Islamic State Eyes Russian Caucasus
Dmitry NEFEDOV | 19.08.2015 | WORLD

Islamic State Eyes Russian Caucasus

According to a new report issued by the Egyptian House of Fatwa, the country’s leading Islamic authority, the Islamic State (IS) group is looking at the Caucasus, Central Asia and Indonesia as new territories for recruitment. 

There are many people who practice Islam there. They are poorly informed and tend to believe everything Arab preachers say. The group is seeking recruits to carry out the primary mission – making new territorial gains in the Middle East. The IS has created its own Russian-language wing to spread propaganda through social networks. It has recently made a provocative statement to declare the establishment of a province (wilayat) in the Northern Caucasus inside the Russian Federation. The propaganda wing has issued videos for militants coming to Iraq and Syria from Russia and the neighboring countries. The ideology of Islamic State must be countered through social networks, by talking to people and enhancing the theological education. This is the mission of paramount importance. That’s what spiritual administrations of Muslims in the Northern Caucasus do. They issue fetwas, educate people and do their best to fight radicalism and extremism. 

At that «soft power» is not enough. It is reported that special operations against leaders and activists of terrorist underground are conducted in the region. One of them has taken place in the Untsukulsky district of Dagestan recently. As a result, power agents killed Magomed Suleimanov, the leader of Imarat Kavkaz, banned in Russia as a terrorist organization. He was accused of killing such religious leaders as Muhammad Hadji Abdulgafurov and Said Afandi al-Chirkawi, the leader of local militants Kamil Saidov and his two accomplices. Aliaskhab Kebekov, the former leader of Imarat Kavkaz who headed the organization before Suleimanov, was killed by special operations units of Federal Security Service in Buinaksk.

The extremist groups in southern part of Russia use special tactics. The very same people operate the forever changing «emirates» and «fronts». Their main task is to destabilize a certain area. It resembles the methods used by militants in Syria and, to lesser extent, the extremists operating in Afghanistan and Iraq. Nowadays the terrorist activities are more frequently used as an instrument of containing Russia, including the attempts to suffocate it economically. One of the ways to do it is to exert pressure upon its potential trade and economic partners ready to invest into the republics of Northern Caucasus and acting as power centers alternative to the West. 

The Middle East military conflict gets exacerbated. Some people who had left Russia for Syria and Iraq are returning. It serves the interests of those who act according to the strategy of making Russia encircled by conflicts along its border to detect weak points in the Caucasus. At that they resort to demagoguery and rebuke Russia for not being involved deeply enough into the struggle against the Islamic State. For instance, that’s what the US State Department says. 

The US-led anti-Islamic State coalition leads a rather strange war. One surprise is followed by another. On the one hand, US drones attack Syria, on the other hand, it is reported that the US military and militants of the terrorist group have close ties, no matter officially the group is the enemy that the United States is allegedly waging the war against. For instance, «A US chopper landed in areas under the control of the IS terrorist group in Western Iraq and flew away to an unknown destination with several IS commanders on board». The very same source reported that «An American helicopter landed in a mountainous region in Salahuddin province» under the Islamic State control. American helicopters often land in areas controlled by the Islamic State. This year US helicopters made flights over the Islamic State-controlled areas of Havija located to the Southwest of Kirkuk in order to take IS terrorist commanders out of the region. The area is closely monitored by US air navigational facilities. This fact is confirmed by images regularly published to be available in internet

George Friedman, intelligence officer and CEO of the private intelligence corporation STRATFOR, said something worth to be mentioning. According to him, the Islamic State is not a problem of vital importance for the United States. Indeed, there can be no problems, especially taking into account the efforts that US special services have applied to foster international terrorism for so many years (for example, one can refer to the new book by Michael Springmann where the author describes the US special services covert operations in the Middle East, former Yugoslavia, North Africa and other places).

The emergence of Islamic State caps the climax. Michael T. Flynn, former head of the US Defense Intelligence Agency, revealed that some time ago the White House took a willful decision to support the jihadists operating in Syria. 

August, 2012, that is a year before the Islamic State came into spotlight, it was known for sure that the US-supported Syrian insurgents dominated among hodge-podge groups of militants, including Salafi jihadists, the Muslim brothers and territorial branches of Al Qaeda. In the Middle East tactical alliances established by Americans with various insurgents (terrorist groups to be more precise) pursue the main goal which is to weaken US regional opponents, the countries like Syria and Iran.

Today this tactics of destabilization encompasses the Russian Caucasus. It does not matter what label is used for this or that terrorist group (Imarat Kavkaz, Al Qaeda, and the Islamic State). They are all used for taking part in coordinated activities aimed at rocking the boat in the region by breaching peace agreements signed between confessions, undermining the authority of traditional religions and staging armed provocations. Perhaps, the decisions have already been taken the very same way they had been taken regarding Syria two years before the Arab Spring began, as testifies former French Foreign Minister Roland Dumas.

Tags: Caucasus  ISIS   Middle East  Russia  Syria  US 

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