The Islamic State’s media arm released a new nine minute video declaring Jihad on Russia and warning Russian President Vladimir Putin that as a consequence of his intervention in the Syrian civil war, ISIS would “come to Russia and will kill you at your homes.”
[dcquiz]ISIS’s video included a call for Russian citizens to carry out attacks on their own government saying, “Oh Brothers, carry out jihad and kill and fight them.” Russia is fertile ground for ISIS inspired terrorists. The Soufan Group, a security advisory firm that tracks foreign fighters, estimates 2500 Russians traveled to Iraq and Syria to fight for ISIS in 2015.
The Islamic State declared an affiliate in Russia’s North Caucasus June 23, 2015. The group has carried out some low level attacks but has not gained the same traction as the group’s other affiliates in Libya, Afghanistan, and Egypt.
The majority of Russia’s ISIS fighters come from the Caucasus states of Dagestan and Chechneya. ISIS propaganda increasingly enthralls Chechnya’s youth. Chechnya’s own law enforcement agencies estimate there are between 3-4000 Chechens fighting for ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Many of these Chechens fled years ago during the first and second Chechen wars, but approximately 500 have traveled directly from Chechnya to ISIS in Syria and Iraq
Russia has adopted an aggressive counter-terrorism strategy in Dagestgan and Chechneya that may back-fire. The Russian government has created a high risk police registry that requires men whom the police deem at-risk terrorists to surrender blood, saliva, and voice samples. Once on the registry, these men can expect authorities to contact their employers, expect to have travel limited to local only, and even arrest under dubious circumstances. These aggressive maneuvers may be making ISIS’s propaganda more salient among Russia’s islamic youth.
ISIS has carried out an attack outside of active war-zones like Libya, Iraq, Syria, and Egypt every 84 hours since June 8, CNN noted on August 1. The majority of the recent terror attacks in Europe were carried out by self-radicalized citizens or refugee’s who were drawn in by the group’s propaganda.
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