ISIS Declares Caliphate in the Caucasus

The so-called Islamic State terrorist group, or ISIS, recently announced a new Caliphate, outlining its goal to take over several regions of Russia’s North Caucasus.

According to the report of the Institute for the Study of War (Washington D.C.), Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, a spokesman for the fundamentalist group, named Abu Mohammad al-Qadari the leader of the newly created entity and congratulated “the soldiers of the Islamic State” in the Caucasus.

According to the Deputy U.S. Secretary for Democracy and Human Rights Issues, Tom Malinowski, governments and citizens should fundamentally understand the possible threats. 

“We would like to emphasize that governments should not tarnish human rights when combating terrorist groups. This is a bad policy of counter-terrorism,” Malinowski has told Voice of America adding “Georgia’s strategy needs to be the same as in the rest of the world, aimed at defeating terrorism.” 

“From my point of view, the formula is the same throughout the world - to fight, arrest and judge them. If it is impossible, then they should be defeated at the battleground, like we are trying in Syria and Iraq,” he assessed.

Analyst for Eurasian affairs Paul Goble commented: “the Georgian government needs to be very attentive in order to reveal those having ties with terrorist groups and yet should not be radical towards the innocent Muslim population.” 

“Most significantly, Georgia needs to show that it is tolerant towards all religions and must not allow the Islamic State to say that orthodox Tbilisi attacks Muslims. Georgia should improve its intelligence mechanisms in order to reveal those close to terrorist groups. Therefore, the government needs to be very careful,” he said. 

Ramzan Kadyrov, leader of Chechnya stated the Chechen population wants to live peacefully. “The statement made on behalf of North Caucasian fighters, in which they expressed their loyalty to the Islamic State is false. I don’t think the bandits hiding in forests can provide radicals with any serious support. These bastards have no chance in Chechnya. Our law enforcement fully controls the situation and 99.9% of our population wants to live in peace,” Kadyrov maintained.

Georgian Defense Minister Tina Khidasheli believes terrorism has no future in the 21st century saying: “the coalition combating terrorism with consolidated forces will maintain international stability and finally beat terrorism.” 

“I believe terrorism will have no future. I believe the coalition will manage to beat the greatest sickness of the mankind. These terrible facts confirm significance of the operations Georgia participates in together with NATO-member or partner countries. An emphasis was put on these issues at the defense ministerial from where I have just returned,” Khidasheli underlined.

The self-proclaimed Islamic State (ISIS) has launched active military campaigns in Syria and Iraq, and has claimed responsibility for several deadly terrorist attacks across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. Its membership comprises several different nationalities including some Georgians from the Pankisi Gorge area.

Zviad Adzinbaia

02 July 2015 22:35