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Insurgents In Daghestan Threaten Further Strikes On Russian Targets

Flowers lay in memory of victims of the terrorist bombing inside the Lubyanka subway station in Moscow.
Flowers lay in memory of victims of the terrorist bombing inside the Lubyanka subway station in Moscow.
Israpil Velijanov (aka Emir Khasan), who was named three months ago as commander of the Daghestan sector of the North Caucasus insurgency, has warned that the Riyadus Salikhiin Battalion subordinate to him will continue to "inflict horrors" on Russian territory -- an allusion to the suicide bombings in the Moscow subway in late March in which 40 people were killed.

Those bombings were perpetrated by two women from Daghestan and masterminded by Velijanov's predecessor as emir of Daghestan, Magomed Vagabov (nom de guerre Seyfullakh Gubdensky). Vagabov was killed in a counterterror operation by security forces on August 21.

Speaking at a meeting with five lower-level commanders, including the masked leader of the "Azerbaijan jamaat," on October 19, Velijanov announced (in halting and not 100 percent grammatical Russian) the appointments of Khasan, emir of the northern sector, and Salikh, emir of the central sector, as his two naibs (deputies). He also named Essa, a masked and heavily armed fighter present at the gathering, to head the Riyadus Salikhiin Battalion. A seven-minute video clip of Velijanov's address was posted today on the insurgency website

Velijanov also renewed, on behalf of himself and his men, their oath of loyalty to North Caucasus insurgency commander Doku Umarov. Despite the defection in August of four respected and experienced senior commanders and their men, Umarov still commands a group of some 30-40 fighters, to judge from a 21-minute video clip shot last month before the group broke camp. That video too is available on

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.


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