[Mike Honcho] Today Kavkaz Center released portions of a transcript from a June 12, 2008 video by the commander of the Shali Sector of the Caucasus Emirate Eastern Front, Amir Hussein (Hussein Gakaev).
Hussein is a Chechen with considerable fighting credentials, and his family has a long history of involvement in the resistance movement. During the last twelve years, he lost three brothers in the fighting, and had a sister kidnapped. His younger brother, Muslim Gakaev, is the Deputy Commander of the Shali sector. Prior to the formation of the Caucasus Emirate in late 2007, Amir Hussein was the Minister of Internal Affairs of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria for several months.
The portion of the video transcribed had two main themes: one, that the mujahidin are unified, and two, that the services of the members of the so-called Chechen Government in-exile, which he calls the “London Criminal Group,” are no longer needed.
Amir Hussien states that after Dokku Umarov’s establishment of the Caucasus Emirate, rumors existed concerning dissension in the ranks of the mujahidin, which he categorically denies. He asserts that the mujhahidin are satisfied with this decision and will continue to support Umarov’s goals of establishing a unified Islamic Caliphate in the Caucasus. He reaffirms that Umarov made this decision according to the will of Allah, and therefore it is the path they must pursue.
Hussein also gives another reason why Umarov made the declaration: to unify the different units of mujahidin across all the republics of the Northern Caucasus. The mujahidin were fragmented and focused on their local struggles instead of consolidating their efforts across the whole region (reminiscent of the “Near” vs. “Far Enemy” strategy). There was no unity of command, and while they had successes, they were wasted in the bigger scheme of things. He then again tells us that “the mujahidin have accepted it [his decision] with great happiness.”
Amir Hussien then gives the Chechen Government in-exile, led by Ahmed Zakayev in London, a verbal thrashing. He warns them that there will be a cleaning of the ranks after the mujahidin victory. He then downplays their efforts at politics, calling them ineffective, and states that fighting is the only way to achieve their goals. Hussien also mocks them, calling them “actors” (clearly aimed at Zakayev, a former actor) and “window dressing.”
Perhaps they are re-issuing the transcript of the video for recruiting purposes or to assuage naysayers. Although judging from this article, it seems like they are reaching their numbers this summer.
Document (Russian): 8-27-08-amir-hussein-kavkaz-center