Caucasus

Transnational Organized Crime and Jihadist Terrorism

This book describes and analyzes the convergence of transnational organized crime and jihadist terrorism that has taken place within Russian-speaking social networks in Western Europe. Studies have shown that while under certain circumstances links between criminal organizations and terrorist groups appear, these are usually opportunistic and temporary in nature. Only rarely do they develop into […]

The Threat to Energy Infrastructure in the Central Eurasia from Terrorist Groups Affiliated to ISIL

In 2015, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) announced the establishment of its Khorasan Province, said to encompass “Afghanistan, Pakistan, and other nearby lands.” Soon after, ISIL proclaimed its Caucasus Province. However, the war in Syria and Iraq is going badly for ISIL. Losing ground in its heartland, ISIL fighters will have […]

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 […]

ПУСТЫЕ ДУШИ – ЗИЯНИЕ, КОТОРОЕ ДОЛЖНО БЫТЬ ЗАПОЛНЕНО

Современный джихадист часто живет на Западе, возможно вторым поколением эмигрантов или как обращенный, или в другой светской общине где-нибудь в постсоветской Средней Азии. Чаще всего он не знаком с арабским и не является мусульманином. Для него религия и идеология – скорее оправдание задним числом легитимности агрессивных действий и эффект джихадизма, а не его причина. Для […]

THE WORLD OF CENTRAL ASIAN OIL AND GAS: POWER POLITICS, MARKET FORCES, AND STEALTH PIPELINES

1. Central Asia is beginning to see a genuine move away from barter deals towards commercial deals in accordance with market forces. 2. Contrary to much perceived wisdom, in Central Asia it is Gazprom, Russia’s natural gas export monopoly, that is leading the way in the movement towards market forces. 3. Central Asian natural gas […]

ISLAM AND MODERNITY IN CONTEMPORARY CENTRAL ASIA – RELIGIOUS FAITH VERSUS WAY OF LIFE: A STORY OF FOUR RADICAL DISRUPTIONS

What Makes Central Asian Islam Central Asian? In March 2005, an Afghan deputy minister of the interior (who out of mercy will remain unnamed) was touring Europe. At one stop, he suddenly found himself faced with a question that obviously took him by surprise. How long, an innocent but assuredly well-meaning European asked, had Afghanistan […]

ISLAMIC EXTREMISM AS A POLITICAL FORCE: A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF CENTRAL ASIAN ISLAMIC EXTREMIST MOVEMENTS

Islam in Central Asia does not constitute a uniform religious, social, or political force. While all titular Central Asian ethnic groups, i.e., the nations that states were named after, eventually embraced Islam, the religion did not penetrate the traditional cultures and social systems of these groups to an equal extent. While the sedentary groups generally […]

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