Law enforcers enter the Church of Archangel Mikhail in Grozny after it was attacked by the terrorists on May 19, 2018. Screenshot of the video published on the YouTube channel "Akhtuba" on May 19, 2018 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NSpvypvCes

26 March 2024, 23:13

Analysts dispute on risks of IS'* intensifying in Northern Caucasus

After the terror act at the Crocus City Hall, in Northern Caucasus, there is a risk of intensification of militants of the IS*, although no terror acts on civilians have not been observed there since 2018. This was noted by Sergey Goncharov, a veteran of special services, and Andrei Koshkin, a military expert. In his turn, Magomed Shamilov, a former Dagestani law enforcer, has objected that a new round of IS'* activeness in the region is unlikely.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on March 22, armed men broke into the concert Crocus City Hall located near Moscow region and opened automatic fire. According to the latest data, the death toll has reached 139. The terrorist organization "Islamic State" (IS)* has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The responsibility claim of the "ISIS-Khorasan"** for the terror act adds weight to the report of the FSB report released two weeks before the terror act about the prevention of an attack on the Moscow synagogue being prepared by militants of the same grouping.

In Northern Caucasus, after 2018, there have been no recorded attacks committed by the IS* on civilians. The last militants' mass attack on civilians occurred on May 19, 2018. Then, the IS'* Caucasian branch claimed responsibility for the attack on the Church of Archangel Michael in Grozny, although investigators concluded that the attackers were not associated with the IS*.

In Northern Caucasus, after May 2018, attacks committed by IS* militants had the nature of individual terror acts and were aimed at law enforcers. Thus, on December 31, 2019, two militants attacked a road-and-patrol police (DPS) post in Magas, killing one policeman.

In Northern Caucasus, the coordination of IS* militants has weakened, says Sergey Goncharov, president of the Association of Veterans of the "Alpha" Counterterrorist Unit. "We can state with confidence that the antiterrorist fight has borne fruit. Chechnya and Dagestan should be especially mentioned," he has noted, emphasizing, however, that IS* militants may become active again in Northern Caucasus.

A similar opinion was expressed by Andrei Koshkin, an expert at the Association of Military Political Experts. "But the fact that there has not been a single militants' act against civilians in the region for five years is a unique result," he has added, being sure that militants will take advantage of any relaxation in order to become active again in Northern Caucasus.

Magomed Shamilov, a former employee of the Dagestani Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA), believes that law enforcers of the regions of the North-Caucasian Federal District (NCFD) have managed to oust IS* militants.

*On December 29, 2014, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation recognized the organization "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" (ISIL or IS) as a terrorist international organization and banned its activities in Russia.

**Khorasan (from Persian "land of the rising sun") is a historical region covering parts of present-day Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, as well as several countries in Central Asia. In IS' terminology, "Vilayats" are administrative units of the global caliphate that it is trying to build.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on March 25, 2024 at 07:56 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Roman Kuzhev Source: СK correspondent

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