Rustam Aselderov

Rustam Aselderov was the U.S.-designated emir (leader) of ISIS’s Wilayat Qawqaz, the group’s province in the North Caucasus. On December 4, 2016, Russia’s FSB security service announced that it had killed Aselderov and his close associates during a raid on a private house near Dagestan’s capital city of Makhachkala.“Russia Says North Caucasus IS Leader Killed In Daghestan Raid,”
Radio Free Europe, December 4, 2016, http://www.rferl.org/a/daghestan-aselderov-killed-is-militant-fsb-russia/28154860.html;
“Designations of Foreign Terrorist Fighters,” U.S. Department of State, September 29, 2015, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2015/09/247433.htm.

Prior to joining ISIS, Aselderov commanded the Dagestan branch of the Caucasus Emirate, a jihadist group that seeks to implement sharia (Islamic law) in the Caucasus. In that role, the FSB believes Aselderov orchestrated the deadly suicide bombings in the Russian city of Volgograd in 2013 that killed 34 people. The FSB also linked Aselderov to two car blasts on the Astrakhan-Makhachkala highway in May 2012 that left 14 people dead and 120 wounded.“Russia Says North Caucasus IS Leader Killed In Daghestan Raid,”
Radio Free Europe, December 4, 2016, http://www.rferl.org/a/daghestan-aselderov-killed-is-militant-fsb-russia/28154860.html.

In December 2014, Aselderov defected from Caucasus Emirate and swore allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.“Designations of Foreign Terrorist Fighters,” U.S. Department of State, September 29, 2015, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2015/09/247433.htm. In June 2015,Mairbek Vatchagaev, “Two North Caucasus Rebel Leaders Face Off in Islamic State–Caucasus Emirate Dispute,” Jamestown Foundation, June 26, 2015, https://jamestown.org/program/two-north-caucasus-rebel-leaders-face-off-in-islamic-state-caucasus-emirate-dispute/#;
Harleen Gambhir, “ISIS Declares Governorate in Russia’s North Caucasus Region,” Institute for the Study of War, June 23, 2015, http://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/isis-declares-governorate-russia%E2%80%99s-north-caucasus-region.
Baghdadi announced the creation of Wilayat Qawqaz and named Aselderdov as its emir.“Designations of Foreign Terrorist Fighters,” U.S. Department of State, September 29, 2015, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2015/09/247433.htm;
Alessandria Masi, “How Russian Militants Declared A New ISIS ‘State’ In Russia’s North Caucasus,” International Business Times, June 26, 2015, http://www.ibtimes.com/how-russian-militants-declared-new-isis-state-russias-north-caucasus-1984613.
The U.S. State Department imposed sanctions on Aselderov as a “foreign terrorist fighter” in September 2015.“Designations of Foreign Terrorist Fighters,” U.S. Department of State, September 29, 2015, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2015/09/247433.htm.

 
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