Russia: ISIS ‘emir’ killed in north Caucasus

Russia’s FSB security service said it had killed an emir of the ISIS in the North Caucasus along with four other militants

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Russia’s FSB security service said Sunday it had killed an “emir” of the ISIS group in the North Caucasus along with four other militants in a raid in the Dagestan region.

The FSB said in a statement that “among the neutralized bandits was the head of the Caucasus region’s branch of the Islamic State Rustam Aselderov, and four of his close associates.”

The FSB said that Aselderov was involved in 2013 blasts in the southern Russian city of Volgograd which killed 34. He was fighting for another Caucasus insurgent group at the time. It also linked him to twin car blasts in Dagestan in 2012 that killed 14 and injured at least 120.

The 35-year-old warlord pledged allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in December 2014, the first major militant to do so in the Caucasus.

ISIS has since claimed responsibility for a number of attacks on police in Dagestan.

In 2015 the US Department of State imposed sanctions on Aselderov as a “foreign terrorist fighter” after the militant group appointed him leader of its North Caucasus franchise.

ISIS named Aselderov, also known as Sheikh Abu Mohammad al-Qadari, the governor of a new province after Islamist militants in the region pledged allegiance to the jihadist group.

The Russian North Caucasus is one of the major sources of foreign militant fighting in Syria and Iraq.