In a statement dated August 29, but posted to the Internet only on October 5, the Ingushetian wing of the North Caucasus insurgency announced a moratorium on killing police officers.
But at the same time, its members conflated with the concept of jihad the ongoing campaign to wrest back from North Ossetia lands considered historically Ingush. They warned that they had already started "working on the Ossetians," whom they brand nonbelievers and Russian stooges.
A 15-minute video clip of the unidentified qadi (Shari'a judge) of the Ingushetian jamaat of the Caucasus Emirate proclaimed three years ago by Doku Umarov reading the statement in Ingush, together with a Russian translation, was posted on October 5 on hunafa.com, the Ingush jamaat website.
The statement argues that it is incumbent on all true believers to wage jihad, and that the Ingush are justified in waging jihad to win back control of their lands, even though fellow Ingush living in North Ossetia may suffer in the process. It appeals to those Ingush to "be patient" and "not to organize [protest] meetings."
The statement then announces the "temporary" moratorium on killing police, "not because we do not have the strength to kill them in their homes, but because we hope that they will reconsider and show understanding for our position." Speaking on October 2 at an antiterror protest meeting in Nazran, Ingushetian President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov said 400 police officers have been killed in Ingushetia over the past five years
The qadi then appeals to Ingush civilians not to denounce them to the authorities, and warns that anyone known to have done so will be killed. He admits that the authorities repeatedly try to infiltrate informers into the insurgency, at least one of whom has been unmasked and killed. It was as a result of such infiltration that the Federal Security Service (FSB) succeeded in June in apprehending veteran Ingush field commander
Ali Yevloyev (aka Emir Magas).
In a clear indication of the fighters' collective preoccupation with security, both the qadi and the remaining 11 fighters shown in the video footage are wearing black hoods that cover their faces. By contrast, most fighters shown in video clips from Chechnya, Daghestan, and Kabardino-Balkaria do not make any effort to conceal their identity.
The statement contains greetings "to all mujaheds of the Caucasus" and calls on Allah "to strengthen our unity." It does not, however, mention Umarov in his capacity as emir, although Emir Adam, the commander of the Ingush Front, reaffirmed
his and his fighters' loyalty to Umarov in mid-August following the upheaval within the insurgency ranks triggered by Umarov's rejection
of the claim by four veteran Chechnya-based commanders that he had decided to step down as insurgency leader.
The Ingush qadi's statement was recorded prior to the September 9 suicide car bombing in the North Ossetian capital, Vladikavkaz, that killed 19 people. Emir Adam affirmed in a statement
posted on September 15 that fighters from the Riyadus Saliikhin suicide battalion perpetrated that attack "as the continuation of our jihad against the Ossetian nonbelievers on occupied Ingush territory."