Bombers have struck in the town of Kizlyar in Dagestan. All together, 12 fatalities have been reported as well as 23 injured. Apparently a crowd had gathered after the first bomb had exploded, only for a suicide bomber dressed as a policeman to rush in amongst them about twenty minutes later and detonate a device. The Voice of Russia reports that the Dagestani Interior Minister (identified as Dagestan’s President by Izvestiia) – Ali Magomedov – has stated that one of the bombers has already been identified, but no further details were forthcoming.
Coming as this did so quickly upon the heels of the bombings in the Moscow Metro, people will be speculating as to whether there was a specific link between the two. It is often said that such acts have been linked primarily to the struggle of Russia’s North Caucasian republics to achieve full independence, but others point to the internationalisation of Al-Qaeda style jihadism and its particular appeal to many young Muslim males in the area. This latter position is certainly the view of Novaia gazeta’s Iuliia Latynina, who argues that the emergence of jihadi ideology in the region over the past twenty years rests upon the idea that this is Muslim land that needs to be reclaimed for the Dar al-Islam. This is why, she argues, most terrorist bombings in Russia over the past 15 years have been centred in the Northern Caucasus and adjacent regions. Salafism has taken root, and it would seem that once again it is jihadis who have wrought their terrible and pointless work in Kizlyar.