The consensus on the forums is that Russia’s war with Georgia in South Ossetia is a boon for the Caucasus Emirate, a Jihadi group that seeks rule over the North Caucasus. According to its founder and self-proclaimed amir, Dokka Umarov, the emirate includes:

“Dagestan, Nokhchiycho (Chechnya), Ghalghaycho (Ingushetia), Iriston (North Ossetia), the Nogay steppe (includes parts of northern Chechnya, Dagestan and Stavropol district) and the combined areas of Kabarda, Bulkar and Karachay.” (see his proclamation)

Basically, all of these regions are north of Georgia in Russia.

On Ekhlaas, Shamil `Abd Allah opines that Russia’s incursion into Georgia will take pressure off the mujahids and turn Russia’s attention away from the Georgia-Chechnya border.  Quraysh1 cryptically observes that the war will “open the door of help to the mujahids by means of Georgia.”

On his website, popular Jihadi scholar Hamid al-`Ali writes that the war is really between the West and Russia.  American ambition crept up to Russia’s door and Russia responded.

The U.S. is interested in Georgia, `Ali argues, because it protects the oil pipelines that run from the Caspian Sea to Turkey.  Bush even sent Green Berets there in 2002 with the ostensible purpose of helping Georgia fight al-Qaeda elements in the Pankisi region.  But the real reason, `Ali maintains, was to train forces loyal to Washington so they could protect the pipeline.  If Russia now threatens this vital U.S. interest, then the war is a good thing.

As for the Caucasus Emirate, it has decided to wait and see how the war unfolds.

Document (Arabic): 8-8-08-ekhlaas-discussion-of-significance-of-war-between-russia-and-georgia

  1. MStout says:

    I’d never looked at Umarov’s statement on the Caucasus Emirate before. It seems to me that parts of it are rather similar in theme to what the Islamic State of Iraq was saying to those who challenged its reality. The defense, translated, I think by the CTC at USMA argued that states need not have real physical existence, though such is desirable.

    In any event, good work as usual.

  2. Mike Honcho says:

    To add to Will’s original posting, the Chechen (Russian language) forums are full of opinions concerning the fighting. There is some support for Georgia’s plight, but a lot of the posts talk of the Georgians as puppets of the Americans and Georgia as simply an extension of America’s imperialistic ambitions in the Caucasus. (http://www.kavkazchat.com/forumdisplay.php?f=32)

    They also talk of the alleged “Chechen volunteers” fighting on the Russian side. However, forum members want to be completely clear that the Chechens reported to be helping are from the Russian-supported Chechen government led by Razman Kadyrov, and not Chechens or mujahidin from the Caucasus Emirate. Kavkaz Center also released this same information on its English and Russian webpages.