It’s not only Western nations that are being targeted by the Islamic State. A group of militants largely composed of Chechens that is loyal to the terror organization is threatening Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin.
In a video released this week by the affiliate based in southwest Russia, the gunmen claim credit for an incident earlier this month in the Chechen capital of Grozny, in which militants attempted to attack a police station. Eleven assailants were killed and six others arrested.
Running at 13 minutes, the video titled “The Fighting Has Just Begun,” was posted on ISIS channels in Telegram on Tuesday. In one scene, a group of 11 fighters, three with faces blurred, pledge allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and direct threats at the Kremlin as well as Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov.
“We fear doomsday more then we fear the weapons and the tanks of the infidels,” said one man, waving a knife at the camera. He called on Muslims in Russia to join them by launching attacks in Moscow. “A Muslim doesn’t require a lot to commit jihad,” he said. “This knife is sufficient to terrorize the infidels. Every able Muslim has a duty to kill the infidels.”
Another gunmen claims the group numbers over 50 members who are spread far and wide. “We are among you, we are your neighbors, from your villages and cities. We are everywhere,” he said.
One of the men in the video directed his ire at Russian President Vladimir Putin and any who support him. “We will kill you because of this dictator who launched a war against us. He launched a war for his own personal goals, but you will pay the price. We will enter your houses, take you and slaughter you. If you hide behind your wives, we will take them as slaves.”
Russian citizens, mostly Chechens or Dagestanis from the largely Muslim North Caucasus region, comprise the largest group of ISIS fighters from a non-Muslim majority country, CNN reported.
ISIS’ Caucasus Province, which was declared in June 2015, belongs to a mountainous region in southwestern Russia that has long been a hub of separatist and radical activity. Al-Qaeda affiliate The Islamic Caucasus Emirate has been active there since 2007.
Russia’s FSB security service announced in December that it had killed the leader of ISIS’ Caucasus province, Rustam Aselderov, and four of his close associates. The 35-year-old Aselderov was reportedly behind blasts in the southern Russian city of Volgograd, where 34 people were killed in 2013 along with other attacks.