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 in a short series of posts I intend to write on this subject for Jihadica. First, let’s look at a translation of the communiqué itself, which is preceded by a statement by the Minbar:

Communiqué by the leader of the Islamic Emirate of the Caucasus Dokku Abu ‘Uthman about the Moscow Explosions

In the name of God, praise belongs to God and prayers and peace upon the messenger of God.

In support of our mujahidin brothers in the Caucasus, we publish this communiqué of which news agencies and satellite channels have not spread anything except that the mujahidin accepted responsibility for the operations. The reasons and justifications the mujahidin mention for perpetrating these operations – the most important of which is the massacre that the Russian intelligence apparatuses have committed with regard to the poor civilians in Chechnya, who do not have anything to feed themselves with nor earn anything except some wild garlic from the woods, where the criminals of the intelligence apparatuses executed a number of them with knives, abusing, maiming and disfiguring their corpses without [their having committed any] offence or crime – all of this and more of the crimes of the Russian regime that the media have not mentioned in the news on the Moscow explosions nor have been mentioned in the communiqué of the emirate [are reasons and justifications for the Moscow attacks]. On the contrary, [the media] were certainly content with the acknowledgement of the explosions by the mujahidin and avoided the justifications [given by the mujahidin] that reveal the crimes of the Putin regime.

That’s why we at the Pulpit of the Unity of God and Jihad see it as our duty to spread this translation [from the original Russian] of the communiqué by the leader of the mujahidin of the Caucasus, Dokku Abu ‘Uthman – may God protect him.

And God prevails in his purpose, but most people do not realise it [Q. 12: 21]

The Shari‘a Committee of the Pulpit of the Unity of God and Jihad

16 Rabi‘ II 1431 AH [1 April 2010 AD]


Praise belongs to God, the lord of all being, prayers and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad, on his family and his companions and on those who follow his right guidance to judgement day.

Peace to all the mujahidin who wage jihad to establish the shari‘a of God in this world.

I am the leader of the mujahidin of the Emirate of the Caucasus, Dokku [Abu ‘Uthman] ‘Umarov. I announce this communiqué on 29 March 2010.

Everyone knows that on 29 March 2010 two operations took place in Moscow. They led to ruin for the unbelievers and they were a special message to the Russian intelligence.

These two operations were done on my specific order and – God willing – they are not the last operations.

With regard to these operations, I want to make clear why we did it:

As we all know, on 11 February, intelligence troops in Chechnya – more specifically, in the district of the village of Arshti – annihilated Muslims from among the poorest and weakest who were gathering wild garlic to keep themselves barely alive and to feed their families, where the criminal special forces of the FSB [the Russian Federal Security Service] killed these innocent civilians with knives and subsequently disfigured their corpses.

These people were indiscriminately annihilated by the Russian intelligence troops, maiming, abusing and ridiculing their slain bodies.

I believe that the operation that was done on my order was not committed against the poor and the weak of the unbelievers because they lived in the heart of Moscow.

That’s why any politician, journalist or person who accuses me of terrorism today because of this act stirs up disapproval and ridicule because I have never heard – not even once – that they accused Putin of terrorism, of killing innocent people and of other crimes like those that took place on 11 February.

I assure all Russians who send their troops into the Caucasus and support the security services that perpetrate bloodbaths that these operations will not be the last.

These operations will continue on your land.

We also declare that another operation will take place in answer to the killing of a group of mujahidin, also on 11 February. God willing, you will hear and see that soon.

That will be done in a different way and on a different scale, God willing.

That’s why I’m letting you know that the war will not be limited, nor will it continue to be watched quietly on your television screens, secluded from the crimes your troops led by Putin have committed on the land of the Caucasus. On the contrary, I am warning you that the war will reach your streets. You will feel it in your lives, in your families, in your spirits and in your skins, God willing.

God is great

The question that arises after reading this communiqué is: why is the Minbar posting a claim of responsibility about metro attacks in Moscow? In fact, why is it posting this statement at all? Isn’t this usually done on jihad forums? To be sure, the Minbar posts communiqués sometimes about various issues, such as statements eulogising “martyrs” (including Abu ‘Umar al-Baghdadi and Abu Hamza al-Muhajir), but posting claims of responsibility is not the site’s specialty at all. What is going on?

To be continued…

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