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ISIS on the Move: Russia's Deadly Islamist Problem

The Islamic State could spread its influence deep into the volatile North Caucasus... The Islamic State could spread its influence deep into the volatile North Caucasus...

By Simon Saradzhyan , The National Interest, 29 April 2015

Killings of leaders of the ongoing insurgency inRussia’s North Caucasus no longer make front page news in eitherMoscowor foreign capitals, and the recent violent death of Emirate Caucasus’ emir Aliskhab Kebekov is no exception. But regardless of whether such deadly news is buried in the inside pages or not, the North Caucasus insurgency, whose representatives not only regularly target “mainland Russia,” but also travel to fight in countries of the Greater Middle East and raise funds in Europe, won’t go away.

Few recall it today, but when the North Caucasus’ then most notorious warlord Shamil Basayev was blown to pieces in 2006, his violent death was thoroughly covered by media both inRussia and the West, with even business dailies like the Wall Street Journal running front-page stories. But nine years later, when Russian commandos killed the latest chief of the North Caucasian insurgency in Dagestan on April 20, Wall Street Journal didn’t even bother to report the passing of a man the U.S. State Department had designated as terrorist, along with his organization, which serves as the umbrella organization for most of theNorth Caucasus’ jihadist networks. Neither were Russian editors particularly agitated by the news withRussia’s leading daily Kommersant running a short report on inside pages.