CAUCASUS EMIRATE: RESPONSE TO DEATH OF BIN LADEN
In February of this year Doku Umarov, the Emir (leader) of the Islamic Caucasus Emirate (considered to be a terrorist organisation) threatened “a year of blood and tears” across Russia. The year had begun in January with a suicide bombing at Domodedova airport killing 37 people and injuring 180 http://www.asiadespatch.com/2011/01/who-attacked-moscow-airport/ (Umarov had previously claimed responsibility for the 2010 metro bombings in Moscow). The airport massacre was followed in February by an attack on Russian tourists heading for Kabandino-Balkaria (North Caucasus) resulting in 4 deaths and two injured. In addition, explosives were left on a cableway at Mount Elbrus, damaging 30 of 45 cars and by a hotel at the foot of Mount Cheget http://www.asiadespatch.com/2011/03/russian-tourists-killed-in-karbandino-balkaria-region/ Imams (Islamic leaders) weren’t spared either as those that had chosen to speak
out and condemn the deaths of civilians were targeted by snipers in separate attacks with 6 religious leaders killed in Dagestan within the last 12 months.
On Tuesday, the controversial Kavkaz Centre website (considered by some to be a mouthpiece for militants) delivered an interview with Emir Doku Umarov (also known by the Arab name Doku Abu Usman) on his response to the death of Bin Laden. He discussed the future of the Caucasus Emirate which was subject to a heavy crackdown from Russian authorities resulting in the deaths of leading commanders, Emir Supyan, Emir Hassan, Emir Abdullah and others in the spring of this year. Umarov pointed out that although many emirs had been lost, the Mujahideen were not weakened as there were always replacements and they changed tactics to accommodate. He stated that “we see the Caucasus Emirate and Russia as a single theatre of war”.
He went on to say, “we are not in a hurry. The path has been chosen, we know our tasks, and we will not turn back, Insha’Allah, from this path. Today the battlefield is not just Chechnya and the Caucasus Emirate, but also the whole Russia. The situation is visible to everybody who has eyes. The Jihad is spreading, steadily and inevitably everywhere.” There was also talk of reconquering the indigenous lands of Astrakhan, Idel -Ural, Siberia – as well as Moscow.
Doku Umarov was not of the view that life would become easier for “infidels” in a post Bin Laden world. He felt that for the first time in decades there was an awakening of the Islamic Ummah from hibernation, “the Mujahideen and true scholars operate more than ever simultaneously in different regions of the globe, supporting each other and realising the common goal. Ordinary Muslims take to the streets and express their support for the
Mujahideen, demanding to restore the Sharia.”
When asked about the uprisings in the Middle East, it was Doku Umarov’s opinion that the CIA did not engineer events and had also been surprised by recent happenings. The Emir felt that western regimes would no longer have the same level of control as formerly over their “puppet” regimes and that new opportunities would open up for Muslims. He considered that “the most interesting events, of all Arab countries can be expected in Yemen, where the positions of the Mujahideen are most promising and from where a serious military movement could start.”
Earlier this month several arrests were made of four Russians and two Bulgarians in Prague, Czech Republic and others in Germany suspected of supplying fake documents and bank notes along with ammunitions and weapons (including machine guns) to the Jammat Sharia (Dagestani front) part of the Caucasus Emirate. Drugs were also found. According to the Prague Post, Munib Hasan, chairman of the Brno- based Islamic Foundation said he believed that the group of foreigners involved consisted of underworld figures who had nothing in common with the mainstream Muslim Community.
Who is Doku Umarov?
Killing of Imams, Russia
Arrest of suspected terrorists in Czech Republic
Carol Grayson is Director Co-ordination Asia Despatch and a
UK researcher /campaigner on global health/human rights awarded ESRC Michael
Young Prize 2009