|Doku Umarov||Doku Umarov||Chechnya||Caucasus/Russia/Central Asia||Chechen||At Large||20050727|
|Dokku Umarov||Chechnya||Caucasus||Chechen||At Large||Big Shot||20031128|
|Islamist warlord goes on trial in North Caucasus|
|A former police officer who switched sides and joined with North Caucasus |
Ali Taziyev, also known by his alias Magas, is accused of setting up an armed militant group, illegal arms trafficking, terrorism, inciting rebellion and the attempted murder of a law enforcement officer. Charges against him include 24 counts of terrorism as well.
The trial, which will feature evidence from more than 600 victims and over 400 eyewitnesses, started amid tough security measures at the military court on Monday. Taziyev, who became one of the top leaders of the Imarat Kavkaz
He said, "I plead guilty to [charges under Article] 208 [setting up an illegal armed group] and to [Article] 222 [illegal possession of arms]. I plead not guilty to the rest of the charges. I haven't done any of that, and I gave no such orders."
Among other crimes he is suspected of the bombing of a bus in the town of Nevinnomyssk in December 2007, the bombing of a police station in the Nazran district of Ingushetia in August 2009, and an attempt to assassinate Ingush President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov in June 2009.
Prosecutors believe that Taziyev joined regional
|Caucasus Emirate (CE) Emir Doku Umarov Lists US as Target in 2007|
|In Oct. 2007, Caucasus Emirate (CE) Emir Doku Umarov released a 16-minute video statement announcing the formation of the Caucaus Emirate (CE). In the statement, he said he disagreed with those who felt their enemy was only those attacking them directly. He said , "All those who have attacked the Muslims, wherever they may be, are our common enemies. Our enemy is not only Rusnya [derogatory term for Russia], but also America, Britain and Israel, and all who are waging a war against Islam and the Muslims. And they are our enemies first and foremost because they are God's enemies."|
The statement is significant in that it illustrates Umarov's philosophy in terms of targeting and operations. It establishes that as early as 2007 he was not limiting his thinking to just Russia for the near enemy but also the far enemies of the US, UK and Israel. This is further supported by the ties CE has with groups around the world like al-Qaeda and also runs in parallel with the heavy participation of Chechen fighters around the world in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and other areas. Recently captured American jihadi fighter Eric Harroun was seen in a 13 Feb. 2013 video from Syria showing him riding in a jeep with a Chechen fighter on their way to a downed Syrian helicopter. He was arrested after landing at Washington, DC's Dulles airport on 27 Mar. 2013.
The last two sentences [above], quite interesting.
If Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev received training or guidance during his 6-month trip to Russia in 2012, the Caucasus Emirate (CE) would be the leading suspect as it is the dominant jihadi group in Russia with an extensive reach not just through Chechnya and Dagestan but all of Russia.
|North Caucasus Rebels Deny Link to Boston Attack|
|[An Nahar] A website used by Russia's North Caucasus rebels denied Sunday any link to the deadly Boston Marathon bombings that have been blamed on two ethnic-Chechen suspects.|
"The command of the Vilayat mujahedeen... declares that the Caucasus fighters are not waging any military activities against the United States of America," theKavkacenter.com website said.
"We are only fighting Russia, which is not only responsible for the occupation of the Caucasus, but also for monstrous crimes against s," the rebel site said.
U.S. media reports said the FBI was studying possible links between the two suspects -- brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev -- to the Caucasus Emirate movement led by feared warlord The reports said the U.S. authorities were particularly interested in the Vilayat Dagestan offshoot of Umarov's group.
Dagestan is a neighboring republic of Chechnya with a large ethnic Chechen minority.
It has also been one of the most violent regions of Russia since the second of two post-Soviet era wars ended in Chechnya about a decade ago.
The Russian authorities said they were also checking the brothers' links to the rebels but had been unable to find any evidence so far.
"At the moment, we have no credible information about the Tsarnaev brothers' involvement with the Caucasus Emirate movement," an unnamed Russian security source told the Interfax news agency.
|Report that Ingush leader gave money to terror chief called 'a provocation'|
|The leader of Russia's republic of Ingushetia calls an accusation that the republic's prime minister has paid money to an Islamic |
Speaking to reporters in Ingushetia's capital, Magas, Yunus-Bek Yevkurov said that an interview that a former Islamic
In the interview, aired on March 31, the man claimed that the leader of the region's Islamic insurgency, Doku Umarov, gets $1 million every month from Ingush Prime Minister Musa Chiliyev to secure personal protection from attacks.
|Policeman killed by car bomb in Chechnya|
|A police officer was killed when a bomb planted under his car detonated in the Chechen capital of Grozny. A spokesperson for local officials said the officer, a police captain, was killed when the "unidentified explosive device" went off as he was opening the door to his car.|
The bomb, equivalent to four kg of TNT, was remotely detonated.
New terror leader appointed in Dagestan
The Interior Ministry of Dagestan has published a profile of Rustam Aselderov, a 30-year old from Kalmykia, appointed by Doku Umarov, the self-styled Amir of Dagestani Emirate, as the new
Aselderov, nicknamed Muhamadmukhtar, was the leader of the Kadarskaya Group. He was tried for storage of guns and support of
|Attacks in Tatarstan kill cleric, injure another|
|MOSCOW -- A senior Muslim cleric was killed and another seriously injured in what appeared to be coordinated attacks Thursday in centralRussia's Tatarstan republic.|
Valiulla Yakupov, the Islamic chief ideologue in the predominantly Muslim region, was shot by gunmen several times about 10 a.m. as he was leaving his home, officials said. The injured cleric managed to make his way to his car parked nearby, where he died, Eduard Abdullin, spokesman for the Tatarstan branch of the Russian Investigative Committee, said in televised remarks.
About 15 minutes later, a bomb went off under the car of the region's Islamic leader, Mufti Ildus Faizov, who was injured when he was thrown out of the vehicle by the blast.
No group immediately took responsibility for the assaults, which experts noted were similar to attacks in the North Caucasus that claimed the lives of dozens of muftis and imams over the last decade.
Faizov had a narrow escape, as the attackers obviously "counted that he would be in the passenger seat whereas he was in the driver's seat," Abdullin said to Russia-24.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that "the culprits will be found, exposed and punished."
"This demonstrates just one more time that the situation in our country is far from ideal," said the visibly tense Russian leader as he spoke to a group of officials in televised video.
Chechen rebel commander Doku Umarov ordered militants from the Caucasus into central Russia to rouse Muslims to a holy war, the newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta reported Thursday in an analytical piece on the religious situation in Tatarstan.The report said the newcomers prevailed in 10 of the more than 50 mosques in Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan, which is more than 800 miles northeast of Chechnya.
Yakupov, the slain cleric, "resolutely opposed all kinds of radical movements," said senior Islamic official Rushan Abbyasov, who is based in Moscow.
The confrontation between traditional and radical Islam is getting more intense, said Alexei Malashenko, a senior expert on Islam with the Moscow Carnegie Center, who warned against a hasty crackdown in Tatarstan.
"The latest attack -- the way it was implemented -- certainly looks as if the fire from the North Caucasus is coming up here already," Malashenko said in an interview. "But I also have a strong fear that if the state comes out to crack down on such communities in Tatarstan in full force, it may result in a backlash of violence that should be avoided by all means."
Another observer said Thursday's attacks may have had nothing to do with radical Islam, which he said is unlikely to dominate in Tatarstan.
"Tatarstan Muslim leaders tightly control the holy hajj quotas issued to Tatarstan for Mecca travels, and there is so much money involved in it," said Maxim Shevchenko, a television anchor and expert on Islam. "There are so many powerful organized crime groups in Tatarstan that I wouldn't be surprised that some of them would want to get their cut of it too."
|Russian imam's suspected murderers detained|
| Five people suspected of killing a top Muslim cleric and wounding another in Tatarstan province were detained Friday, Russian prosecutors said.|
Valiulla Yakupov, the deputy to the province's chief mufti, was gunned down Thursday in the regional capital of Kazan. Minutes later, the chief mufti, Ildus Faizov, suffered leg wounds after an explosive device ripped through his car.
Both clerics were known to be critics of the radical Islamist groups that have mushroomed in recent years in this predominantly Muslim Volga River province of 4 million people.
Faizov has also been criticized by media in Tatarstan for allegedly profiting on tours he organized for Muslim pilgrims and for trying to gain control of one of the oldest and largest mosques in Kazan, which receives hefty donations from thousands of believers.
The Investigative Committee said Friday that one of the suspects — Rustem Gataullin, 57 — owned a company that organized hajj pilgrimages, and another one — Murat Galleyev, 39 — heads a religious institution in Tatarstan.
The 49-year-old Faizov became Tatarstan's chief mufti in 2011 and began a crackdown on radical Islamists by dismissing ultraconservative preachers and banning textbooks from Saudi Arabia, where the government-approved religious doctrine is based on Salafism.
The rise in Tatarstan of radical adherents of an austere, puritanical version of Islam known as Salafism has been fueled by the influx of Muslim clerics from Chechnya and other predominantly Muslim provinces of Russia's Caucasus region, where an Islamic insurgency has been raging for years. Last year, Doku Umarov, leader of the embattled Chechen separatists, issued a religious decree calling on radical Islamists from the Caucasus to move to the densely-populated Volga River region that includes Tatarstan.
Islamic radicals from the Caucasus have called for the establishment of a caliphate, an independent Islamic state under Shariah law that includes the Caucasus, Tatarstan and other parts of Russia that were once part of the Golden Horde — a medieval Muslim state ruled by a Tatar-Mongol dynasty.
The other three suspects in the case are Airat Shakirov, 41; Azat Gainutdinov, 31, and Abdunozim Ataboyev, a 36-year-old national of ex-Soviet Uzbekistan. The investigators did not provide any details on their occupation or background.
|7 Shabaab leaders added to Rewards for Justice most wanted list|
|The US State department has added seven senior leaders of Shabaab, al Qaeda's affiliate in Somalia, to the Rewards for Justice list.|
The rewards, which were first reported by Reuters, range from $7 million for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Shabaab's emir, to $3 million for other senior figures in the terror group.
The top reward, at $7 million, is offered for Ahmed Abdi Aw Mohamed, Shabaab's senior leader and co-founder. Mohamed, better known as Sheikh Mukhtar Abu Zubayr and Godane, was in direct contact with Osama bin Laden before his death, and brokered Shabaab's official merger with al Qaeda in February.
Rewards of $5 million are being offered for Sheikh Abu Mukhtar Robow, a senior military commander and propagandist; Bashir Mohamed Mahamoud, a military commander and al Qaeda leader; Ibrahim Haji Jama, the co-founder of Shabaab; and Sheikh Fuad Mohamed Khalaf, a senior financier and military commander.
The US will pay rewards of $3 million for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Sheikh Hassan "Turki" Abdullahi Hersi (Zakariya Ismail Ahmed Hersi), a military commander and Shabaab's intelligence chief who is closely tied to al Qaeda; and Abdullahi Yare, a senior Shabaab leader.
Zubayr's reward of $7 million puts him at number six on the Rewards for Justice list of wanted terrorists. Only al Qaeda emir Ayman al Zawahiri (at $25 million), and al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Du'a, Taliban leader Mullah Omar, Lashkar-e-Taiba leader Hafiz Saeed, and senior al Qaeda leader Yasin al-Suri (all at $10 million) have a higher bounty.
The reward of $5 million for each of Robow, Mahamoud, Khalaf, and Jama matches the rewards offered for a host of other terrorist leaders, including Pakistani Taliban leader Hakeemullah Mehsud, senior al Qaeda leaders Adnan G. el Shukrijumah and Saif al Adel, Haqqani Network leader Sirajuddun Haqqani, and Islamic Caucasus Emirate leader Doku Umarov.
Today's addition of the seven Shabaab leaders to the Rewards for Justice list is not the first time that the US has targeted the group. Both Godane and Robow were added to the US' list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists back in November 2008. Also added to the list at that time was Issa Osman Issa, a member of al Qaeda's East Africa cell that was responsible for the simultaneous attacks on the US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salam in 1998. He served as an al Qaeda recruiter and directed attacks in East Africa. And in 2011, the US added Omar Hammami, an American citizen, to the terrorism list for serving as a Shabaab military commander, recruiter, financier, and propagandist, as well as for his ties to al Qaeda.
Additionally, the State Department added Shabaab itself to the Specially Designated Global Terrorist list in February 2008. State said that Shabaab "has committed, or poses a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the security of US nationals or the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States."
Background on Shabaab leaders added to the Rewards for Justice list
|Ten jailed, four for life, in Russian train bombing|
|A Russian court has jailed 10 Caucasus |
All those convicted were from Ingushetia. The four ringleaders were given life sentences while the six others got between seven and eight years.
Nine of those detained and sentenced have the surname Kartoyev, except one of those jailed for life, Zelemkhan Aushev. It is not clear if they are directly related, and close-knit Ingushetia is known for having a limited number of surnames.
State television pictures showed the ten laughing and smiling in the glass-paneled courtroom cage as they seemed to mock the trial.
One of their lawyers said the defense would appeal the verdict. Musa Pliyev said, "During the whole investigation not a single piece of evidence has been produced proving the guilt of the accused. The court was not objective and this verdict is not fair."
More than 100 people were also injured in the remote-controlled bombing on the Nevsky Express, an upscale passenger train popular with well-off Russians and foreign tourists.
The attack was claimed by the Caucasus Emirate group of Chechen Islamist leader Doku Umarov.
|Russia Averts Plot to Assassinate Putin|
|[An Nahar] Russia's secret service has two men in connection with a plot to assassinate Prime Minister after the March 4 presidential elections, Channel One state television|
... and if you can't believe state television who can you believe?
The station showed two men who said they were acting on the orders of Chechen warlord . They said they prepared the attack in the Ukrainian port city of Odessa and were planning to carry it out in Moscow.
The station said three plotters came to Ukraine from the United Arab Emirates via Turkey with "clear instructions from representatives of Doku Umarov."
One of the men died in a blast in early January that prompted the investigation, the report said.
"They told us that first you come to Odessa and learn how to make bombs," the station showed a man identified as Ilya Pyanzin as saying.
"And then later, in Moscow, you will stage attacks against commercial objects, with the subsequent attempt against Putin," the man said.
The state television
... and if you can't believe state television who can you believe?
footage, which was apparently shot in Ukraine, showed a video of Putin getting into his car being played on the laptop computer belonging to the second man, identified as Adam Osmayev.
"This was done so that we had an understanding of how he was protected," Osmayev said.
"The end goal was to come to Moscow and to try to stage an attempt against premier Putin," Osmayev said.
"The deadline was after the election of the Russian president," Osmayev said.
Putin is widely expected to return for a third term as president in March 4 elections after serving two terms in 2000-2008 in which he waged a brutal campaign against in the North Caucasus republic of Chechnya.
The region remains wracked by violence to this day and Umarov -- who has for some of the deadly s in Moscow -- remains .
Putin's official said he can confirm the Channel One report but could not provide a more detailed comment at this time.
"I confirm this information but not commenting at this time," ITAR-TASS quoted Dmitry Peskov as saying.
The report said one of the two men had told Russian and Ukrainian that some explosives had already been hidden near Kutuzovsky Prospekt -- the avenue Putin passes daily to reach the government White House.
It further quoted an unidentified Russian (FSB) official as saying that the explosive found near a road would have created a blast powerful enough to severely damage Putin's vehicle.
"This would have been a serious blast," the FSB official told Channel One.
"It would have been enough to tear apart a truck."
There was no immediate reaction to the report from kavkazcenter.com, a website Umarov and other use regularly to communicate their messages.
Putin is facing four weak challengers in Sunday's election and widely expected to win the vote in the first round with support of about 60 percent.
|Ties between Caucasus rebels and al Qaeda strengthening|
|Al Qaeda is providing the Islamist insurgency in the North Caucasus with increasing amounts of money and other forms of support, according to a report by a DC think tank. Underestimating the danger posed by the Caucasus Emirate "only increases our vulnerability to attack", said author Gordon Hahn, adding that global and U.S. national security were also under threat. |
"Al Qaeda has played an important role in proselytising jihadism and providing financial, training and personnel support to the mujahideen in Chechnya and the Caucasus," said Hahn, a senior researcher at the U.S. Monterey Institute for International Studies.
Al Qaeda's online magazine Ansar al Mujahideen began appearing in Russian last year, adding to the dozen or so Russian-language sites affiliated with the insurgency. These sites increasingly carry statements of support from top terrorists such as Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, who inspired al Qaeda in Iraq and is now imprisoned in Jordan, Hahn said in the report.
Citing Spanish police who nabbed a Moroccan man last year accused of being the webmaster of the al Qaeda magazine, Hahn said: "The website was already being used to raise money for terrorists in Chechnya as well as Afghanistan."
There has also been an increase in the number of militants killed by Russian security forces whom authorities say come directly from al Qaeda.
Hahn pointed to the arrest by Czech police of eight individuals in Prague suspected of plotting attacks in the North Caucasus as possible evidence of ties to al Qaeda. Police said the group, which included a Chechen and Dagestanis, had trained in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
He emphasised repeated calls by Doku Umarov, Russia's most wanted man, for the Caucasus Emirate to be brought into global jihad, most recently in February.
|The Grand Turk|
|Kremlin hit squad 'assassinate Chechen Islamist in Istanbul'|
|The relatives of three Chechen men gunned down in Istanbul last Friday have accused a Russian secret service hit squad of executing them on the Kremlin's orders. |
The triple murder was carried out by a lone gunman in less than thirty seconds using a 9mm pistol fitted with a silencer. It brought the number of Chechens assassinated in the Turkish city in the last four years to at least six.
The gunman pumped eleven bullets into the three men in a busy Istanbul street before speeding off in a black getaway car.
One of the murdered men, 33-year-old Berg-Haj Musayev, was said to be close to Doku Umarov, an Islamist terrorist leader who is Russia's most wanted man. The other two were said to be his bodyguards.
It was Umarov who claimed responsibility for the January suicide bombing of Moscow's busy Domodedovo airport, an atrocity that left 37 people dead.
Musayev's widow Sehida said she was sure the Russian secret service was behind her husband's murder, a view echoed by Murat Ozer, head of a Chechen diaspora group in Istanbul.