Doku Umarov, Founder of the Caucasus Emirate: From Secularism to Jihadism

Doku Umarov (1964-2013), also known as Dokka Umarov and later Abu Usman, was the founder and leader of the Caucasus Emirate. An ethnic Chechen, he, like many North Caucasian jihadis, experienced an ideological slide from secularism and separatism to jihadism. Umarov personally described how he took up jihad, with the help of a relative, from a fully secular background in organized crime—stepping out of his luxury car, smoking cigarettes, and not knowing even how to pray.
From this unlikely beginning, Umarov rose to become the founder and leader of the Caucasus Emirate in 2007, when he declared jihad on all those conducting war against Muslims or their religion.

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