Russian & Eurasian Politics

photo ce isis

by Gordon M. Hahn

According to a post on the Russian-language website ‘Furat’ of the North Caucasus mujahedin fighting under the Islamic State’s (IS) banner in Iraq and Syria, “the West” was supplying jihadi groups like Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria. The claim is included in an account of why these particular North Caucasians left one of the jihadi groups in Syria to join IS. They are probably tied to Umar al-Shishani (born Tarhan Batirashvili), who is now the amir of IS’s northern front and possibly its overall military amir. They claim that when they arrived in Syria and were searching for a “jamaat” (group) to join they asked why the groups had not declared their goal to be the creation of the global caliphate. They claim they were told that the groups did want to do so “fearing that they would be deprived of the assistance the West was providing…

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