02 April 2020, 08:45

Analysts doubt recruiting scale for IS* in Kalmyk colony

Islamic jamaats are being formed in Russian colonies that are demonstratively propagating the ideas of terrorist groupings without being their members, the analysts interviewed by the "Caucasian Knot" believe.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on December 18, 2019, the Investigating Committee of the Russian Federation (ICRF) reported about 22 suspects in the case of creating a terrorist community in Correctional Colony No. 2 of the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia (known as UFSIN) located in Kalmykia. Investigators believe that Shakhban Gasanov, who was killed in Khasavyurt in 2015, was the organizer of a terrorist community in the Kalmyk colony.

Investigators have established that no later than 2013, a native of Dagestan, while serving his sentence at the above colony, created a terrorist organization, which later included more than 100 prisoners.

Vera Mironova, a researcher at the Harvard University and the author of book "The Internal Organization of Military Groupings. Comparison of the IS* with Djabkhat-an-Nusra", is sceptical about the investigators' information that such a large group of members of the "Islamic State"* could exist in a Kalmyk colony.

"In Russia there are jamaats in colonies, but what do they have to do with the IS*? It's just a wrapper; they somehow need to legitimize their existence; therefore, they associate themselves with the IS*," Ms Mironova told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

Mikhail Roschin, a senior researcher at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, did not rule out the possibility of recruiting activities in Russian colonies, but called the scale reported by the ICRF doubtful.

"The large scale is questionable a little; what did UFSIN bodies did then? There are many questions," Mr Roschin has emphasized.

Aset Malsagova, a human rights defender and a former chair of the Chechen Public Oversight Commission (POC), treats the statement of special services about the disclosure of a terrorist grouping of one hundred members in a Kalmyk colony as a PR action and imitation of activeness.

"I don't trust such statements. Sometimes, special services need to unfold something, invent something and impose to the public it in order to justify their existence," Ms Malsagova told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

* Islamic State (IS, former ISIL) is a terrorist organization, banned in Russia by the court

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on April 1, 2020 at 09:32 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Alikhan Mamsurov; Source: CK correspondent

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