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|Participant in Insurgency in the North Caucasus|
Flags of the Caucasus Emirate and Vilayat Nokhchicho
|Active||2007 – present|
|Headquarters||bases in North Caucasus|
|Battles/wars||Insurgency in the North Caucasus|
The Caucasus Emirate (Chechen: Имарат Кавказ Imarat Kavkaz; Russian: Кавказский Эмират Kavkazskiy Emirat) also known as the Caucasian Emirate is a self-proclaimed virtual state entity in Eastern Europe, partially successor to the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria and was officially announced on October 31, 2007 by former President of Ichkeria Dokka Umarov, who became the first Emir. Its military branch is the Caucasian Front organization. Both the Russian Federation and the United States have designated the Caucasus Emirate as a terrorist organisation. The United States government has offered US$5 million for information leading to the capture of the group's leader Dokka Umarov. On July 29, 2011 the United Nations Security Council Al-Qaeda and Taliban Sanctions Committee added the Caucasus Emirate to the list of entities associated with Al-Qaeda.
On October 31, 2007, the separatist news agency Chechenpress reported that the President of Ichkeria Dokka Umarov had proclaimed an Emirate in the Caucasus and declared himself its Emir, thereby abolishing the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria and its presidency. The declaration of the Caucasian Emirate was quickly condemned by Akhmed Zakayev, Umarov's own minister of foreign affairs; Zakayev, who lives in exile in London, called upon all Chechen separatist fighters and politicians to pledge allegiance directly to his government in exile in an attempt to isolate Umarov from power. Zakayev also expressed regret that Umarov had caved in to pressure from "provocateurs" and committed a "crime" that undermines the legitimacy of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria. Umarov said that he did not need any sanction from the Majlis-ul-Shura (the council of rebel field commanders) or anybody else to declare the Emirate, as it is "his duty as a Muslim" to establish an Islamic state "as required by Sharia."
Anzor Astemirov, a top rebel leader from the Russia's Kabardino-Balkar Republic (KBR), took credit for the idea of establishing the Emirate. He said he already unsuccessfully tried to persuade the Chechen rebel commander Shamil Basayev to do this in Nalchik in 2005, but Basayev strongly declined and instead he demanded the KBR rebel leaders to be pledge an oath of loyalty to the Chechen President Abdul-Halim Sadulayev in return of the Chechen assistance in the Nalchik uprising attempt; supposedly, Basayev's death in 2006 paved the way for the declaration of the Emirate.
- Vilayat Noxçiyçö (Chechnya)
- Vilayat Ġalġayçö (Ingushetia and North Ossetia)
- Vilayat Cherkessia (Adygea and southern part of Krasnodar Krai)
- Vilayat Dagestan
- The joint Vilayat of Kabarda, Balkar (Kabardino-Balkaria) and Karachay (the greater part of Karachay–Cherkessia)
- Vilayat Nogay steppe (northern part of Krasnodar Krai and Stavropol Krai)
- Vilayat Iriston (North Ossetia) was abolished in 2009 in a decree issued by Umarov that subsumed it into Vilayat Ġalġayçö
In August 2008 Movladi Udugov, an ideologue and a spokesman for the Caucasus Emirate, said that "as Dokka Umarov very accurately observed, this Islamic state does not yet have any borders. It’s not correct to say that we want to build some sort of enclave on the territory of these North Caucasus republics. No, today many Muslims living in Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, Buryatia, Russians from the most widely differing regions of Russia who have accepted Islam, swear an oath of allegiance to Dokka Umarov as the legitimate leader of the Muslims. And wherever he is – in Moscow, Blagoveshchensk, Tyumen – when a Muslim swears that oath, he becomes a fighting unit. Just because these people are not visible in their cities just now and are not active, that doesn’t mean that they won’t become active in the future."
In May 2009, Umarov established a consultative body, or Majlis al Shura, for the Caucasus Emirate consisting of nine top commanders. At the time of the announcement, the positions and the individuals holding them were – Naib (Deputy) Emir (Supyan Abdullayev), Military Emir (Akhmed Yevloyev), Qadi (Anzor Astemirov), Emir of Vilayat Ghalghaycho (Akhmed Yevloyev), Emir of the Combined Vilayat of Kabarda, Balkaria and Karachay (Anzor Astemirov), Emir of Vilayat Dagestan (Umalat Magomedov), Emir of the Eastern Sector of Vilayat Nokhchicho (Aslambek Vadalov), Emir of the South-Western sector of Vilayat Nokhchicho (Tarkhan Gaziyev), and Emir of the Ansar (Muhannad).
The Caucasus Emirate maintains a Supreme Sharia Court, which is headed by a Qadi. This position has been held by Anzor Astemirov (killed in March 2010), Magomed Vagabov (killed August 2010), and Ali Abu Muhammad al-Dagestani.
In early 2009, Dokka Umarov announced the revival of the shahid suicide attackers unit Riyad-us Saliheen Brigade of Martyrs under the command of Said Buryatsky (killed March 2010) and Aslan Byutukayev.
On 1 August 2010 Kavkaz Center, the official web site of the Emirate, distributed a video where Dokka Umarov indicated that he had stepped down from his position as Emir and appointed Aslambek Vadalov to became his successor. However, on 3 August 2010, the original announcement had been replaced by one which stated, that Umarov only "proposed to appoint" Vadalov his successor. A few days later Umarov said he had no intention of stepping down and called the video announcing his resignation a fabrication. The announcements drove the emirate into a state of turmoil, with several key rebel leaders resigning their loyalty to Umarov. According to STRATFOR Umarov had prerecorded a stepping down message to be used in case of his disappearance, which was most likely leaked prematurely. In July 2011, a sharia court ruled in favour of Dokka Umarov. This combined with the death of Muhannad is believed to have paved the way for Hussein Gakayev, Aslambek Vadalov and Tarkhan Gaziyev to re-affirm their allegiance to Umarov.
Abortive declaration of hostility towards the West
However, on November 20, 2007, Anzor Astemirov, head of the Yarmuk Jamaat, said that "Even if we wanted to threaten America and Europe every day, it is clear for anybody who understands politics that we do not have any real clashes of interests [with the West]. The people in the White House know very well that we have nothing to do with America at the moment." In his statement, Astemirov not only described the Caucasian rebels' threats against the West as empty, but also even asked the United States for assistance in their fight against "Russian aggression." Following its criticism, many rebel websites removed the phrase that regarded Western countries as enemies.
Reaction to the 2008 South Ossetia war
On August 9, 2008 in response to the conflict between Georgia and Russia, Movladi Udugov stated that "for the time being neither Tbilisi nor Washington has appealed to us with any requests or offers" to fight alongside Georgian forces against the Russian forces. Udugov also noted: "But I clearly can say that the command of the Caucasus Emirate is following with great interest the development of the situation."
Planned terrorist attack against NATO
In December 2010, Austrian police arrested a Chechen refugee on suspicion of planning a militant attack on NATO targets. "Belgian authorities suspect a group of Chechen extremists, who were seeking to set up a religious state in northern Chechnya, planned to attack NATO facilities in Belgium," Interior Ministry spokesman Rudolf Gollia said.
After it was revealed that the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings were ethnic Chechens, the Dagestan Command of the Emirates Mujahideen denied any link to the bombing or the Tsarnaev brothers and stated that it was at war with Russia, not the United States. It also said that it had sworn off violence against civilians since 2012. The statement said "The Command of the Province of Dagestan indicates in this regard that the Caucasian Mujahideen are not fighting against the United States of America. We are at war with Russia, which is not only responsible for the occupation of the Caucasus, but also for heinous crimes against Muslims. Also, remember that even in respect to the enemy state of Russia, which is fighting the Caucasus Emirate, there is an order by the Emir Dokku Umarov, which prohibits strikes on civilian targets. 
List of Emirs of the Caucasus Emirate
|Emirs of Caucasus Emirate|
|1||Dokku Umarov||31 October 2007 – 1 August 2010|
|2||Aslambek Vadalov||1 August 2010 – 3 August 2010|
|3||Dokku Umarov||3 August 2010 – Present|
*Note: There was confusion as to who was Emir, as Umarov issued a second video a few days later saying he had not stepped down.
- Caucasian Front (Chechen War)
- Ingush Jamaat
- Shariat Jamaat
- Yarmuk Jamaat
- Caucasian Imamate
- Karachaevo-Cherkessia Faces Renewed Militant Activity, Mairbek Vatchagaev, The Jamestown Foundation, September 26, 2008 09:56 AM
- The Caucasus Emirate on the road from Yemen to Algeria (Part 1), Sergei Davydov, "Prague Watchdog", June 6th 2009
- «„Имарат“ выселили из России» — Vzglyad (08.02.2010)
- "U.S. Offers $5M for Umarov". The Moscow Times. 27 May 2011.
- "QE.E.131.11. EMARAT KAVKAZ". Security Council Committee pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1989 (2011) concerning Al-Qaeda and associated individuals and entities. 29 July 2011.
- Official Release of the Statement by Amir Dokka Umarov about the Declaration of the Caucasus Emirate[dead link]
- Chechenpress; Statement by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria
- In Video, Chechen Separatist Leader Declares ‘Jihad’ On West
- Astemirov takes credit for idea of Caucasian Emirate
- Amir of the Caucasus Emirate abolishes the Cabinet of Ministers, the Parliament of the former C.R.I.
- Omra No 14 "On the Wilayah of Iriston (Ossetia)"
- We have taken up arms to establish laws (interview with Movladi Udugov)
- Omra (Decree) No 13 "About the formation of the consultative body Majlis al-Shura of the Caucasus Emirate"
- Omra №24 : Appointement of Ali Abu-Muhammad al-Dagestani (ha) as the new Supreme Qadi of the CE
- Surge In North Caucasus Violence Reflects Diversification Of Resistance Tactics, Radio Liberty, August 18, 2009
- "Chechen rebel leader 'steps down'". Aljazeera.net. August 2, 2010. Retrieved 7 August 2010.
- "CE’s Emir Dokku Abu Usman resigned and appointed Aslambek Vadalov Emir of the Caucasus Emirate". Kavkaz Center. August 1, 2010. Archived from the original on August 1, 2010.
- Aslambek Vadalov – Emir of the Caucasus Emirate. YouTube: Kavkaz Center. August 1, 2010. Retrieved 3 August 2010.
- Bill Roggio (August 4, 2010). "Caucasus Emirate leader Doku Umarov retracts resignation". The Long War Journal.
- "CE Emir Dokku Abu Usman announced a successor and proposed to appoint Aslambek Vadalov as Emir of the Caucasus Emirate". Kavkaz Center. August 2, 2010. Retrieved August 3, 2010.
- "Chechen rebel chief denies quitting". Aljazeera.net. August 4, 2010. Retrieved 7 August 2010.
- "Emir of the Caucasus Emirate Dokku Abu Usman cancels his resignation, calling it fabricated, and makes special statement on this occasion (video)". Kavkaz Center. August 4, 2010. Retrieved August 4, 2010.
- Mairbek Vatchagaev (August 6, 2010). ""Palace Coup" Reveals Split between Umarov and Rebel Commander Aslanbek Vadalov". Eurasia Daily Monitor 7 (152).
- "Power Struggle Among Russia's Militants". Al Jazeera. August 19, 2010.
- "Split among Chechen Mujahideen overcome". Kavkaz Center. Helsinki: Mikael Storsjö. 25 July 2011.
- Dokka Umarov Declares The Islamic Emirate Of The Caucasus, Expands Jihad
- Is the Caucasian Emirate a Threat to the Western World?
- Rebel Hierarchy Changes in the Wake of Umarov's Emirate Decree
- Udugov: For the time being neither Tbilisi nor Washington has appealed to us with any requests
- "Austria Arrests Chechen in Belgian NATO Plot". The Moscow Times. 2010-12-06.
- Weaver, Courtney; Clover, Charles (April 21, 2013), "Russian militant group denies Boston link", The Financial Times.
- Daghestani Insurgency Denies Any Role In Boston Bombings - Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
- Statement of the Command of Mujahideen of Caucasus Emirate's Dagestan Province in relation to events in Boston