Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 7 Issue: 28


The al-Qaeda-linked Mujahideen Shura Council in Iraq posted an Internet statement on July 12 expressing condolences on “the martyrdom” of Shamil Basaev. According to the SITE Institute, the group stated, “As Emir Ibn al-Khattab and Abu al-Walid al-Ghambi were killed before him, Basaev is considered one of many within a ‘prolific’ nation, the Russians and ‘apostates’ are warned to not find happiness in his death.” SITE also quoted the group as urging “the Chechen mujahideen” to “continue on the path of jihad,” and praying, “We ask Allah to reward our martyr the highest place in paradise, bless the blood and carnage he created and make the Ummah of Islam seek light from him.” On July 9, the day before his reported death, the separatist website posted a statement from Basaev expressing the “enormous gratitude” of “the mujahideen of the Caucasus” toward “those who destroyed the diplomat-spies in Iraq” and calling the murder of the five Russian embassy employees in Iraq a “worthy response” to “the murder by Russian terrorists” of former Chechen Republic of Ichkeria (ChRI) President Zelimkhan Yandarbiev in Qatar in February 2004. The Mujahideen Shura Council in Iraq claimed responsibility for the killing of the five Russians.


Interfax reported on July 12 that three militants were believed to have been killed when security forces stormed an apartment in a residential building in the town of Buinaksk where the rebels were hiding. A spokeswoman for the Dagestani Interior Ministry told the news agency that a fire broke out in the apartment, from where sounds of explosions had been heard, which were most likely caused by exploding ammunition. On July 12, Kavkazky Uzel quoted Dagestani Interior Minister Adilgerei Magomedtagirov as saying that the rebels had arrived in Buinaksk to “trace the movements of the heads of the law-enforcement organs of the republic and prepare terrorist acts in respect to them.” On July 9, the separatist website posted a message from the “Dagestani Front” declaring that “the Muslims of Dagestan” had taken a “bayat,” or oath of allegiance, to “the new Emir of the Islamic Emirate of the Caucasus Dokku Umarov.”