The Caucasus Emirate Mujahedin

Global Jihadism in Russia’s North Caucasus and Beyond


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About the Book

Russia’s North Caucasus mujahedin of the self-declared Caucasus Emirate and the history thereof is part and parcel of the global jihadi revolutionary movement which includes but is no longer led by Al Qaeda. This book corrects the inadequate previous treatments of the violence in the Caucasus, almost all of which explain what ought to be called the rise of jihadism in the Caucasus solely in terms of Russian actions. The author brings the international jihadist and local North Caucasian causes back into the picture, detailing the global Jihadist/Islamist revolutionary movement’s propagation of the “jihadi method” and material support to nationalist and Islamic extremists in Chechnya and the Caucasus since the mid–1990s. Like jihadi groups in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, and Africa, the Caucasus Emirate is an Al Qaeda ally and de facto affiliate. It represents a threat to Russian, U.S., and international security as evidenced by terrorist plots perpetrated or inspired by it in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Spain, Azerbaijan, and Boston.

About the Author(s)

Gordon M. Hahn is an expert for Corr Analytics and a senior researcher for the Center for Terrorism and Intelligence Studies, Akribus Group. He lives in Mountain View, California.

Bibliographic Details

Gordon M. Hahn
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 344
Bibliographic Info: 19 graphs & tables, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7952-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1495-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Preface 1
1. Jihadization and the Caucasus Emirate: Empirical and Theoretical Problems 5
2. The Global-Caucasus Jihadi Connection and the Chechen Republic of Ichkeriya 24
3. The ­Global-Caucasus Connection and the Caucasus Emirate 54
4. The Caucasus Emirate: Leadership, Organization and Theo-Ideology 75
5. The CE Jihad’s Operational Record: The Early Years 102
6. Sheikh Buryatskii and the Rise and Fall of the Ingush Mujahedin 139
7. Magomed Vagabov (“Seifullah Gubdenskii”) and the Rise of the Dagestan Vilaiyat 159
8. “Seifullah” Anzor Astemirov and the Rise of the OVKBK 180
9. The CE Crosses the Volga: The ­Idel-Ural Vilaiyat? 204
10. The ­Caucasus-Global Jihadi Vector: The Caucasus Emirate Goes Global 222
11. The Caucasus Emirate in Comparative and Theoretical Context 251
Epilogue 271
Chapter Notes 281
Bibliography 325
Index 333

Book Reviews & Awards

• “Hahn’s scholarship is exhaustive and thorough…the study is worth a look as it valuably fills a gap in the overall picture of the revolutionary jihad that has involved so much of the world.”—The NYMAS Review

• “This work represents a tremendous amount of impressive, diligent and difficult research which serves as testament to Hahn’s imposing knowledge of the subject. Indeed, Hahn’s command of the subject is beyond question. Furthermore the sheer volume of tables, facts and figures Hahn provides in support of his examination will no doubt make this book an invaluable research tool. One would have to look quite hard to find cause to criticise Hahn’s work and even then, those criticisms would be so minor as to almost not warrant mention…an illuminating and absorbing read…the must read book on the North Caucasus—Period”—

• “Hahn’s scholarship is commendably thorough…it valuably fills in a gap in the overall picture of the revolutionary jihad that has involved so much of the world”—StrategyPage

• “Gordon Hahn has provided an outstanding analysis of the Islamist insurrection of the Caucasus, a conflict which reached out and took innocent lives in Boston, as well as in many Russian, Chechen and Dagestani cities and villages. His thorough scholarship sets a new benchmark in the study of religiously motivated terrorism in the former Soviet area.”—Ariel Cohen, Senior Research Fellow, The Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies

• “In this important book, Hahn masterfully moves beyond arid structural explanations to explore the contingent historical, ideological and leadership factors that have made the Caucasus Emirate a major, if often under-recognized, node in the current global jihadist landscape.”—Dr. Gary Ackerman, Director, National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START)

• “In this important book, Hahn has thoroughly documented the extent to which the earlier ethno-nationalist conflict in Chechnya has been progressively “jihadized” ideologically and internationalized, a crucial transformation that has largely gone unrecognized.”—Jeffrey M. Bale, PhD, Senior Researcher, Monterey Terrorism Research and Education Program

• “Gordon Hahn lays out how groups and individuals from the Northern Caucasus and elsewhere in Russia have evolved and strengthened links with like-minded non-Russia-based terrorist networks around the world, including Syria. This is a security threat that directly affects the United States and its allies, and Gordon Hahn’s book is THE source to get up to speed on the topic.”—Andrew Kuchins, Director and Senior Fellow of the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington D.C.