The cry of the wolf : Islamism in Post-Soviet Chechnya
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Chechnya today has been operationalized as a hub of Islamic radicalism that threatens a global jihad force. How did this region become a link in terrorist networks such as Al Qaeda? And how did a Chechen nationalist movement transform into a jihad against Russia and the West? Islamic radicalism in Post-Soviet Chechnya is the product of many factors, chief among them notions of historical determinism, a legacy of conflict and oppression, and political volatility. Consequently, this report utilizes a historical and political approach in order to present a clear and complete understanding of Islamism's rise and growth in Chechnya. Russo-Chechen relations have long preceded today's insurgency and counterinsurgency operations in Chechnya, and Islam has always played a crucial role in this history. The Russo-Chechen narrative is thus key to understanding the development of Islamism in Chechnya. Chapters 1 and 2 delineate this history and expound upon notions of historical determinism, helping to contextualize Islamism in contemporary Chechnya. There are also a host of politically contingent factors contributing to Islamic radicalism in Chechnya, particularly Putin's use of soft authoritarianism in the Caucasus. These factors are examined in Chapter 3. Taken in sum, this historico-political approach aims to trace the development of political Islam in Chechnya and shed light on the consequences of this phenomenon, as they relate to today's growing network of global Islamism and the future of Chechen jihad.