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ISIS Reaches Russia, Challenges Al-Qaeda In North Caucasus

The Islamic State declared a governorate in Russia’s North Caucasus region last week. ISIS has now reached Russian territory and is in direct competition with Al-Qaeda for the position of the world’s top ranked jihadist movement. The Institute for the study of war has said that ISIS has declared a Wilayat Qawqaz (Caucasus) governorate on 23 June, after a pledge of allegiance by some senior militants in the Muslim-dominated area. The Institute also said: “ISIS has been setting conditions to establish this governorate in support of its regional expansion campaign since at least January 2015. ISIS’s statements and actions over the next few weeks will indicate whether the organisation intends to launch operations through its new Caucasus affiliate, or whether it simply intends to use the pledge as an opportunity to assert its global vitality and reach.” Christian Today reports: The announcement pits the group against al-Qaeda affiliate Islamic Emirate of the Caucasus, which has been in operations in southwestern Russia’s mountainous region since 2007. “ISIS’s announcement of ‘Wilayat Qawqaz’ opens a new front in the battle between ISIS and al-Qaeda for the leadership of the global jihadist movement,” the Institute wrote. The announcement of the governorate will also allow […] Your News Wire

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