Below is a translation of a January interview with the amir al-umara' (leader of leaders) of the Islamic Emirate of the Caucasus, a collective of various separatist groups composed of indigenous Muslims in the Caucasus. It is reproduced below without edits. Members of groups associated with the IEC include both Salafis and Sufis (Muslim mystics traditional to Central Asia, the Caucasus, and many parts of the Muslim world). Hardline Salafis of the jihadi trend have taken issue with the IEC's tacit endorsement of a kind of regionalized Caucasian Muslim nationalism.
Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, the most influential jihadi-Salafi scholar alive, penned a letter in September 2009 in which he quoted warnings against nationalism in the IEC, revealing tensions between purist jihadi-Salafis and religious-nationalists like many of those in the IEC. He quoted a Caucasus jihadi leader: "At the first opportunity to contact Amir Abu 'Uthman [the IEC amir ("leader") Doku Umarov,] I am calling on him to renounce democracy and the ruling system of idols, and raise the banner of Islam pure and free of polytheism. I am informing him that such a decision does not require summoning the council [of other amirs], as it is his own responsibility. He is first responsible for his soul and rescuing it from the Day of Judgment, but he is also responsible for the souls of his followers and for military planning, and will answer to this before God, the Great and Almighty."
This is the English transcript of a video interview by the Emir of the Caucasus Emirate Dokka Abu Usman on 1 Safar 1431 (16.01.2010). The interview was translated from Russian by the Kavkaz Center.
- Another year of Jihad has passed. How do the Mujahideen evaluate it? Did expectations and hopes come true?
The Emir of the Caucasus Emirate Dokka Abu Usman:
I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan. In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds!
Peace and blessings be upon our Prophet, his family, his companions and on those who follow him on the right path till to the Doomsday! Peace and blessings be on the all Mujahedeen, who today without sparing their lives stand on the way of Allah, defending His Word and sacrificing their lives for the sake of Allah!
That year has passed, and when people ask how it passed, our answer would always be the same: Praise be to Allah, because we are the slaves of Allah, the truly believing slaves of our Creator.
The state and conditions of our affairs are also in the will of Allah. Yes, I know that a lot depends on us, much depends on our efforts, our aspirations, the sincerity of our souls in relation to Allah.
I am convinced that if the Mujahideen of the Caucasus and all over the world are sincere with respect to Jihad, to the cause that Allah laid upon us, if the Mujahideen are more persistent and zealous in Jihad, then, InshaAllah, our deeds and results we would improve. Allah is capable, in short term, to change the situation to the best or to the worst. Everything is in His will.
Speaking about the past year, a lot of good things could be said, and we hope that Allah would be happy with them. However, there is much of what saddens our hearts.
The first thing that saddens us is that we lost a lot of Mujahideen during the last year. InshaAllah, their lot is Paradise. This lot is better than our present one, as they have already lost their lives on the path of Allah, for the fact that the word of Allah is above all.
In the Holy Quran, the Almighty mentioned those Muslims who made a deal with Allah and went on the path of Jihad with the hope to get Paradise for it. Allah warned that they will be killed and that they will kill the enemies of Allah. Therefore, their lot, praise be to Allah, is Paradise !
Our losses over the past year exceed those figures that twere reported by the Kremlin's dogs who try to persuade people that there are allegedly only 100 or 50 Mujahideen left in the Caucasus. Our losses this year exceed these figures.
Praise be to Allah, praise be to Allah, praise be to Allah. Everything is in His will. Our dead are in Paradise, InshaAllah, because they gave their lives on the path of truth.
Thousands and thousands times more people died in the world during this time, but not on the path of Allah and not for the sake of Allah, and their lot will be Hell, InshaAllah.
We hope that Allah would be pleased with many of our deeds. Muslims will be pleased with these deeds who establish today the word of Allah in the world giving up their lives.
First, we solved the problem of coordination of all our forces and of military operations. We clearly defined the borders of those areas where the Jihad is being waged: the provinces of Dagestan, Nokhchicho, Ghalghaycho, the Combined Province of Kabarda, Balkaria and Karachay.
Praise be to Allah, we established a clear Nizam (discipline), definitely built up a clear system for choosing people from among a huge stream of volunteers who wish to join our ranks.
Today we can control this process. We know what forces we need at this stage, and we have learnt how to replenish our forces. We know how to screen out the superfluous, how to avoid unnecessary overabundance in new volunteers who could cause additional casualties. Praise be to Allah, I think it's a great success for us.
Among all these years since I became the Emir, this year was the most successful one.
We developed a clear idea in our minds, and we know how to reach the final goal. Our final goal is the establishment of Sharia in the Caucasus, the independence of the Caucasus and free Islam in the Caucasus. Praise be to Allah, this idea was worked out in our minds. This is a great achievement of the Mujahideen.
The Majlis-ul Shura was established, a Council of the Leadership of Mujahideen consisting of 9 Umara (Commanders) who deal with the most important, strategic issues in the Caucasus.
Reliable communications have been established with the commanders, and praise be to Allah, if serious and important questions arise, these questions are quickly solved by us.
Praise be to Allah, we will pray to Allah that we achieve better results this year. We will do everything in our power for it.
- Abu Usman, how events in the world relate to Islam, in your opinion?
The Caucasus Emirate's Amir Dokka Abu Usman:
The politics in the world are built this way: there are masters, and there are slaves. The role of the slaves is assigned to Muslims. Over the past 300 to 400 years, Muslims have been given a "sleeping-tablet" so they were in a permanent sleep. The masters (apostates) from their own ranks were installed to rule Muslims, and these apostates are much worse than infidels who installed them.
They are further from Islam, further from the word of Allah than infidels. But praise be to Allah, Muslims began to wake up today. The awakening of Muslims especially intensified during the last years. Even 4 years ago, when (former Ichkerian Presidents - KC) Maskhadov and Saydulayev were still alive, we didn't see such awakening.
First of all, this process began among the Mujahideen. Today the Mujahideen know that that the garbage that infidels have put in their heads promises nothing good for Moslems and brings no liberation.
They calm down Muslims saying: you may build mosques, lay rugs, pray, worship Allah, you may do everything, but do not meddle into politics. Religion, they say, is a separate issue; freedom and independence are also separated from religion. At the same time, Muslims are being terrorized. Filled fear in the heart and paralyzed by slavery in the head, Muslims can never be in a position to get rid of the mentality of a slave, so that they cannot understand with clear mind why they were created by Allah.
But today this drug, I think, is disappearing. People are awaking from this drug, and the Mujahideen who defend the word of Allah in the world were the first to regain consciousness.
The things, the enemies of Islam do, have examples in our history. The Kremlin dogs placed over Muslims received power. They are allowed to build mosques, to proclaim themselves the defenders of Islam, etc.
We had experienced the same thing when communists fighting against their enemies said: build mosques, teach your children Islam, live under the laws of Allah, judge among yourselves by the Sharia Law.
All these rights were granted because they faced a foe more dangerous at that time for them and and they had other tasks. Today, the Kremlin's dogs received the same power because for the Kremlin the main enemy today are we, the Mujahideen, who have awakened from the slumber and went to install the word of Allah and the laws of Allah on this earth.
As soon as the problem of the Mujahideen is solved, the "problem" of Kafyrov (AKA Kadyrov), Zyazikov or... Yevkurov or the Dagestani "president" building mosques will be also solved in a short time and this program will be curtailed at a low cost.
All this already happened before. When Stalin came to power, all the mosques that were built, all the schools that were opened in these mosques, all of them had been turned into clubs, warehouses, pigsties, and the children trained in these mosques, in the 1930's, were sent to feed fish in the river of Sunzha with their dead bodies passing through a great slaughter-house which was established in the building of the KGB on the bank of the river Sunzha.
A similar policy is being persued in the world today. There is nothing new in it.
Praise be to Allah, Who freed our minds, Who made us sighted. We seek to establish the laws of Allah sacrifying our lives, and there can be no real freedom without the laws of Allah. Freedom and religion are inseparable.
There is a good example from the life of the Prophet (pbuh). When Bilal (ra), an ashab of the Prophet (pbuh), was in slavery, and when he was abused, Abu Bakr Siddiq hastened to release him from slavery. This example proves that it is impossible to be a slave and practice religion at the same time, and it is not allowed to anybody.
A Muslim can never be a true mu'min (believer) if he is a slave, but Muslims today are enslaved.
That's why we are fighting for the liberation of Muslims from this slavery. Because only being free, we are able to practice Islam. InshaAllah, Allah will help us and Muslims will succeed.
- What are the plans of the Mujahideen for the new year? Will the zone of operations be extended?
The Caucasus Emirate's Emir Dokka Abu Usman:
The zone of military operations will be extended to the territory of Russia. Praise be to Allah, the past year has shown us, and also to all who had some doubts, to Putin and Nurgaliyev (Russian interior minister -KC) that the Brigade of Martyrs, Riyad-us-Saliheen, has been really recreated and is in action.
We witnessed many special operations by this Brigade during the last year. The Martyrs' Brigade is replenished with the best among the best of the Mujahideen and if the Russians do not understand that the war will come to their streets, that the war will come to their homes, so it is worse for them.
Blood will no longer be limited to our (Caucasus) cities and towns. The war is coming to their cities
If Russians think the war only happens on television, somewhere far away in the Caucasus where it can't reach them, inshaAllah (God willing), we plan to show them that the war will return to their homes.
Therefore, the zone of military actions will be extended to all Russia, InshaAllah, and I hope that this year we, Insha Allah, with Allah's help, could expect successful operations.
To do this we must be sincere to Allah and then there will be good results.