Islamist Threat Is Spreading
Amnesty Says North Caucasus Authorities Threaten Security As Much As Militants
Chechen Adversaries Unveil Rival Concepts Of Jihad
Emir Abu Khalid served as a military commander for the Caucasus Emirates before being appointed as a “judge” for Chechnya.