What’s the Minbar doing in Moscow? (Part 3)

In the previous two parts of this short series (here and here), we saw that the Jordanian radical ideologue Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi and his website, Minbar al-Tawhid wa-l-Jihad, have been closely involved in efforts to support the mujahidun in the Caucasus by offering advice, translating books into Russian and encouraging and praising their efforts. We still don’t know why this is the case, however. In this final part of the series, we will try to answer that question. The Shari’a Committee To understand why al-Maqdisi and his website are so interested in the mujahidun in the Caucasus, we need to go back a few years to an interview that al-Maqdisi gave to the Jordanian newspaper Al-‘Arab al-Yawm, which was published on 5 July 2005. As regular Jihadica readers know, al-Maqdisi used his week-long release from prison in that year to criticise his former pupil Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi and to scold

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What’s the Minbar doing in Moscow? (part 2)

In part 1 of this short series of posts, we saw that the Minbar al-Tawhid wa-l-Jihad website published a communique by the leader of the Islamic Emirate in the Caucasus, Dokku ‘Umarov, claiming responsibility for the attacks in Moscow on 29 March 2010. This was slightly odd since the Minbar mostly publishes books, articles and fatwas, not claims of responsibility for attacks committed anywhere. Although a quick glance at the website may give the impression that this is indeed an exception, a more detailed look reveals that it is part of a broader trend. It appears that the Minbar has been involved in the conflict between Russia and the Islamic Emirate of the Caucasus for some time. For instance, the Jordanian owner of the website, Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, has written an epistle in support of the mujahidin in the Caucasus. In it, al-Maqdisi praises the supposed ideological purity, leadership and

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What’s the Minbar doing in Moscow? (Part 1)

Although I’m awfully late in paying attention to it, there is an interesting dimension to the Moscow metro attacks that occurred just over a month ago that is relevant for jihad watchers but has not been dealt with in the media or blogs as far as I know. While attention has obviously focused on the attacks themselves and on the video claim of responsibility by the leader of the Islamic Emirate of the Caucasus, Dokku ‘Umarov, I have not seen any references to a written statement by the same man posted on the online jihadi library Minbar al-Tawhid wa-l-Jihad (the Pulpit of the Unity of God and Jihad). This statement – and particularly the fact that it was posted on the Minbar, the largest jihadi online library – is interesting. It indicates a development of potentially great significance to the future of jihadi ideological production. This post is the first

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From the Ingush Front: Intel Units Paved the Way for a Better Jihad

[Mike Honcho]  The Ingush State of the Caucasus Emirate released a statement last week via Kavkaz Center highlighting some its failures and successes since the 2nd Chechen War. While it contained the usual lip service to mujahidin unity and the need to expel the Russians from the Northern Caucasus, it also detailed how, even though outnumbered and outgunned, the establishment of Special Operation Groups (SOG) proved tremendously effective in eliminating apostates, hypocrites, and traitors. The message begins with an admission of bad judgment, stating that the mujahidin realized they had been too lenient on some of their fellow Ingush who were employed in the Republic’s security and military services. Allegedly there was an unwritten agreement between the mujahidin and local security forces. The agreement was that as long as Muslims and resistance fighters were left alone, the focus of mujahidin attacks would be on the Russians and that state employees

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War in Georgia Good for Jihadis

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. 

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