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Thursday, December 28, 2017

Russian Caliphate children: what awaits them after IS?

Russian Caliphate children: what awaits them after IS?

The terrorist organization "Islamic State" (IS, earlier ISIL) (banned in Russia by the court), which managed to capture significant territories of Iraq and Syria in 2014-2016, since its appearance, had actively attracted militants from many countries, including Russia. In its heyday, the strength of the grouping exceeded 30,000 fighters 1, two-thirds of them being foreigners. Among militants from Russia, who went to fight for the IS*, many were from Northern Caucasus. They often took their families with them, not intending ever to come back. The main inflow of women and children to the territories controlled by the IS* was in 2015.

According to various estimates, hundreds or even thousands children from Dagestan, Chechnya and other regions of the Caucasus may still be in Iraq and Syria. Their life and health are in particular danger, after the ISIL* began suffering large-scale defeats in the summer of 2017. The issue of returning the children of perished militants from the warfare area is now very topical.

The "Caucasian Knot" tells why it is not easy to return militants' children to Russia, who is engaged in the process, and how many children they have already managed to return.

Why is it difficult to return children to Russia?

One of the obstacles is the absence on them of any documents confirming their Russian citizenship. Particularly this problem concerns Iraq, because in order to take children from there, a court judgement is needed, proving that the child is a citizen of Russia. In Syria, this issue is easier to solve, since Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has allowed taking Russian citizens away without a court judgement 4.
Another problem is that mothers returning to Russia with their children often face a risk of criminal prosecution for participating in illegal armed formations (IAFs) in the territory of a foreign state.

For example, three women from Dagestan, who were brought to Grozny by a special flight in a group of rescued women and children from Syria, were almost immediately detained by law enforcers. As it turned out, the women had been on the wanted list 5.

Who deals with the return?

A hotline was launched to collect information about Russian children in Iraq and Syria: +7 (495) 221-70-65.

The Chechen government and the clergy of Chechnya are actively engaged in the return of militants' children, especially the plenipotentiary of the head of Chechnya in Middle East and North Africa, Senator Ziyad Sabsabi, who personally met the Iraqi and Syrian authorities. All the related expenses are born by the Akhmat Kadyrov Foundation 6.

On August 13, 2017, more than 50 women marched in Grozny, urging the Chechen leadership to help in returning children from the territories of Iraq and Syria.

Apart from the Chechen government, Anna Kuznetsova, the Russian Children's Ombudsperson, is also involved in returning children; in August this year, she reported that a database had been gathered with hundreds of family names and contact details of children in Syria and Iraq, who might need help.

"There, of course, the entire territory of the Russian Federation is present... The overwhelming majority refers to residents of Chechnya and Dagestan. Today, the Dagestani list contains more than 200 people... According to unofficial data, there are many more of them there," Ms Kuznetsova said in August after a sitting on the problem of returning children 7.

Also, the parties to the negotiation process are the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), the federal commission for the return of children from warfare areas, representatives of Dagestan, and Ambassadors of Syria and Iraq. Besides, members of the Chechen Diaspora in Jordan, who work in cooperation with the Red Crescent Society, are helping to return Chechen children from Iraq 8.

How many children have returned and how many still remain there?

Bilal Taghirov whose father took him to Syria. Photo: screenshot of a video posted on Ramzan Kadyrov’s Instagram
By mid-September, it became known that at least 445 minor Russians remained in the warfare areas in Syria and Iraq; over a hundred of them are under the age of three 9.

In October-November, 43 children were returned to Russia from Syria 10 They are brought in small groups. Hundreds of Russian children still, perhaps, remain in the warfare areas.

The "Caucasian Knot" has collected detailed information about the militants from the Caucasus, fighting in Syria and Iraq for jihadists, in its analytical material "Caucasians in the ranks of IS*". It tells about how many people from the Caucasus had left for the IS*; how they got there, and what expected those, who tried to return. Also, the material presents stories about well-known Caucasian commanders in the IS*, and how ISIL* cells operate in the Caucasus as such. Besides, little-known information about the ISIL*, narrated by a witness, who had been in the ranks of the IS*, and got disappointed, can be learned from the interview "Travel to the Islamic State* and back".

Fresh materials about the influence of the war in the Middle East on the situation in the regions of the Caucasus are published by the "Caucasian Knot" on its topical page "Caucasus held at gunpoint by Caliphate".


1. ISIS can 'muster' between 20,000 and 31,000 fighters, CIA says // CNN, 12/09/2014.

2. ISIS By The Numbers: Foreign Fighter Total Keeps Growing // NBC News, 02/28/2015.

3. BEYOND THE CALIPHATE: Foreign Fighters and the Threat of Returnees. The Soufan Center. October 2017. P. 5.

4. Seven women and 14 children brought to Grozny by special flight from Syria // TASS, October 21, 2017.

5. Member of HRC under head of Chechnya: three women brought by special flight from Syria detained in Dagestan // TASS, November 14, 2017.

6. Eight children and four women brought to Grozny from Iraq and Syria // TASS, September 1, 2017.

7. Kuznetsova told from what Russian regions children are brought to Syria and Iraq // RIA "Novosti", August 15, 2017.

8. Chechen girl found in Iraq identified // "Caucasian Knot", 02.08.2017.

9. Russia launches hot line for children's return from Iraq and Syria // NTV, 18.10.2017.

10. Forty-three Russian children returned from Syria within six weeks // TASS, November 17, 2017.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Former officer of the Free Syrian Army: "250 ISIS members sent from Jarablus to Europe"

Former officer of the Free Syrian Army: "250 ISIS members sent from Jarablus to Europe". (ANF).

Mihemed Casim El Hesen was an officer of the Free Syrian Army, which participated alongside other groups in the Turkish-led invasion operation "Euphrates Shield" on the triangle area between Jarablus, Azaz and Bab. He then joined the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Speaking to the Mezopotamya News Agency (MA), El Hesen said Turkey has very close ties with Islamist groups such as ISIS and Al-Nusra.

33 years old Mihemed Casim El Hesen is from Dêir ez-Zor and was a former police officer. In 2012, according to his own statements, he joined the FSA. After the invasion of the area by the ISIS and Al-Nusra, he went to Hatay province south of Turkey, then to Jarablus, where the Turkish army and the Euphrates Shield groups have taken control. "There I was responsible for the contact between the tribes from Dêir ez-Zor and the Euphrates Shield commanders”, he says.

El Hesen also provided significant information about the operation on Jarablus which Turkey entered with the Euphrates Shield and took over from ISIS in just three hours. He told:

"Turkey negotiated the takeover of Jarablus with ISIS before the operation. Russia and the Syrian regime were also informed about this negotiation. There was a meeting between Russian, Syrian and Turkish officials in Karkamış before the operation. When the Turkish troops entered Jarablus, 250 selected ISIS fighters were taken to Kilis and Antep via the Karkamış border crossing. One of the people responsible for the transport was me. Later I learned that these ISIS fighters had been sent to Europe. Other ISIS fighters were brought to Bab, Hama and Raqqa with their families.”

Commenting on his own motives for moving from the FSA to the SDF, El Hesen explained: "The FSA came into being to fight the regime, but now it serves the Turkish state. Turkey uses the FSA only for its own interests and gives ISIS much more support. Many relatives and acquaintances of mine told me how the SDF approached the people after the liberation of Manbij, Raqqa and the rural areas of Dêir ez-Zor. That's how I realized what it really is. Many of the Euphrates Shield fighters and especially those from Dêir ez-Zor want to go with their families to SDF-controlled areas. I talked to 300 friends of mine in the Euphrates Shield and told them how the SDF behaves me. Now they all want to come.” Read the full story here.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Video - Dr. Mordechai Keidar Tells the Arab World the Truth about Jerusalem on Al-Jazeera

Dr. Mordechai Keidar doesn’t need to hold back any punches when speaking with Arabic spokesman. He speaks their language and understands their culture and always goes on the offensive.

His knockout punch of pointing out that most Arabs in the Middle East would move to Israel if Israel would open it’s gates to them is a very powerful argument. Source.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Eight Synagogues across Canada receive hate mail.

Eight Synagogues across Canada receive hate mail. (CP24).

TORONTO -- At least eight synagogues in four cities across Canada have received anti-Semitic letters calling for the death of Jews, B'nai Brith Canada said.

Four synagogues in Toronto, two in Montreal, one in Hamilton and one in Edmonton have reported being sent the hate mail, the Jewish advocacy group said Tuesday.

A photo on B'nai Brith Canada's website shows the letter containing the words "Jewry must perish," and a swastika scrawled onto a blood-soaked Star of David.

There were 1,728 anti-Semitic incidents reported throughout the country in 2016, according to B'nai Brith's statistics. That's a 26 per cent increase from 2015 and the highest number of incidents ever seen by the organization, which has been tracking anti-Semitism for 35 years.

B'nai Brith does not yet have anti-Semitism statistics for 2017. Hmmm......Imported 'Values?' Read the full story here.

Monday, December 18, 2017

The 'ISIS Widows' and the myth of the innocent jihadi spouses.

Source picture here

The 'ISIS Widows' and the myth of the innocent jihadi spouses. (JPost).

One woman recalled being raped by an Islamic State fighter. First the fighter’s wife would come in and put makeup on her. Then the wife would force her to dress up. Then, when his wife was done “preparing” her, the husband would come and rape her. According to an account published this year, the survivor remembers the rapist calling her “kuffar,” the Islamist word for sub-human or “unbeliever.”
Today the ISIS “widows” are the center of sympathy.
The thousands of Yazidi slaves that ISIS captured in August 2014 tell a different story of the ISIS women.

One told a reporter from Alternet that some of the jihadists’ wives were “worse” than the men. A Yazidi woman named Seeham said that the ISIS women would shout abuse at her.

One of the women forced her to shave her body and “brought sexy clothes to wear for her husband and helped him rape me by tying me to the bed.” It got worse. Seeham had a little daughter. Read the full story here.
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