Zalim Shebzukhov. Photo: http://s019.radikal.ru/i637/1408/f8/18401d417153.jpg

06 January 2016, 18:33

Experts link Shebzukhov's statement with weakening of "Imarat Kavkaz"

The "Imarat Kavkaz" is disoriented at the background of its rivalry with the "Islamic State" (IS), said the experts, who commented on Zalim Shebzukhov's appeal to militants to return to the "Imarat Kavkaz".

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that the audio record allegedly made by Zalim Shebzukhov, one of the leaders of the North-Caucasian militants, appeared on the Internet on December 28, 2015. The author of the record condemned the militants' transfer to the terrorist IS, and called on the members of the underground to return back to the "Imarat Kavkaz", which is also banned in Russia.

"Today, in Northern Caucasus, members of the IS the most combat-capable; while 'Imarat Kavkaz' is so weakened that it no longer exists as a whole unit. This is indicated by the fact that the statement was made by Shebzukhov, not by the Imarat Kavkaz leader, whoever he is," said Akhmet Yarlykapov, a senior researcher at the Centre for Ethno-Political Studies of the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS).

Akhmet Yarlykapov has also noted that "there is no open war between supporters of the 'Imarat Kavkaz' and the IS."

However, the "Imarat Kavkaz" does not like that the IS is encouraging the departure of militants to the Middle East, the expert said.

Alexei Malashenko, a member of the Scientific Council of the Moscow Carnegie Centre, did not rule out that the militants, who are at war in the Middle East, "have already lost faith in the IS."

"After all, they are fighting and fighting, but there's no sense – nobody recognizes them; and no final victory can be expected. If this trend continues, the 'centre of gravity' may pass over to Northern Caucasus. And there it all depends on the economic and political situation in Russia," Alexei Malashenko told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

In his turn, Andrei Arishev, the head of the Russian Society of Caucasian Studies, believes that the above Shebzukhov's statement was associated with "another attempt to consolidate the forces of the terrorist underground in Northern Caucasus." "This could lead to destabilization in some regions of Northern Caucasus," said Arishev.

Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.

Author: Oleg Krasnov; Source: CK correspondent

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