Caucasus Security Brief

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North Caucasus Security Brief – June 24, 2010, to July 1, 2010

Suicide bomber strikes downtown Grozny, Chechnya; Chechen President Kadyrov claims more “Wahhabis” in Ukraine than Chechnya; Ingush President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov attributes violence spike to capture of Magas; Russian government and media pleased over US designation of Doku Umarov as a terrorist; Ingush security forces kill two militants near Nazran; police storm house, kill two militants in Dagestan; militant leader killed in special operation in Dagestan; imam’s house targeted in drive-by shooting in Ingushetia; car bomb kills policeman in Ingushetia; gunmen ambush policemen in Nazran; son of interior ministry officer killed in explosion in Dagestan; gunmen ambush police car in Dagestan; bomb derails freight train in Dagestan; gunmen shoot policeman dead in Dagestan; two policemen killed at checkpoint shootout in Dagestan; Georgia says Russian sniper shot one of its policemen; Primorsky Kray investigators link youth gang to Chechen radicalism.

Statements from Russian and North Caucasus Leadership

  • Republican President, Ramzan Kadyrov, claimed that more “Wahhabis” reside in Ukraine than in Chechnya, many of whom allegedly travel into the North Caucasus to cause violence. Kadyrov accused Ukrainian authorities of turning a blind eye to the threat, and stated he will step down from the presidential post once the Wahhabi threat is eliminated.[1]

  • Republican President, Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, attributed the recent spike in violence in Ingushetia to militant desperation over the June 9 capture of a senior militant leader, Magas, at a press conference on June 30.[2]

  • The Russian government and media greeted the US decision to place Islamic Emirate of the Caucasus (IEC) leader, Doku Umarov, on its international terrorist list with great satisfaction on June 24.[3]

Russian Anti-Terror Activities

  • Ingush security forces killed two unidentified militants in Plievo, Nazranovsk district, after barricading them in a private residence on June 29, according to law enforcement agencies.[4]  Another report states, “police officers attempted to stop an automobile containing two men suspected of a number of crimes, but the men offered armed resistance.  In a shootout, both passengers were killed.”[5]

  • Security forces stormed a house in Derbent, Dagestan, in which three militants were held up, killing two on June 28, according to a spokesman for the Federal Security Service (FSB).[6]

  • Dagestani deputy interior minister, Magomed Ismailov, told media that police managed to kill militant leader Djamalutdin Djavatov in a special operation in the Karabudakhkent district of Dagestan on June 26.  A Special Purpose Police (OMON) officer was killed and two others were injured in that operation.  Authorities implicated Djavatov in the June 24 shooting of two police officers in Karamakhi.[7]

Incidents of Violence in Ingushetia

  • An imam’s house reportedly was the target of a drive-by shooting in the Nasyr-Kortsk neighborhood of Nazran, Ingushetia, in the early hours of June 30.  No one was injured, according to an interior ministry spokesman.[8]

  • According to a police spokesman, a car bomb killed one police officer, detonating as he entered his vehicle, in Malgobek, Ingushetia, on June 26.[9]

  • Unidentified gunmen ambushed a police car, killing two officers and severely injuring a third in Nazran, Ingushetia, on June 25, a local spokesman told media.[10]

Incidents of Violence in Dagestan

  • An explosive device destroyed a car, killing its driver, in Mitagi-Kazmalyar, Derbentsk district, Dagestan, in the early hours of June 30, according to law enforcement agencies.  Terrorists likely targeted the driver, as he was the 20-year-old son of a Russian Interior Ministry officer.[11]

  • According to a local police spokesman, unidentified gunmen attacked a police car, injuring one officer, in Mogilevka, Khasavyurtsk district, Dagestan, on June 29.[12]

  • A bomb planted along the Manas – Achisu rail corridor in Dagestan exploded beneath a fright train, derailing two cars carrying water in the early hours of June 29.  No one was reportedly injured.[13]

  • Unknown gunmen killed a police officer in the Kazbek district of Dagestan on June 25, according to local authorities.[14]

  • Militants opened fire on police who stopped their car at a checkpoint in Karamakhi, Dagestan, killing two officers on June 24, according to a local police official.[15]

Incidents of Violence in Other Regions

  • A suicide bomber identified as Adam Khamidov blew himself up in front of the theater in downtown Grozny, Chechnya, on June 30.  The attack wounded eight named people, including six belonging to various security structures.[16]  Earlier reports contradict these figures, claiming at least one death and ten wounded.[17]

  • The Karachaevo-Cherkess interior ministry claims security forces captured a supporter of deceased insurgent leader, Shamil Basaev, who participated in the 1999 raid into Dagestan.  Mr. Khubiev was arrested in Erkin-Yurt, Nogaysk district, Karachaevo-Cherkessia, on June 28.[18]

  • Unknown gunmen shot two police officers, killing one and wounding the other in Nartan, Chegemsky district, Kabardino-Balkaria, on June 25, according to local investigators.[19]

Events beyond North Caucasus

  • Georgian authorities claim a Russian sniper shot and wounded a Georgian police officer along the Georgian-Abkhaz border on July 1.[20]

  • Investigators in the Far East region of Primorsky Kray believe a youth gang that went on a rampage against police in late May to early June was under Wahhabi influence, citing numerous articles of Chechen Islamist propaganda discovered in the youths’ possession.[21]


[1] “Chechen President: Ukraine has more Evil Wahabis than Chechnya,” ABNA.ir, July 1, 2010, http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&id=193936.
[2] “Yevkurov: posle zaderzhaniya Magasa boyeviki akivizirovalis’ [Yevkurov: after the capture of Magas, terrorist (cells) became active],” Vesti, June 29, 2010, http://www.stavropolye.tv/sfdnews/view/22229.
[3] “Police officer killed in Russia’s North Caucasus,” RIA Novosti, June 25, 2010, http://en.rian.ru/crime/20100625/159582303.html.
[4] “Spetsoperatsia v Ingushetsii: unichtozheny dva boyevika, idyet opoznanie [Special operation in Ingushetia: Two militants killed, identification underway],” BaltInfo, June 29, 2010, http://www.baltinfo.ru/news/Spetcoperatciya-v-Ingushetii-unichtozheny-dva-boevika-idet-opoznanie-150613.
[5] “Voennye svodki s Severnogo Kavkaza [War reports from the North Caucasus],” Kavkaz Online, June 30, 2010, http://kavkasia.net/Russia/2010/1277923571.php.
[6] “Two gunmen killed in special operation in Dagestan,” ITAR-TASS, June 28, 2010, http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=15269946&PageNum=0.
[7] Vladimir Kostyrev, “V Dagestane unichtozhen odin iz liderov boyevikov [Militant leader eliminated in Dagestan],” Infox.ru, June 26, 2010, http://infox.ru/accident/crime/2010/06/26/Omonovyec_pogib_v_bo.phtml.
[8] “Voennye svodki s Severnogo Kavkaza [War reports from the North Caucasus],” Kavkaz Online, June 30, 2010, http://kavkasia.net/Russia/2010/1277923571.php.
[9] Zhang, “Militant leader killed in Russia’s North Caucasus,” CRIEnglish.com, June 26, 2010, http://english.cri.cn/6966/2010/06/26/53s579438.htm.
[10] “Two policemen killed in attack in Ingushetia,” RIA Novosti, June 25, 2010, http://en.rian.ru/russia/20100625/159580676.html.
[11] “V Dagestane vzorvali ‘VAS-2106,’ voditel’ pogib [A VAS-2106 was blown up in Dagestan; the driver perished],” Zarusskiy.org, June 30, 2010, http://zarusskiy.org/islam/2010/06/30/dagestan/.
[12] “Police officer injured in attack on Dagestan police squad,” RIA Novosti, June 30, 2010, http://en.rian.ru/crime/20100630/159629615.html.
[13] Salavat Galiev, “Terroristy podorvali poezd v Dagestane [Terrorists blasted a train in Dagestan],” The Moscow Post, June 29, 2010, http://www.moscow-post.ru/society/001277781554124/.
[14] “One militant, one police officer killed in Russia’s Dagestan,” RIA Novosti, June 26, 2010, http://en.rian.ru/russia/20100626/159586393.html.
[15] “2 Police Shot Dead in Dagestan,” Aljazeera.com, June 24, 2010, http://www.aljazeera.com/news/articles/34/2-Police-Shot-Dead-in-Dagestan.html.
[16] Muslim Ibragimov, “Pri vzryve smertnika v Groznom postradali vosem’ chelovek [Seven people wounded in a suicide bombing in Grozny],” Kavkazskyi Uzel, July 1, 2010, http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/170999/.
[17] “One killed, ten injured in Grozny,” The Voice of Russia, June 30, 2010, http://english.ruvr.ru/2010/06/30/11118896.html.
[18] “V Karachayevo-Cherkessii nashli eshche odnogo spodvizhnika Basaeva [Yet another follower of Basaev found in Karachaevo-Cherkessia],” Regnum, June 30, 2010, http://www.regnum.ru/news/polit/1299548.html.
[19] “Police officer killed in Russia’s North Caucasus,” RIA Novosti, June 25, 2010, http://en.rian.ru/crime/20100625/159582303.html.
[20] Helena Bedwell and Anastasia Ustinova, “Georgia Says Russian Snipers Wound Policeman Near Abkhaz Border,” Bloomberg Businessweek, July 1, 2010, http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-07-01/georgia-says-russian-snipers-wound-policeman-near-abkhaz-border.html.
[21] “Primorsky Kray “avengers” gang likely to be connected with Wahabis,” Interfax, June 28, 2010, http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=news&div=7416.
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At least 7 bombings between May 20 and May 28 in the North Caucasus; Stavropol bombing suspects detained in Ingushetia; bomb kills 7, wounds 40 in Stavropol; Russian prosecutor says police are incapable of halting violence in N. Caucasus; Moscow’s envoy to the Caucasus Khloponin reiterates corruption crackdown goal; suspects identified in deputy prosecutor murder in Kabardo-Balkaria; Chechen security forces kill 2 militants in Goity; Chechen security forces kill 2 militants in Shali; March 31 Kizlyar bombing suspect detained; gunmen attack pipeline in Dagestan; bomb explodes in Nalchik; explosive device discovered at Baksan police station; bomb targets police car in Tyrnyauz, Kabardo-Balkaria; explosive device found at Tyrnyauz memorial; blast wounds two Ministry of Interior Affairs (MVD) troops in Shali; two bombs explode in coordination in Dagestan; gunmen shoot, injure two investigators in Nazran; three off-duty guards killed in Kabardo-Balkaria; gas pipeline explosion near Kizlyar; deputy prosecutor murdered in Baksan; controversial North Ossetian mufti resigns.

 

Stavropol Bombing

  • Authorities detained two suspects involved in the Stavropol bombing and returned them to Stavropol for questioning on May 27, according to a source in Ingushetia’s security services.  The Ingush branch of the Federal Security Service (FSB) did not confirm this report.[i]

  • According to local authorities, a shrapnel-packed, remotely triggered bomb disguised as a juice carton exploded at a Stavropol café just beside the city’s Palace of Culture and Sport moments before a Chechen folk-dance concert on May 26.  The explosion killed at least seven civilians and wounded over forty gathered in a crowd. No group has claimed responsibility.[ii]

Candid Observation from Senior Russian Official

  • A senior Russian federal prosecutor, Alexander Bastrykin, declared that police in the North Caucasus are incapable of tackling the recent wave of violence across the North Caucasus on May 28.[iii]

Statement from the Presidential envoy to the North Caucasus

  • Presidential envoy to the North Caucasus, Aleksandr Khloponin, reiterated his goal to crackdown on corruption and nepotism, part of his effort to improve socioeconomic conditions and reduce violence in the region, on May 27.[iv]

Other Russian Anti-Militant Activities

Militant Operations and other Incidents of Violence

Civil-Society Events

  • The Spiritual Board of Muslims of North Ossetia (DUMSO) accepted the resignation of the republic’s controversial, Salafi-sympathetic mufti, Ali-haji Yevteyev, on May 24.  Yevteyev’s appointment previously had been an experiment by authorities to foster greater dialogue between Salafi and Shafii adherents.[xix]


[i] “Suspects in deadly Stavropol blast detained in Ingushetia,” RIA Novosti, May 28, 2010, http://en.rian.ru/russia/20100528/159197597.html.
[ii] Danilo Gagelonia, “Russia Vows Action vs Stavropol Bombers,” AHN, May 28, 2010, http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7018830879?Russia%20Vows%20Action%20vs%20Stavropol%20Bombers.
[iii] “Police in North Caucasus unable to tackle violence,” RIA Novosti, May 28, 2010, http://en.rian.ru/russia/20100528/159195731.html.
[iv] “Khloponin promises crackdown on nepotism in N. Caucasus,” RIA Novosti, May 27, 2010, http://en.rian.ru/russia/20100527/159183698.html.
[v] “Killers of deputy prosecutor in Kabardino-Balkaria unmasked,” ITAR-TASS, May 28, 2010, http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=15173598&PageNum=0.
[vi] “Two militants killed in Chechnya last night in security sweep,” ITAR-TASS, May 26, 2010, http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=15164356&PageNum=0.
[vii] “Predpolagaemyi organizator teraktov v Kizlyare zaderzhan v Dagestane [Supposed organizer of terror acts in Kizlyar detained in Dagestan],” Interfax, May 23, 2010, http://interfax.ru/society/news.asp?id=137968&sw=%C4%E0%E3%E5%F1%F2%E0%ED&bd=24&bm=4&by=2010&ed=24&em=5&ey=2010&secid=0&mp=0&p=1.
[viii] “Gazoprovod vzorvalsya v Khasavryute posle obstrela, bez gaza ostalis 15 tys. chelovek [Gas pipeline exploded v Khazavryut after strafing; 15 thousand left without gas],” Interfax, May 26, 2010, http://interfax.ru/society/news.asp?id=138373&sw=%C4%E0%E3%E5%F1%F2%E0%ED&bd=28&bm=4&by=2010&ed=28&em=5&ey=2010&secid=0&mp=0&p=1.
[ix] “Vzryv v Nal’chike byl napravlen protiv militionerov, nikto ne prostradal [Explosion in Nalchik was directed against police; no one harmed],” RIA Novosti, May 25, 2010, http://www.rian.ru/incidents/20100525/238564859.html.
[x] “Bomb explosion prevented in Russian North Caucasus,” RIA Novosti, May 25, 2010, http://en.rian.ru/russia/20100525/159143425.html.
[xi] “3 injured in Kabardino-Balkaria explosions,” ITAR-TASS, May 25, 2010, http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=15160425&PageNum=1.
[xii] “Major terror act prevented in Karardino-Balkaria,” ITAR-TASS, May 24, 2010, http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=15155309&PageNum=0.
[xiii] “Two servicemen injured in bomb blast in Chechnya,” ITAR-TASS, May 25, 2010, http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=15158874&PageNum=1.
[xiv] “V Dagestane progremili dva vzryva, v resul’tate odnogo iz nikh pogib boevik [Two bombs exploded in Dagestan, militant killed as a result of one],” Interfax, May 22, 2010, http://interfax.ru/society/news.asp?id=137907&sw=%C4%E0%E3%E5%F1%F2%E0%ED&bd=24&bm=4&by=2010&ed=24&em=5&ey=2010&secid=0&mp=0&p=1.
[xv] “Unknown gunmen attack investigators in Russia’s Ingushetia,” RIA Novosti, May 22, 2010, http://en.rian.ru/russia/20100522/159109667.html.
[xvi] “Killers of deputy prosecutor in Kabardino-Balkaria unmasked,” ITAR-TASS, May 28, 2010, http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=15173598&PageNum=0.
[xvii] “Na gazoprovode Mozdok-Gazimagomed nedaleko ot Kizlyara proizashel vzryv – MCHS [An explosion occurred on the Mozdok-Gazimagomed gas pipeline],” Interfax, May 21, 2010, http://interfax.ru/society/news.asp?id=137678&sw=%E4%E0%E3%E5%F1%F2%E0%ED&bd=28&bm=4&by=2010&ed=28&em=5&ey=2010&secid=0&mp=0&p=1.
[xviii] “Deputy district prosecutor killed in N Caucasus region,” ITAR-TASS, May 20, 2010, http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=15148280&PageNum=0.
[xix] “Embattled North Ossetian Mufti Steps Down,” Radio Free Europe, May 26, 2010, http://www.rferl.org/content/Embattled_North_Ossetian_Mufti_Steps_Down/2053440.html.
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Caucasus Security Brief – May 15 to May 20, 2010

Pro-Islamic Emirate of the Caucasus website announces successor to Anzor Astemirov; Russian Auditing Chamber Head demands budget transparency in N. Caucasus; President Medvedev meets with NGOs and human-rights activists, discusses N. Caucasus conflict; Medvedev approves N. Caucasus Council of the Elders; 30-kg bomb defused in Dagestan; two militants killed in southern Dagestan; serviceman dies during Chechen forest sweep; police officer dies while defusing bomb in Grozny; two senior policemen shot dead in Dagestan; traffic officer injured in shootout with gunmen in Dagestan; local police guard injured in ambush in Nalchik; militants attack police station in Nazran.

Islamic Emirate of the Caucasus (IEC) Press Statements

  • Kavkaz Center, a pro-IEC website and frequent IEC mouthpiece, announced “Amir Abdullah” Asker Dzhalluyev’s (alt. spelling Dzhappuyev) as the new commander and governor of the joint velayat [province] of Kabarda, Balkaria, and Karachay following the death of Anzor Astemirov.[1]

Medvedev and transparency, corruption in N. Caucasus

  • The chairman of the Russian Federation (RF) Auditing Chamber, Sergei Stepashin, stated that transparency in federal budget spending in the North Caucasus should be a key priority in a meeting on May 20 with regional leaders including the president of the Ingush Republic, Yunus-bek Yevkurov.[2]

  • Russian President Dimitry Medvedev met with representatives of non-governmental organizations operating in the North Caucasus, including prominent human-rights activists, in the Kremlin on May 19.[3]  Medvedev reiterated his view that corruption, unemployment, low standards of life, and youth disenfranchisement fuel the region’s militant insurgency and pose a direct threat to Russia’s national security.[4]

  • Medvedev also gave his tacit approval for the formation of a Council of the Elders in the North Caucasus.[5]

Russian Anti-Militant Activities

  • Police successfully defused a 30-kilogram bomb found in an empty house along the Agvali-Echeda motorway in Tsumadinski District, Dagestan, according to a source from the Dagestani law enforcement agencies.  Electric detonators and ammunition were also confiscated at the location.[6]

  • Two militants died near Derbent, Dagestan, after two separate operations overnight on May 18, according to Dagestani Interior Ministry officials.[7]

Militant Operations and Other Incidents of Violence

  • One serviceman died from a bomb blast as his unit swept the woods for insurgents, according to Chechen Interior Ministry spokesman Magomed Deniyev.[8]

  • One policeman died and another was injured while attempting to diffuse a bomb in the Chechen capital of Grozny, on May 18.  One civilian was also hospitalized from the blast.[9]

  • Assailants killed two senior-ranking policemen – a district investigation department chief and criminal police chief – in Yaruk-su, Novolaksk District, Dagestan, on May 17, according to a source in the Prosecutor General’s Office (SKP).[10]

  • Militants shot and injured a traffic police officer in downtown Kaspiisk, Dagestan, on May 17, escaping by car unharmed, according to the Dagestani Interior Ministry press service.[11]

  • Unknown gunmen shot and injured a police officer who was responding to an alarm at an employment center in Nalchik, Kabardino-Balkaria, on May 15, according to police reports.[12]

  • Local police source said unknown gunmen fired grenades at a police station in Nazran, Ingushetia, in the early hours of May 15. No injuries were reported, but the building suffered damage.[13]


[1] “New rebel commander appointed in Russia's North Caucasus,” BBC Monitoring Trans Caucasus Unit, May 17, 2010, www.nexis.com.
[2] “Budget financing should be controlled strictly in N Caucasus- view,” ITAR-TASS, May 20, 2010, www.nexis.com.
[3] “Caucasus insurgency a growing threat to Russia: Medvedev,” Agence France Presse, May 19, 2010, www.nexis.com.
[4] “Russian president's opening remarks at meeting with NGOs on North Caucasus,” BBC Monitoring Former Soviet Union – Political, May 20, 2010, www.nexis.com.
[5] “Medvedev backs idea to create Council of Elders in North Caucasus,” ITAR-TASS, May 19, 2010, http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=15143788&PageNum=0
[6] “Powerful Bomb Defused in Dagestan,” ITAR-TASS, May 20, 2010, http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=15144680&PageNum=0.
[7] “2 police, 2 rebels killed in Dagestan,” Associated Press Worldstream, May 18, 2010, www.nexis.com.
[8] “Official: Bomb blast in Chechen forest kills Russian serviceman,” Canadian Press, May 20, 2010, http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5h6-SXNWnJkDUMR8c6jaXS0iQFfAQ.
[9] “Policeman dies in blast in Grozny,” ITAR-TASS, May 18, 2010, www.nexis.com.
[10] “Two policemen killed, one more injured in Dagestan(adds),” ITAR-TASS, May 18, 2010, www.nexis.com.
[11] “Policeman injured in shootout in Dagestan's Kaspiisk,” ITAR-TASS, May 18, 2010, www.nexis.com.
[12] “One injured in clashes in Russia's North Caucasus,” Global Times, May 16, 2010, http://world.globaltimes.cn/europe/2010-05/532167.html.
[13] “Grenades fired at police headquarters in Russia’s Ingushetia,” RIA Novosti, May 15, 2010, http://en.rian.ru/russia/20100515/159026686.html.
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