October, 2016, and Russian Federal Security Services storm a property in Nazran, capital of
Ingushetia in the northern Caucasus.
During the raid six suspected militants were killed, one an alleged ISIL member who had fought in Syria.
Russian authorities claim he was planning attacks in Russia.
Russian security services are monitoring Russian speakers who have joined ISIL in recent times. Most arrived in 2013. Authorities estimate that 3,000 fighters were in Syria by the end of 2015, some mention as many as 5,000.
Pic of Liva Muhajireen wal-Ansar Chechen jihadist group in Latakia Syria pic.twitter.com/VAlH3OauoQ— Edward (@DonKlericuzio) March 1, 2017
The Russian military took an openly active role in the war in Syria in 2015 at the request of faltering President Assad. Russian air strikes targeted Caucasus strongholds in Syria. Observers opine that Putin is fighting a third Chechen war away from the motherland.
Most of the Russian speakers fighting in Syria originate from the Caucasus. The region is a hotbed of instability since the Chechen wars.
However, militants from Central Asia such Tajikistan are joining ISIL ranks and other Islamist factions.
Abu Omar al-Shichani is known as the Chechen. These foreign fighters are also known as ‘Chechens’ by ISIL.
Al-Shichani is a child veteran of the two Chechen wars, he is held in high regard. In 2103 he pledged allegiance to ISIL and became a commander in Syria. He was killed last year.
Moscow is in a quandary have these Chechens truly embraced ISIL ideology or are they arming, preparing and training for the day they return to Russia.