Kavkaz Jihad: AQ’s Little Brother
The recent bombing in Minsk brought me to thinking about the little brother to AQ’s big brother in the Chechen jihad of the Baltic. While the idea had been floated that the Minsk bombing was the work of the Chechen’s, I frankly don’t buy that and neither do many of the Belarusians. Had it been the Chechen’s, who have no real bone to pick with Belarus, they would have claimed the victory over their Russian oppressors… Not to mention that Belarus is not Russia.
In the end, my thoughts drifted back to the Chechen’s as it does once in a while. When people here in the states think of Jihad they usually do not think whatsoever about the Baltics, but then again the American populace is rather lacking in the history area and may not realise the issues that have been burning so long in the area.
All of them dealing with Muslim and non Muslim fighting as well as the spectre of ethnic cleansing. So easily we forget that we had troops there and we attempted to stop the genocide, albeit feebly. So, the fomenting of Jihad movements in those areas should be no surprise to anyone in the know. However, the Chechen’s are singularly focused on the Russians who oppressed them and still do. So I guess it is easy for some to overlook them as a problem because they are really focused on hitting Russia where it hurts and gaining their own freedom.
This however should not be taken at face value and discounted from the bigger picture.
The Chechen Jihad has everything to do with AQ today as does AQAP or even the Malaysian vectors I have talked about before. For some time now fighters have been training in the Caucasus with the Kavkaz crews. In fact, there has been a healthy transfer of knowledge and training between them for some time. This exchange also has been enabling the Chechen’s to aling with the Ansar types online and share their videos and blogs like the one above. The net effect is that the little brother may in fact become a larger player as a training ground and support infrastructure in more than a few ways.
Think about it this way.. Look at these faces:
All of these shahidi could pass for any non Mediterranean coming and going just as some of the recent recruits like Emerson Begolly here in the US, was blonde and blue eyed. The big difference though between Begolly and these guys is that these guys trained and fought in the mountains of Chechnya against Russian forces.
They were battle hardened.
I would also like to point out that the sector of the world where these camps are and Kavkaz is, is less scrutinised than places like Yemen and other Middle East locations where we are so very focused on. Infil and Exfiltration would be easier to carry out and once in the mountains the training can go on pretty much uninterrupted. To me, this makes for a ripe area that AQ might take advantage of. Maybe that’s just me.
I have been watching the net presence of the Chechen Jihad and it has been growing and expanding ties with the regualr AQ venues, so I think its time more people (that means you guys in cubicles in Langley as well as the Fusion Centers) to pay a little more attention to the Baltics.
Time to keep an eye on them.
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