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WASHINGTON – Moscow is growing increasingly concerned that the Chechen Islamist militants fighting in Syria will return to Russia to wreak havoc as the country prepares for the 2014 Winter Olympics in the Russian city of Sochi, according to report from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
The site of the winter Olympics is just next door to those predominantly Muslim Russian provinces, including Chechnya, that seek to establish a Caucasus Emirates and establish Shariah law.
There are increasing reports that fighters from the region are claiming they are from the “Caucasus Emirates.”
In effect, they seek to separate themselves from the Russian republic and create their own Muslim enclave, an idea that alarms Moscow.
Mounting concerns prompted the Kremlin, and even the president of the Russian Chechen province, Ramzan Kadyrov, to try tell the world the militants weren’t fighting in Syria.
Admission would expose the failure of Russia’s counter-terrorism program, as well as reveal the fact Chechens are fighting alongside Syrian opposition forces against the regime Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whom Moscow backs.
However, Moscow can no longer deny that, since increasing reports and videos have verified the fighters’ presence in Syria.
Russia is siding with al-Assad, a Shiite Alawite, which has put Moscow at odds with the majority of Sunnis who live in Syria as well as Sunnis in other countries, including the Gulf Arab countries.
Moscow’s concerns about Russian Islamists fighting in Syria aren’t limited just to Chechens. There are fighters from other Russian North Caucasus regions such as Dagestanis, Circassians, Balkars, Karachavs, Crimean Taters, Volga region Tatars and Ossetians fighting alongside the Syrian opposition.
Sunni Muslim muftis, or clerics, are telling the fighters it is their sacred duty to fight in Syria, since Muhammad is said to have predicted a battle in Syria would be paramount to a holy war.
The slogan many of the Russian Muslim Islamists are chanting is “One Umma (community), One Flag, One War.”
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