Home > Radical Islam, Wars and Rumors of War > Chechen Islamists Join Syrian Rebels, ‘Truly Today There Is A Chance To Establish An Islamic State On Earth’

Chechen Islamists Join Syrian Rebels, ‘Truly Today There Is A Chance To Establish An Islamic State On Earth’


By Thomas Grove and Mariam Karouny, Reuters via AINA – “Flanked by almost 20 men with rifles, Omar Abu al-Chechen kneels on a carpet and delivers a rousing speech urging fellow Muslims to support the ‘jihad’ against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Dressed almost entirely in black, the militant from Russia’s Chechnya region declares an Islamist state is within reach. Fellow fighters from the brigade of foreign militants he leads translate his Russian words into Arabic.

His recently distributed video highlights the role militants from the volatile North Caucasus region now play in Syria’s civil war, fighting a government that has been backed by Russia and staunchly protected by President Vladimir Putin.

It also puts in focus the security risks they may pose for Russia if they return to the Russian region, which borders the area where Moscow plans to host the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.

‘Jihad needs very many things. Firstly it needs money. Much is dependent on money today for jihad,’ said al-Chechen, his nomme de guerre, the leader of what rebels and websites call the Brigade of Migrants, an opposition group of foreign fighters.

‘(We) have missed many chances, but truly today there is a chance to establish (an Islamic state) on Earth,’ he said.

Syrian rebels confirmed separately that he is in Syria and the leader of the brigade. His real name was not clear.

While Moscow has been one of Assad’s main protectors, members of an Islamist insurgency involved in daily clashes in Russia’s predominantly Muslim North Caucasus and their compatriots have trickled into Syria to fight for the rebels.

‘This is the first time that a mass number of Chechens have taken part in military actions abroad,’ said analyst Mairbek Vatchagayev, based in Paris, adding that claims were made that Chechens had fought with the Taliban in Afghanistan or in Iraq, but no definitive proof had been given.” Read more.

Flashback: Chechnya: Women In Mortal Fear As Chechen President Promotes Islamic Honor Killings – “Chechnya’s government is openly approving of families that kill female relatives who violate their sense of honor, as this Russian republic embraces a fundamentalist interpretation of Islam after decades of religious suppression under Soviet rule. In the past five years, the bodies of dozens of young Chechen women have been found dumped in woods, abandoned in alleys and left along roads in the capital, Grozny, and neighboring villages.” Read more.

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