Saturday, August 27, 2016

Caucasus Report

U.S. Designates North Caucasus Insurgency As Terrorist Organization

The State Department offered a reward of $5 million for information leading to Doku Umarov's capture.
The State Department offered a reward of $5 million for information leading to Doku Umarov's capture.
The U.S. State Department's May 26 designation of the Caucasus Emirate (Imarat Kavkaz, IK) proclaimed by then-Chechen Republic-Ichkeria President Doku Umarov in late 2007 as a terrorist organization was unexpected. Whether Moscow's offer, announced on May 27, to mediate with embattled Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi to persuade him to step down was the quid pro quo is not clear at this juncture.

Until last week, the State Department had tacitly acknowledged that the various territorially based groups of militants in the North Caucasus fighting under the banner of the IK constitute not a terrorist organization, but a classic insurgency.

True, some of that insurgency's most prominent members, including Umarov and Magomed Vagapov, the Daghestani fighter killed in a counterterror operation last summer, have advocated, and sought to rationalize, the use of terrorism as a tactic to achieve their goal. Vagapov, who is believed to have recruited the two women suicide bombers who blew themselves up in the Moscow subway in March 2010, argued in an address he sent to Umarov shortly before his death that "we'll never get anywhere simply by fighting here [in the Caucasus.]"

The State Department specifically mentioned the Moscow subway bombings, for which Umarov belatedly claimed responsibility when it designated him a terrorist last summer. Last week, it offered a reward of $5 million for information leading to Umarov's capture.

Other prominent North Caucasus insurgency leaders, however, such as Kabardino-Balkaria-Karachai jamaat head Asker Jappuyev (Emir Abdullakh), unequivocally rejected the recourse to indiscriminate terror attacks.

Jappuyev enjoined his fighters to make every effort to avoid any civilian casualties. He issued repeated warnings to the republic's population to avoid locations such as police stations and patrol posts that could be attacked at any time, and he assured police officers that they would no longer risk being subject to reprisals if they quit the police force and publicly announced they had done so.

It is conceivable that one of the factors that induced the State Department to designate the IK a terrorist organization was the Russian presidential election due in March 2012. Assuming the West would prefer to see incumbent Dmitry Medvedev serve a second term, rather than the return to power of his predecessor, Vladimir Putin, acceding to Moscow's long-standing demand to brand the North Caucasus insurgents terrorists (which Putin never managed to persuade Washington to do) is likely to enhance Medvedev's standing with Chechen Republic head Ramzan Kadyrov, who for years has repeatedly expressed his admiration, boundless respect, and devotion to Putin.

After all, whichever of the two is elected Russian president next March will have to decide what to do with Kadyrov when his second and last term as Chechen Republic head expires in the spring of 2015.

Still 'National Liberation Movement'?

The wording of the May 26 State Department statement does not explicitly differentiate between the IK and what it described in 2010 as the "national separatist" wing of the insurgency. The status of the senior Chechen commanders who revoked their oath of allegiance to Umarov last summer and criticized his proclamation of the IK as a strategic blunder that was "not pleasing to Allah" and led to the withdrawal of His grace therefore remains unclear.

Khusein Gakayev, whom those commanders elected as their leader, has since been identified (in English) on video footage posted to YouTube as "leader of the military forces and parliament of the Chechen Republic Ichkeria" (ChRI). Gakayev has not issued a formal statement claiming to be the legitimate head of the short-lived independent Chechen state.

But  Akhmed Zakayev, the London-based head of the ChRI government in exile, told RFE/RL's North Caucasus Service in June 2010 that the designation of Umarov under Presidential Executive Order 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism, "has nothing to do with the national liberation movement in Chechnya."

Emirate's Declaration Disputed

Umarov has not responded explicitly to the May 26 State Department designation of the IK. But the independent website posted on May 28 a long missive by Umarov dated February 12, 2011, in which he claimed that the decision to proclaim the IK at some future point was made in 2002, with then-ChRI President Aslan Maskhadov's reluctant consent, by Abdul-Khalim Sadullayev (who succeeded Maskhadov in 2005) and renegade field commander Shamil Basayev.

Umarov further claimed that following Basayev's death (in 2006, by which time Umarov had succeeded Sadullayev as ChRI president), the Egyptian commander Seif-Islam sent him a message warning that "if you do not proclaim the emirate, I shall be forced to do so myself and to call on the brothers fighting in the Caucasus to swear an oath of loyalty to me."

"It was the mujaheds who proclaimed the Caucasus emirate, and I take pride in that," Umarov concluded. But Gakayev cited as one of their reasons why he and his fellow commanders withdrew their support for Umarov the latter's failure "to consult with all the mujahedin" before doing so.

How effective the State Department ruling will be in cutting off funding and logistical support for the IK remains to be seen. On May 23, Chechen customs officials at Grozny airport intercepted a Turkish citizen trying to bring illegally into Russia over $1 million in cash.

Tags: umarov

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Comment Sorting
by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
June 01, 2011 01:05
Each nation has it's own way to represent its interests and there are many different groups and movements.
There are, however some criterions to make some sence out of it:

National and personal future, dignity , freedom of consiousness, including
religion, have precedent over religious extreme claims of an Empire,
specially an evil and mean Sumerian-Babilonian or Russian Empire.
They call it "World Halifat of Bagdad" our days, with "1,000 Nights" little Babilonian "mukies" puting crosses on houses of people they want to kill and to steal their houses - to breed.
Like in Russian movie "The 13-th Warrior" where the World has to be
devided between "Halifat of Bagdad", represented by Russia-lovers Banderas and Omar Sharif, and "Nordic Empire", represented by mean Russian savages, drinking from wommit baskets.
In such a devision all other nations, they call Hazars (Chechens) and
Tatars - must vanish.
Isn't it what so-called "Halifaters" doing to nations in Caucasus?

Since known or archeological history, about 12 Milleniums, comming from heart of Caucasus, there were always some sort of estafets of Common Wealthes of Caucasus and neighboring nations and tribes, look: (pictures and August war chronology), but
it is the Sumer and Babilon, whith some instigated by them Cro-Magnons,
That were representing evil of history, later replaced by Russian Varanga.
It also was verified by agreements between Peter the Great and his uncle
King of Georgia - later betrayed by Russian Empire and the way they were
handling Caucasian War.
It also was stated by USSR Constitution and policies of Parliament of Nations, along with future restoration of CIS - later betrayed by Russia,
since Stalin put under house arrest by Russian Chauvinists-plagiarists
in 1947, roll back on restoration of CIS since 1949, overturning
Parliament of Nations and forgeing Russia and Quislings-Babilon new
Empires since 1954-56 - planing all problems, including genocides,
annexations and "terrorism" by Russia, inbedded into some local
missguided individuals - "navesti ten' na pleten' i rasshiryatsya".

One must look at the patalogy of Chronology of terrorist acts in Caucasus
To see a clear patern of destroying any progress, including economy,
In Southern and Northern Caucasus for non-Russian nations and tribes.
Terrorism move as a bichhead of Russian invasions, expansions and grabbing land and property...

In general case, "Brothers in Faith" help to suffering nations would be understandable - not in former USSR and Eastern Europe space -
they destroy their national controlled economies, freedom, dignity,
future and even limitted independence, or extended authonomy -
simply passing it to Russian colonial Empire based on serfery,
in name of Halifat of Babilonian part-Neanderthals...

by: Ingushetia
June 01, 2011 17:45
I would write it myself but RFE would not let my post through; good thing that it was written by someone else from the West. So, I am just going to copy and paste John LeCarre's "Our game" qutes:
“the sins committed against the Ingush and the Chechens are so incontestably awful that there’s no earthly point in casting round for a bigger injustice committed against someone else. That would just be another way of turning your back on the little bugger bleeding on the floor. It happens to be the Ingush because they exemplify everything most shabby about our post-Cold War world. All through the Cold War it was our Western boast that we defend the underdog against the bully. The boast was a bloody lie. Again and again during the Cold war and after it the West made common cause with the bully in favour of what we call stability, to the despair of the very people we claimed to be protecting. The Ingush refuse to be rationalized out of existence, they refuse to be ignored, devalued, or dismissed. And what they are fighting against, whether they know it or not, is a whorehouse alliance between a rotten Russian Empire marching to its old tunes and a Western leadership that in its dealings with the rest of the world has proclaimed moral indifference to be its decent Christian right.”
In Response

by: Guest from: Unknown
June 03, 2011 01:31
Keywords are whorehouse alliance.

by: NinaIvanovna from: USA
June 02, 2011 02:57
I'd be interested to hear your opinion to Kavkaz Center's claims that RFE/RL "has become, in fact, a propaganda and espionage unit of the international terrorist network of the FSB Russia." And that RFE/RL gave the FSB a recording of the phone call with Umarov. Here is the link to the article that I am referring to:
In Response

by: Avenger from: USA
June 03, 2011 14:14
Oh, come on, we all knew that the organization was infiltrated by the KGB as well as our government in the past. It would be a surprise if they didn't share the information. They are so powerful now they don't have to do it behind the curtain.
In Response

by: Felipe Muñoz from: Santiago, Chile
June 03, 2011 19:35
NinaIvanovna... even if that is a fact.. don't forget that this ''peaceful'' person is nothing more than a terrorist. I could believe in people like Zakayev; but never in Umarov. People like Umarov are nothing more than a 'Caucasian Bin Laden, Taliban-Style'' man, that the only think he wants is to establish a violent-barbarrian Sharia-Law ruled country; where first, only muslims will have right to live, and second, muslims will have to be North-Korean-style strict to avoid being hanged, stoned, or killed. So, in my possition,if people like Umarov promises to turn the Caucasus in a single muslim-nazi-style state against christians for example.. i would really be happy to be Umarov death, as well as his followers. No mercy with this ruthless man!

by: Semah Yazdi from: Bam, Iran
June 02, 2011 05:56
I have a suggestion for Russia. Take the big ugly monument of Peter the Great in Moscow, and move it south south south until it gets to Daghestan, and then just leave it there. Have a good laugh.

Later on, long after the Caucasians break away from Russia, they will have to sit around looking at Russia's most giant stupid monument ever. Unlike the Lenin statues, it just won't be as easy to remove. I think if you compare the transportation costs to the costs of continuing this war, the statue might be cheaper and better in the the long run.
In Response

by: Avenger from: USA
June 03, 2011 14:18
Who are you kidding Persian? Russia and Persia are two horns of the same devil. The Persian-speaking Ossetians were put by the Russians in the middle to split the Caucasus into the North and the South, the East and the West. Too bad the Caucasus in the bloody fight with both of the enemies at the same time.
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
June 04, 2011 05:55
Semah Yazdi (One of herritage of zeel-doing-in quietly join here),
Is translation of name. It simce that "zeel-doing-in" hate Georgia more
Than Russia. Peter's agreement with Georgian unkle-King makes shiver
For trying restore Caucasus nations, save from genocide Russia's hord,
"Zeel-doing-in" more than Lenin's hords invaded Caucasus with killing.

He could be mean and envious Russian - BAM was a Siberian project.
"Avanger" is right - Persia trying for long time wear Russia's devil horns
And both trying split Caucasian nations. But "Persian-speaking" I reject.
All Caucasus were relatives and it is Russian propaganda in race-form,
Persian came from pre-Median, as is par-Median Osetin, dosn't matter!

In Response

by: Avenger from: USA
June 04, 2011 12:35
You can reject as much as you want but I've never seen Russia jumping into war as fast as they did with Georgia in 2008 over the South Ossetia. They ruined their trade and the investments from the West, and for what? For piece of land with population less than in Rhode Island.
In Response

by: Ingushetia
June 06, 2011 22:12
Are you an Ossetian or a Russian who immigrated to the USA? Just curious.

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
June 02, 2011 06:31
"Ingushetia" is right, thought I would make two remarks:

Game of "indifference" is not the only, or most definding game,
It also go as "gradient of field of relationship" to "far away" suffering.
West must know, that the "gradient" is higher than indifference name,
Because of another game, a pact of 1954-56 with Bechtel and the Quin,
As ethnic Russia got small A-bombs process - an evil Empire to re-build.

(It is the bombs, in non-USSR Russia possession, used to threaten CIS)
USA and most of other nations were not officially informed about that goal
In name of "Cousins" - Russa-Prussa-Norman-Blyaha World war of races.
Nobody allowed say truth (they block you) that "King has no clouses at all".

"Decent Christian right"? I do not know - there are to many denominations
And most aren't true believers, thought they might need "brothers in faith"
Help in hard times. Main point of Faith - we are here, God helping us,
And made covenant with us to accept it as Priorities and Rotyalties
Of any other creator. No nation dare defend my creator's rights!

Levite, Sam, Gad and Ruben tried make God intellectual slave,
For offering of two lambs a week, frome millions, He then gave.
God coarsed it, leaving with Moses. Levites still plagiarizing all.
Black stone was left to Medians at Holly Mount, for them to hold.
But hey dare not defend priorities from plagiaristic World power.

Jesus was a testiment whether he would create in God's name
And his, they killed him for refusing be plagiarized. So was I at 4,
Sentenced to death by ethnic Russia in 1947 - helping Humanity
With "Contract with the people", but refusing be plagiarized at all.
Most Christians say he was Lamb to be plagiarized and "sucked".

The most important Commandments - agreement with Heavens
To accept gifts of God and creative people - Humans never liked.
What I mean, we have not go into religious differences for Russia
To make all CIS enemies, while they expand. Just once in a while:

Only if pragmatic "brothers in face" is only help - save nation's life.
Brotherhood of Ibero-Caucaso-Albano-Colho is genuin and older...

by: eric d from: idaho USA
June 06, 2011 23:10
Nina Ivanova:

Sure, RFE/RL is a US propaganda organ. But it's also a news source. And it supplies some of the more balanced, objective news stories out of the wholesale insanity of the North Caucasus. (As opposed to, say, kavkaz center? which headlines terrorists? & reports outrageous conspiracy theories?). For example, RFE/RL reports Anna Politkovskaya's stories about Putin's "dirty little war" in Chechnya & gives many "Westerners" their only reportage of the sordid underbelly of the FSB. (The Moscow Apartment Bombings, The Moscow Theater Hostage Crisis, Beslan, etc. etc.) It's true, too, though, there's always another side to the story. I'd be interested to know, for example, whether the Chechen insurgents & Muslim jihadis (& kavkaz center!) haven't been infiltrated by the FSB for their own purposes & whether Chechen "terrorists" like Doku Umarov aren't actually double agents on the payroll of Russia, who support terrorist acts in the Caucasus (& even in Moscow) just to keep their dirty little "war on terror" going. (For example, Ramzan Kadyrov was son of a Chechen "freedom fighter" & a notorious "terrorist" before becoming Putin's Man in Grozny.) Any scoops?

...And as "Ingushetsia" says, Russian crimes against the Ingush & Chechens have been tacitly or actively supported by "the West" & are seldom condemned with any real sincerity. But "the West" (The US, the EU, the UN etc, with their official commitment to "democracy" & "human rights") is also probably the best hope to stop those crimes & bring something like "democracy" to that part of the world. Yes, "the West" plays "realpolitik" & is willing to sacrifice Chechens, Ingush, (& even Georgians?) to promote "stability" & keep "good relations" with Moscow (at any price). But "the West" is also sometimes the only thing stopping Russia from simply annexing Georgia & ethnically cleansing the entire North Caucasus. And so, for better or worse, "the West" is still the best thing going for those Chechens & Ingush (& esp. Georgians) who don't want to be crushed by Putin's "New Russia" & the FSB. Unfortunately, the North Caucasus is caught between "the West" & Russia & is a battlefield (psychological & military) for "The Great Game," whether it's called "Western Imperialism," "Russian Empire," "Soviet Communism," "The Cold War," or whatever. And so as long as "The Great Game" of "Western Imperialism" vs. "Eastern Despotism," or, "The US" vs. "Russia," continues, there will be no "Good Guys" in the North Caucasus. There will only be "Bad Guys" (like US?) & "Bad-der Guys" (like everybody else?) And the only choice is to support whatever side offers the best chances for democracy, freedom, human rights, & a better standard of living for the greater majority of people. And by my estimates, that's still "the West." For Better or Worse-er... Like it or not...
In Response

by: Ingushetia
June 07, 2011 11:30
Here is another quote from John LeCarre's "Our Game": “It happens to be the Ingush because I love their love of freedom, because they never had a feudal system or an aristocracy, no serfs, no slaves, no social superiors or inferiors"
This is "democracy" at its best. Don't you think? or is it not?
In Response

by: eric d from: idaho falls idaho USA
June 07, 2011 21:39
I confess my ignorance of what the Chechens & the Ingush were like "before the feudal system, the aristocracy," etc. But LeCarre's romanticization of Ingush tribal life smacks of "Noble Savagery" & the Rouseauvian romanticization of some "Golden Age" before the "evils" of "civilization" (which has always been compatible with "Western imperialism.) Yes, I'd like to believe the "Noble Savage" myth (in the US, too!).. And I certainly don't want to be an apologist for "Western imperialism," the "Great Russian" empire, "Stalinization" or "Putinization," either. But even if there were a North Caucasian "Golden Age" before the Russian empire (or the Roman, either) those "good old days" are gone, now, &, like it or not, we have to face the contemporary world of "ethnic cleansing" & "nation building," of"spy vs. spy" & "the war on terror." And the North Caucasus is currently one of the worst, most brutal, most hateful battlegrounds of the Post-Cold War world, where Western Europe, the US, Russia, & the Muslim world are desparately struggling for dominance and hegemony, with the indigenous population caught between those battling "empires." And I don't really see any choice for the Chechens & Ingush except either to be constnatly treated as pawns in "The Great Game," or to make some compromising deals with the embattled "empires" (either "the West" or "the Rest"!) And as far as I can see, "the West" offers the best choice for democracy, freedom, & human rights (along with economic security?) for the Chechens, Ingush, & Georgians, in the contemporary world. Because, after all, the Russians sure aren't offering Chechnya or Ingushetia a pathway to democracy & equality, but simply second-class citizenship in a brutal, authoritarian state; & the Muslim jihadi trap offered by Doku Umarov & his ilk is just a shortcut to ethnic suicide. That's why it's unfortunate, as this RFERL article suggests, that the Obama administration has now abandoned the belief that the Chechen militants are really an indigenous independence movement (a "national liberation movement") & not just "terrorists." (Whether as quid pro quo for concessions from Moscow & the FSB, or not, I don't know...) Because, after all, this whole "international struggle against terrorism" was originally promoted by Putin & the FSB as an excuse for Russian atrocities in the North Caucasus. And, back then, the US used to condemn them... Before the US bought into its own "war on terror" & now has decided to play "The Great Game" with Moscow. Still, I just think the Chechens & the Ingush would be better off (like Georgia) aligned with "the West" & the US against Muslim fanaticism & Russian imperialism. And I still hope it's not too late for that, now...
In Response

by: Firebase Alpha from: USA
June 09, 2011 14:11
Uneducated Ruski tovarisch (aka eric d) learn English. "The Great Game" is the name for Afghanistan. "Our Game" is the name for Ingushetia. You don't "play" these "games" you "hunt" them. ROFL.
In Response

by: Firebase Alpha from: USA
June 09, 2011 14:21
""the West" & the US against Muslim fanaticism"

P.S. Don't make me laugh. Its a bad cop and even worst cop play. On 9/11 majority of the terrorists were the Saudi nationals. Yet we attacked "The Great Game" where Tim Osman (aka Osama Bin Who) was located whose body is somewhere nowhere.
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
June 07, 2011 21:00
It is why, Eric, there nothing new in what I say most of my life,
As did before me many others - like real King David of Georgia,
Or Stalin - and it goes back to known history and archeology files,
For about 12 Milleniums - Common Wealth of Caucasus, not Borgio
Of Russia or any other power. It also requires constantly much vigilance.

For instance, South Caucasus had "Trans-Caucasian Federation" ,once.
It had a problem - Invaded by Lenin's Russia countries were pushed -
To a barbaric Russian model - Federation instead of Regional CIS.
Azerbayjan and Armenia complained that Georgian language used,
For paperwork (no need in computerized times), than Russia influx.

It was another problem, old friends and brothers at Georgia borders.
Instead of Federation with Northern Osetia - Lenin's Russia invaded,
Than influxed some Russians. Than offer to Georgia "Osvoit' Osetia",
To be little copy of Russian Empire. Georgia declined, than an order
Of Empire still moved on. Orgonikidze killed. Tchinvaly is also Russia.

Lenin's Russia also invaded Sochi, Northern Abkhazia. Russian influx
With Cossacks and Adyga - than they forced ethnic Georgians, in parts,
Be part of "Abkhazia" (80% territory and population are Ozurgety, Lazuri,
Svanety, mixed Georgian ethno-groups in Suhumi and Suhumi County.
All this years Russia was preparing genocide - Suhumi is also Russia!

My point is, like in Biblical times - there is a fine line between Federation
And Common Wealth, when Israel crossed the line, because of Levites,
Babilonian witches and Assirian pressure - ten tribes broke from nation.
Regional Common Wealthes must be vigilant at the fine line, "live or die"!

About This Blog

This blog presents analyst Liz Fuller's personal take on events in the region, following on from her work in the "RFE/RL Caucasus Report." It also aims, to borrow a metaphor from Tom de Waal, to act as a smoke detector, focusing attention on potential conflict situations and crises throughout the region. The views are the author's own and do not represent those of RFE/RL.