By Emil Souleimanov (04/15/2015 issue of the CACI Analyst)
Recent months have been hectic for Dagestani jihadists. Since mid-2014, this hotbed of the North Caucasian insurgency has witnessed a gradual split, with numerous Dagestan-based jihadist commanders pledging oath (bayat) to the leader of the Islamic State, Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi. In response, the Caucasus Emirate’s formal leader, Aliaskhab Kebekov, himself a Dagestani, criticized the disloyal commanders for splitting the ranks of the local insurgency. In mid-February, the newly appointed amir of the Dagestani Vilayat, Kamil Saidov, joined Kebekov in his condemnation of those submitting to Baghdadi’s authority. Given the North Caucasian and Dagestani jamaats' weakening capacity, the ongoing developments in Dagestan could break the unity in this last bastion of the regional insurgency.
GYUMRI MURDERS THREATEN TO DISRUPT ARMENIA’S RELATIONS WITH RUSSIA, by Eduard Abrahamyan
SANCTIONS, ENERGY PRICES, AND RUBLE DEPRECIATION CHALLENGE CIS GOVERNMENTS, by Stephen Blank
DAGESTAN’S JIHADISTS AND HARAM TARGETING, by Emil Souleimanov
AZERBAIJAN INVESTS IN UPGRADING ITS TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE, by John C.K. Daly
ARMENIAN PRESIDENT REJECTS TURKISH INVITATION TO ATTEND GALLIPOLI ANNIVERSARY, by Erik Davtyan
POLICE ARRESTED FOR OLD MURDER CASE IN GEORGIA, by Eka Janashia
KYRGYZSTAN DEBATES ELECTORAL SYSTEM REFORM, by Arslan Sabyrbekov
TAJIK PRESIDENT REVIEWS CHALLENGES IN ANNUAL ADDRESS TO PARLIAMENT, by Oleg Salimov
By Emil Souleimanov (02/18/2015 issue of the CACI Analyst)
The recent attacks in Paris against the studio of satirical journal Charlie Hebdo, known for its caricatures of Muhammad, have sparked heated debates in Dagestan. While Dagestanis have primarily focused on evaluating the implications of this single case of lethal violence, their debates have unfolded against the background of increasingly frequent attacks carried out by members of local jihadi groups – jamaats – against targets deemed anti-Islamic according to Salafi dogma.
By Valeriy Dzutsev (10/29/2014 issue of the CACI Analyst)
Moscow’s new envoy to the North Caucasus, Sergei Melikov, is flexing his administrative muscles and challenging Dagestan’s Head, Ramazan Abdulatipov. Abdulatipov’s opponents at the republican level also seem determined to seek the resignation of the republican governor. The counterterrorist operation regime has become endemic in some areas of Dagestan and the government’s promises to crack down on the hotbeds of insurgency have produced few results. The sense of a systemic crisis of governance is increasing in the republic as the current governor is running out of time to implement long-promised reforms.
By Emil Souleimanov (the 05/02/2014 issue of the CACI Analyst)
Recently, frequent media reports of Azerbaijani citizens involved in the Syrian civil war have sparked a renewed interest in the possible impact of Arab revolutions on this post-Soviet country. Even though Azerbaijani authorities have sought to remain silent on the matter, news from both the South Caucasus and the Middle East suggest that Azerbaijani volunteers have increasingly been participating in the civil war hundreds of miles away from their homeland. Upon their return in Azerbaijan, they might pose a serious threat to the internal stability of the nation of nine million, located at the crossroads of Turkey, Iran, and Russia.
The Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst is a biweekly publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, a Joint Transatlantic Research and Policy Center affiliated with the American Foreign Policy Council, Washington DC., and the Institute for Security and Development Policy, Stockholm. For 15 years, the Analyst has brought cutting edge analysis of the region geared toward a practitioner audience.