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June 17th, 2011

RUSSIA – Questions are raised over the rising number of violent murders of moderate Muslims in Russia’s mountainous Dagestan region.

  • Moderate Islamic clerics and community leaders have been prime targets.
  • Eyewitness reports allege that 13 to 50 Islamic religious leaders were murdered in the North Caucasus in recent years.
  • Ashuriav Kurbanov, an imam, was shot and killed by unidentified gunmen a week after Maksud Sadikov, rector of an Islamic college, was gunned down. Both actively spoke out against radicalism.
  • Dagestan has been a center of the Islamist insurgency since 1999.

Original sources: BBC News, The Moscow Times, Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

Analysts available for comment:

Alberto PRIEGO is an expert on issues concerning Caucasus and Central Asia. He is a professor at the Universidad Pontificia de Comillas, Madrid. He is the author of The Evolution of the Conflict in Chechnya, The Creation of the Azerbaijani Identity and its Influence on Foreign Policy, and Georgia: Another Velvet Revolution?, among other publications.


Location: West Europe

Languages: English, Russian, French, Spanish

Anatoly SALUTSKIY is a prominent Russian author and scholar of domestic and foreign policy. He is a highly acclaimed member of the Writers’ Union of Russia, and former advisor to the Chairman of the Russian State Duma.


Location: East Europe

Languages: English, Russian

Asher PIRT is a specialist on Russian and Central Asian affairs. Mr. Pirt regularly comments on Russian and Central Asian affairs for international media outlets, and has recently been featured on Russia Today, CNN, Deutsche Welle and the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation Radio Station.


Location: West Europe

Languages: English, Russian

Will HARTLEY is editor of IHS Jane’s Terrorism & Insurgency Center (JTIC). He heads a US-based team responsible for collecting and analyzing terrorism and insurgency related open source intelligence (OSINT), profiling currently active non-state armed groups, producing country briefing, case study and major terrorist incident reports.


Location: North America

Language: English

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