–UMAROV MARKS ANNIVERSARY OF REBEL SEIZURE OF GROZNY
In a statement posted on the separatist Chechenpress website on August 6, Chechen rebel president Dokku Umarov commemorated the rebel operation to retake Grozny conducted ten years earlier. Umarov called the August 6, 1996 rebel operation “a glorious page in the history of the Chechen people and all Muslims of the Caucasus.” He added, “The Kremlin’s inhumane and unfair policy in the Caucasus increases the number of our fighters on a daily basis. The more brutal the enemy is, the stronger we are!”
–DAGESTANI REBELS PRAISE FIGHT AGAINST ISRAEL
In a statement published by Kavkazcenter.com on August 3, the Sharia Jamaat declared its support for the fight against Israeli forces in Lebanon. The Dagestani group, however, did not mention Hezbollah, which is Shiite, by name. “For three weeks now the hearts of all Muslims have been focused on Lebanon,” the Sharia Jamaat statement read. “All our thoughts and prayers are with God to help the Muslims smash the Jewish aggressors and pour fire and brimstone upon their heads. Thanks to God, our Ummah is beginning to awake, to feel the pain and to respond to it. Many Dagestani people feel for our brothers and sisters in Lebanon, sincerely praying to God for the defeat of the infidels. When they hear that the Muslims have destroyed an ‘Israeli’ assault boat or a tank, many jump for joy and continue to point their finger confirming the declaration of their faith. Many are prepared to offer money, food, clothing and medicine. Many even express the desire to go to Lebanon, Palestine and Iraq and volunteer to fight the infidels.” The group added, however, that the first obligation for Muslims of the North Caucasus is to join the jihad in Chechnya and Dagestan.