Friday, December 5, 2014

Was ISIS behind the Attack on Grozny?

As was reported earlier on this blog, a terrorist attack took place in Grozny, Chechnya on Thursday, Dec. 4th. This attack comes in the wake of a similarly heinous attack by a suicide bomber on a police checkpoint in Grozny in October, which left five policemen dead and over a dozen wounded.

A local TV station, the Press House, burns after a prolonged gun battle.
This most recent attack, consisting of a prolonged gun battle between police and heavily armed militants over a school building and a media building nearby, has been seen as opening a new chapter in what was thought to be a still frozen conflict, that of the two Chechen wars fought under Yeltsin and Putin (which are themselves continuations of a much longer conflict between Chechnya and Russia). While Imarat Kavkaz (an outlawed militant Islamist group) claimed responsibility, many have been wondering aloud whether ISIS (the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) was either directly or indirectly involved in this incident.

So far, the evidence shows that ISIS was not directly involved with this attack. While many have pointed to the direct threats made by ISIS against Putin and Russia's iron grip on the Caucasus region (which is predominately Muslim) as potentially justifying ISIS' direct involvement, the only links that experts can point to are ideological in nature.

Damage in Grozny following militant assault.
It therefore seems safe to assume that these latest bursts of violence in Chechnya and neighboring Dagestan (where Islamists set fire to FSB offices in Makhachkala) are not being directly administrated and/or funded by ISIS. What is clear, however, is that these attacks are at least partially inspired by the recent victories of ISIS in the Middle East, in conjunction with the proclamation of a Caliphate in occupied Iraq and Syria.
It seems only logical to expect more attacks, and you can be sure that you will find reliable, fact-based reporting on it right here.