Title: Jihad in Chechnya by Azzam Publications, Profile of Ibn-ul-Khattab

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Profile: Ibn-ul-Khattab, Commander of the Foreign Mujahideen in the Caucasus

Khattab, September 1999Khattab with Basayev in Grozny, 1999Khattab in Dagestan, 1999Khattab firing at Russian jets, Dagestan, 1999Khattab directing mortar fire in Dagestan, 1999Khattab distributing clothes ro Russian prisoners. Chechnya, 1996Khattab tending to an injured Chechen Mujahid, Chechnya 1996Khattab carrying a wounded Mujahid, Chechnya 1996Khattab in a military council, Chechnya, 1996 with Hakeem Al-Madani on his right (wearing glasses) and Abu Bakr Aqeedah in the foreground (blue t-shirt)Khattab firing an RPG at Russian positions, Chechnya, 1996

Exclusive Interview with Khattab 20 November 1999

Nickname or 'nom de guerre': Ibn-ul-Khattab, also known as Khattab
Real name: Undisclosed
Position: Ameer (Commander) of the Foreign Mujahideen Forces in the Caucasus
Born: 1970
Nationality: GCC Member State in the Arabian Gulf
Languages spoken: Arabic, Russian, English, Pushto Birthplace: Arabian Gulf
Experience in Jihad: 12 years
Lands of Jihad visited: Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Chechnya

"If you would have told me in Afghanistan that a day will come when we will be fighting the Russians INSIDE Russia, I would never have believed you." [Ibn-ul-Khattab]

Born in the Arabian Gulf, Khattab was brought up in a relatively wealthy and educated family. He grew up to be a brave and strong teenager, who was known to be daring and fearless. After mastering the English language, he obtained a place in an American High School in 1987. 1987 was the peak of the Afghan Jihad against the invading army of the (then) Soviet Union. Youngsters from all over the Muslim world were flocking to Afghanistan after responding to the calls of Jihad made by Islamic personalities such as Sheikh Abdullah Azzam (assassinated 1989), Sheikh Tamim Adnani (died 1988) and Usama bin Ladin. Miraculous accounts of heroic feats and daring displays of valour against the World Superpower were reaching the ears of the Muslims. As the time approached for him to leave for a new life of education in the U.S., Khattab decided to follow many of his friends and relatives to Afghanistan for a short visit. Since the day he waved good-bye to his parents and family, at the end of 1987, he has never returned home since.

One of the Mujahideen describes the young teenage Khattab who arrived at his first training camp in Jalalabad, Afghanistan:

"The training camp near Jalalabad was full of brothers coming and leaving almost every day. We were preparing for a large operation against the Russians and those brothers who had completed their training were packing their bags and leaving the camp to go to the front-line. As we were preparing to leave for the front-line, a group of new recruits arrived. It was then that I noticed a young teenage boy amongst the new recruits: 16-17 years old, with long hair and a beard that had not yet begun to grow fully yet. Immediately, he went to the commanders of the training camp and starting pleading with them to let him go to the Front-line. The commanders obviously refused to send a young untrained boy to the Front without any training. I went over, greeted him and asked him his name. He replied, 'Ibn-ul-Khattab'"

Khattab completed his training and then went to the Front. One of his trainers was Hassan As-Sarehi, the Commander of the famous Lion's Den operation in Jaji, Afghanistan, 1987. [Hassan As-Sarehi has been imprisoned in Ar-Ruwais Concentration Camp, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia since 1996 on allegations of a crime whose accusees have already been executed.] Over the next six years, this young boy was to turn into one of the bravest and most formidable Mujahideen commanders that the world has known in the 20th Century. He was known for his refusal to duck from oncoming fire and his refusal to show pain after an injury. From ambushes to operations to raids, he fought the Soviet Regular and Special Forces, being present in all the major operations in the Afghan Jihad between 1988 and 1993, including the conquests of Jalalabad, Khost and Kabul. He escaped death on a number of occasions, as it his time had not yet arrived.

One of the Mujahideen describes how Khattab was once shot in the stomach by a 12.7mm Heavy Machine Gun bullet in Afghanistan. (12.7mm ammunition is used to pierce armour and to break through fortified positions: it makes mincemeat out of human flesh, as any military expert will testify.):

"During one of the operations, we were sitting in the room of a small house in the Second Line. It was evening time and the fighting on the Front Line was very tough. A few moments later, Khattab entered the room; his face was looking pale, but other than that he seemed to act normal. He came in, walked very slowly to the other side of the room and sat down next to us. Khattab was unusually quiet, so the brothers sensed that something must be wrong, even though he did not even flinch once nor show any signs of pain. We asked him if he had got hurt; he replied that on the Front, he had received a light injury, nothing serious. One of the brothers then went over to him to see the injury. Khattab refused to let him see, adding that the injury was nothing serious. This brother forced Khattab to let him see and then felt his hand on Khattab's abdomen. He saw that his clothes were soaked with blood and he was bleeding heavily. We then immediately called a vehicle and rushed him to the nearest field hospital, during which he was complaining all the time that the injury was light and nothing serious."

It was in Afghanistan that Khattab lost two fingers of his right hand whilst attempting to throw a homemade grenade. The grenade exploded in his hand and two of his fingers were severed by the explosion. His fellow Mujahideen tried to persuade him to go to Peshawar for medical attention, but Khattab refused, insisting that putting some honey on the wound (like the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad SAWS) and bandaging it will do the job and that there is no need to go all the way to Peshawar. His fingers have remained in a similar bandage ever since that day.

As the Soviet Army withdrew from Afghanistan and the Communists were defeated by the Mujahideen, Khattab and a small group of friends heard about the war against the same enemy, but this time in Tajikistan. He then packed his bags and went over to Tajikistan in 1993 with a small group of brothers. Two years they stayed there fighting the Russians in snowy, mountainous terrain with a lack of proper weapons and ammunition.

After two years in Tajikistan, Khattab returned with his small group to Afghanistan, early in 1995. It was at this time that the war in Chechnya had just begun and everyone was confused as to the religious inclinations of the Chechens and the religious significance of this war.

Khattab describes his feelings when he saw the news about Chechnya on satellite television one evening in Afghanistan:

"When I saw groups of Chechens wearing headbands with 'La ilaha illalah...' (There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger) written on them, and shouting takbeers (Allahu-Akbar), I decided that there was a Jihad going on in Chechnya and I must go there."

From Afghanistan, Khattab travelled with a group of eight of his fellow Mujahideen, direct to Chechnya, arriving there in the Spring of 1995. The next four years were to make Khattab's exploits in Afghanistan and Tajikistan look like games in a nursery playground. According to official Russian statistics, more Russian soldiers were killed in three years of the war in Chechnya than were killed in the entire ten-year Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

Khattab was joined by a few more of his fellow Mujahideen from Afghanistan and they set about training the local Chechens in both military warfare and Islamic knowledge. They carried out a number of daring operations against the Russians inside Chechnya (Khartashoi, 1995; Shatoi, 1996; Yashmardy, 1996) and Russia itself (Dagestan, 1997 and now, 1999).

One of his most daring operations was the Ambush of Shatoi on 16 April 1996, in which he led a group of 50 Mujahideen to annihilate a convoy of 50 Russian vehicles leaving Chechnya. Official Russian military sources said that 223 Russian soldiers were killed (including 26 senior officers) and every single vehicle was destroyed. This operation led to the sacking of two or three senior Russian Generals in Moscow and Boris Yeltsin announced news of the operation to the Russian Parliament. Five of the Mujahideen were martyred in that operation. The entire operation was filmed and clips and photographs of it can be seen at in the Photo Library section.

A few months after that, his group carried out a raid on a Russian Army barracks, destroying Russian helicopter gunships with AT-3 Sagger wire-guided anti-tank missiles. Again, this entire operation, including the destruction of the helicopters was filmed.

A group of his fighters also participated in the famous Grozny offensive of August 1996, led by Shamil Basayev.

He also came to the scene on 22 December 1997, in which he led a group of 100 Chechen and Foreign Mujahideen 100km inside Russian territory and attacked the headquarters of the 136 Motorised Rifle Brigade of the Russian Army. 300 Russian vehicles were destroyed and scores of Russian troops were killed. Two Mujahideen were killed in this operation, including one of Khattab's senior most commanders from Afghanistan, Commander Abu Bakr Aqeedah.

After the withdrawal of the Russian troops from Chechnya in the Autumn of 1996, Khattab was proclaimed a national hero in Chechnya. He was presented with a medal of courage and bravery by the Chechen Government and assigned an official rank of General, in a ceremony attended by Shamil Basayev and Salman Raduyev, the most brilliant commanders of the Chechen war. Before General Jawhar Dudayev was killed, he held Khattab in the utmost respect. This was a respect earned by his actions, not by his words.

Khattab believes in the Jihad of media. He was once reported as saying: "Allah orders us to fight the disbelievers as they fight us. They fight us with media and propaganda, so we should also fight them with our media." For this reason, he is insistent on filming each and every one of his operations. It is said that he possesses a library of hundreds of video cassettes from Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Chechnya. He believes that words alone are not enough to answer false claims of the enemy's media: video footage must answer those claims. He has also taken extensive video footage of the destruction of the Russian forces in the recent Dagestan operation, August 1999, which shows hundreds of Russian dead, several times more than the 'official' Russian figure of 40 soldiers killed. This video can be found in the Jihad in Chechnya section of Azzam Publications's web-site.

Khattab has been likened by many Muslims as the 'Khalid bin Waleed of our times'. He firmly believes that his death will only come at the time written and appointed by Allah, not a minute earlier and not a minute later. He has escaped death and assassination attempts on many occasions, the closest of which was when he was driving a four tonne Russian truck, which was bombed by the Russians. The truck was blown to pieces as was his passenger, but Khattab survived without a scratch.

He is intelligent, brave and has a strong personality. He is well-liked by his soldiers, but known as someone you cannot play games with. He regularly checks upon his soldiers, solving any personal problems they have and giving them money from his own pocket to go and spend in the shops. He has a team of highly-trained and experienced commanders, each one of whom is capable of taking over his role were he to be killed.

In an advice to the Muslims around the world, he once said:

"The main thing that prevents all of us from coming to Jihad is our families. All of us who came here, came without our family's permission. If we had listened to our families and gone back home, who would carry on this work that we are doing? Every time I telephone my mother, even now she asks me to come home, even though I have not seen her for the last 12 years. If I was to go back to visit my mother, who would continue this work?"

Khattab's ambition is to carry on fighting the Russians until they leave every piece of Muslim land, from the Caucasus to the Central Asian Republics. He once said: "We know the Russians and we know their tactics. We know their weak points; and that is why it is easier for us to fight them than to fight other armies."

False media propaganda has accused Khattab of carrying out terrorist acts around the world. Anyone who has read this article with an unbiased mind will know that Khattab's nature is to confront the enemy face to face. And if fighting soldiers and armies who destroy your peoples' lives, turn your women into widows and your children into orphans, amounts to terrorism, then let history bear witness that Khattab is a terrorist.

In 1979, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. Twenty years on, there is no Soviet Union, and what remains of it is being invaded by the Mujahideen forces created as a result of that invasion, which was perhaps the biggest mistake ever made by a Government in the 20th Century.

"A small group. They are the ones who carry ambitions for the Muslim Ummah. And an even smaller group from this small group. They are the ones who sacrifice their personal worldly interests in order to act upon those ambitions. And an even smaller group from this elite. They are the ones who sacrifice their souls and their blood in order to bring victory to these ambitions and convictions. So, they are a small group within a small group within a small group." [Shaheed Dr Sheikh Abdullah Azzam, assassinated 1989]

Azzam Publications, August 1999


1) Azzam Publications. Photographs, video clips and information about Khattab's operations inside Chechnya. Home Page:

2) Zionist Freeman Center for Strategic Studies. Article about Mujahideen in Chechnya by Yossef Bodansky, refuted by Azzam Publications.

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Exclusive Interview with Khattab 20 November 1999

Question 1: Some people are of the opinion that you are terrorists and rebels, whilst others are of the opinion that you are standing up for an Islamic and humanitarian cause. What is your reply to that?

Answer 1: These opinions and labels do not concern us one little bit. We are fully aware of our obligation and our target. We are faced with an Islamic obligation before a humanitarian concern and this obligation is to come to the support of our Muslim brothers in every place, in person and with wealth, as Allah (SWT) said: "And if they ask you for assistance in the religion, then you must go to their aid…" [Quran 8:72].

Question 2: What do you think about the rumours that the Chechen fighters and their helpers are on one side and the Chechen people on another? And why are the Chechen people looking to the Russians and the outside world to help them from this calamity?

Answer 2: Praise be to Allah that the majority are certain of the victory from Allah and yearning for martyrdom in the Path of Allah. The Caucasian people are fully aware of who the Russian forces are and who the Russian people are. As for the ordinary people, there is no doubt that they do not want war. They are either looking towards the Russians being enemies who hate them and have destroyed their houses and killed their children. Or they are looking to the West to come to their aid.

Question 3: What is your opinion about the Russian Army? What about the Russian soldier on the battlefield?

Answer 3: Perhaps this question should be asked to the Russian prisoners who surrendered themselves to us. They are present with us now and they will tell to you that the soldiers are in a very bad state and about the rough dealings of the Russian officers towards them. It is a fact that any army that fights without a target and without an ideology or belief, they will have nothing to fight for.

Question 4: How do you perceive the state of the Western and Muslim countries?

Answer 4: As for the Western countries, they do not act except when it is in their interests and neither do they condemn the Russians much during their oppression of the Muslims. The previous affairs of the Muslims (Bosnia, Kosova, etc.) bear witness to that. As for the Muslim countries, especially the Arab countries, then I am sorry to say that their stance is nothing except fighting against those Muslims who stood by their Muslim brothers in the previous calamities to befall the Muslims.

Question 5: What is the current situation from a military point of view? What is the reality of the Chechens giving up their land? And what do you think the final outcome will be?

Answer 5: The Russian forces are entering the Chechen Republic from three principal directions: West, East and North. The Russian forces have used a new strategy in their encirclement of several principal towns before they enter them. As for our expectations, then it is possible for the Russians to enter Chechnya but it is impossible for them to remain there. The end of Russian will be in the land of the Caucasus, with the Permission of Allah.

Question 6: Do you need any support? What support in particular do you need?

Answer 6: The Chechen Republic has been surrounded from all sides. However, the Russian Army is prepared to sell everything for a price. As for previous affairs of the Muslims, one would always find Islamic charities and organisations present. I am sorry to say that there is not a SINGLE Islamic charity or organisation active inside Chechnya at present. Only the Red Cross is present in the Chechen towns and cities. Therefore, we advise the Muslims and the Muslim countries to take a sincere stand with the Mujahideen in the land of the Caucasus.

The Muslim and Arab world is under the grip and influence of the deceiving and lying Western media. Therefore the Muslims are under the impression that the situation is that of an internal Russian affair. The situation demands that the sincere Muslims in the Muslim World stand by their Mujahideen brothers in the land of the Caucasus. Previously, the Muslim World, in particular the Arab countries, were not able to help the Mujahideen in the land of the Caucasus due to the difficulties in finding out the reality of the situation. As for now, however, the Muslim World and others besides them know full well what is happening in the land of the Caucasus.

Question 7: Has the cutting off of gas and electricity had an effect on the sick, wounded, children and women?

Answer 7: There is no doubt that this has affected the children and the women. However, Praise be to Allah that the land of Chechnya is a land rich in oil and mineral resources. I say that the Russians did not cut off electricity and gas in the 1994-96 war. This is evidence that the Russian Government wishes to obliterate all the Chechens as a race and not only the Mujahideen as they are claiming in the media.

Question 8: Do you have a last word or an appeal, and to whom do you direct this?

Answer 8: I direct this appeal to the Muslim World and in particular, the scholars and the generous Muslims.

"I say that the Caucasian people are honest in their religion and their return to Allah (SWT). The Western World is supporting Russia to wage war against the Muslims once again, even if they are claiming the opposite to that. The offensives that the Russian forces undertook (such as in Dagestan) were against towns that announced the implementation of the Islamic Shariah. Indeed this is Christian war and crusade against Islam and its people and it is an obligation upon the Muslims, especially the great scholars, to support their Mujahideen brothers in the land of the Caucasus."

And Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds

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Exclusive Interview with Khattab 27 September 1999

Question 1) What is the accurate number of casualties on both the Russian side and the Mujahideen side, during the Dagestan operations in the months of August and September 1999? Please give some background to the Jihad in Dagestan.

Question 2) What is the reality of the Russian bombing campaign against Chechen civilians?

Question 3) Everyone is accusing you and Shamil Basayev of masterminding the explosions in Moscow. What do you have to say about this?

Question 4) Rumours are circulating that you have received $25 million from Usama Bin Laden. Is this true?

Question 5) What are the difficulties that have made by neighbouring countries to Mujahideen supply routes?

Question 6) What message do you have to say to the Muslim world, especially in the West?

Question 1) What is the accurate number of casualties on both the Russian side and the Mujahideen side, during the Dagestan operations in the months of August and September 1999? Please give some background to the Jihad in Dagestan.

Answer 1) The Jihad in Dagestan started after the invasions of the Russian forces into some Muslim cities in Dagestan where the Shariah was implemented. These cities broke apart from the authority of the Dagestani Government back in 1998. The names of these cities are Karamakhe, Shabanmakhe and some cities in the Soumada region. It is well known from the history of the Caucasus region, that Chechens and Dagestanis are the same people, with the same Iman, having the same history, who have been living together and fighting together against their main enemy: Communist Russia.

In the last few weeks before the Jihad In Dagestan, the Russian Government strengthened their special police force (it is like a military police force, trained and heavily armed) in order to fight against the Muslims in the Caucasus region, especially those who were returning to their Deen and to the implementation of the Shariah, as in Karamakhe, Shabanmakhe and in other Dagestan region such as Soumada, Gimkhe...etc. This Dagestani military police started surrounding and putting checkpoints in these cities and regions. On top of that the Dagestani Government made an official request Russia to send Russian troops to help them in surrounding these cities and regions. Russian forces thus moved into these areas. Then, the Mujahideen from the Caucasus, especially the Dagestani Mujahideen, requested the Dagestani Government, using all legal and official means to stop this situation. Nobody listened to their calls. On the contrary, the Dagestani and the Russian government decided not only to place checkpoints and surround these towns but also began bombing with heavy artillery and air strikes. That is exactly what the Russian Army did.

Weeks after the bombing, the Mujahideen gathered and decided to divert the attention of the Russian forces who were located in those regions, under the general leadership of Shamil Basayev, who is the overall commander in the battle field; I being the Military commander of the operations. After some planning, we entered the Botlikh region of Dagestan, confronting the Russian forces in a severe battle.

Russian and Mujahideen casualties in the region of Botlikh (Dagestan)

The Russian forces suffered many losses at the hands of the Mujahideen. We destroyed 5-7 helicopter gunships, two planes. We damaged more than 18 Army vehicles (BMP, BTRs, etc....). We killed, with the help of Allah, more than 400 soldiers and injured a tremendous amount of Russian soldiers. We destroyed a helicopter in which there were three senior Russian generals, and many high-ranking officers from the Russian Air Force. Most of these casualties were filmed by Russian television. These facts are not hidden by the Russian media and Government. Despite these huge Russian losses, the Russian forces were unable to take even a single metre from Mujahideen territory. Due to sustained heavy bombing and continuous air strikes by the disbelievers against the Mujahideen, permanent reinforcement of ground soldiers with army vehicles and a lack of Mujahideen ammunition and supplies, we decided to withdraw from those areas in the Botlikh region.

We suffered very light losses. Some of our vehicles were too damaged to be brought back. 38 brothers were shaheed, may Allah accept them among the martyrs. About 25 brothers received light injuries, 15 received injuries that need a bit of time to recover from. In those operations, the Vice Military Commander, Hakeem Al-Madani, was martyred as well as Sheikh Abu Musab (Arabian Peninsula).

The Russian forces used all kind of weapons against the Mujahideen, ranging from air strikes, tank shells, heavy artillery and Napalm bombs to mortar, military vehicles and so on. They virtually flattened all towns that were occupied by the Mujahideen. The inhabitants of these towns fled their homes due to the daily bombing by the disbelievers.

Once more Karamakhe (Dagestan) was besieged by the Russian forces. After 19 days in Dagestan we withdrew, realising that to actually stay in Dagestan on a permanent basis and confront the Russian Army, which is the biggest army in the world, is virtually impossible, except by the Will of Allah. The kind of strategy more appropriate to the Mujahideen is to strike and move, hit army convoys, attack army bases and command posts etc... just like in the Chechen Jihad. Three Days after we left Dagestan, the Russian forces besieged Karamakhe once more. Karamakhe was one of the towns in Dagestan that was implementing the Shariah. This town and its inhabitants never got involved in any Dagestani internal affair or any fight against the Dagestani military police forces. At 12 o'clock midnight, the Russian Army launched an unprovoked bombing campaign against Karamakhe. Once more the Mujahideen and Muslims of the region made official requests to the Dagestani Government to stop these bombings. No-one listened to them. Therefore, it was our duty to go and help our Muslim brothers once more in Dagestan against the Satanic forces, as we did previously in the Botlikh region.

Jihad in Nolak (Novaloskye) region of Dagestan

We entered into the Nolak region of Dagestan, once more facing the Russian Army and forcing them into a terrible fight. The Russian forces suffered many losses. We destroyed more than 30 Army vehicles and we took about 15 Army vehicles as war booty, some of them being too damaged to be brought back to base. Altogether, 50 Army vehicles were either destroyed, damaged or taken back as war booty. We also damaged several Russia helicopter gunships. There was fighting inside Dagestan (Karamakhe) as well as at the border (Botlikh and Nolak). The battles in Karamakhe proves very well that the Jihad in Dagestan is not a matter of Non-Dagestani Mujahideen who want to fight inside Dagestan. In Karamakhe, there are no Chechens or foreigners. This proves that the Jihad in Dagestan is a clear war between the Russian forces and Mujahideen: forces of Satan versus Allah's soldiers in the Caucasus.

Russian and Mujahideen casualties in Nolak region (Dagestan)

In the Nolak battles against the Russian army, about 30 army vehicles were destroyed. If you calculate that there are at least five soldiers in each army vehicle, that means that at least 150 Russians were killed in those vehicles. In one operation, the Russian Air Force was shooting at their own soldiers that were running away from the Mujahideen. Allah blinded the pilots. They killed about 20 of their soldiers and injured many more. In others operations, about 30 Russians were killed and many were seriously injured. We can say for certain that at least 200 Russian soldiers were shot dead and that a tremendous amount of Russian soldiers were badly injured. This is only from our side. But there were also about 600 Mujahideen fighting near Khasavyort (Nolak region), Dagestan's second biggest town. The fighting there was also very severe. We can confidently say that the overall Russian casualties in the Nolak region amount to several hundred dead and over a thousand injured. From our side, in all about 60 brothers were shaheed, may Allah accept them among the Martyrs, and about 80 were injured; the majority having light injuries. We stayed for a week in the Nolak region, then all the Mujahideen pulled out and returned safely to their bases.

Number of Mujahideen during the Jihad in Dagestan (Botlikh and Nolak regions).

In Botlikh, the total number of Mujahideen was about 500, but in the Nolak there were about 1200 Mujahideen with about 2000 Mujahideen in reserve, waiting in Chechnya. Russian reports claiming that there were 5000 Mujahideen of which 1000 were killed are fabrications. The truth will always come out against falsehood, with the Help of Allah.

Question 2) What is the reality of the Russian bombing campaign against Chechen civilians?

Answer 2) The Russian forces are using two methods of bombing on Chechen villages to kill women and children. Firstly, they are continuously bombing the Chechen villages situated at the Dagestani border using heavy artillery. Secondly, they are using air strikes against Chechen towns and villages all around Chechnya. By 27 September 1999, about 400 civilians had been killed and 700 injured, mainly women and children. Hundreds of people have fled the bombing areas. About 15 to 20 towns and villages have been bombed, 4 villages being completely flattened, house by house. Until today the bombing campaign continue in many part of Chechnya, adding more civilian casualties. May protests have been held in Grozny, some of them led by the President of Chechnya, Aslan Mashkadov. But who is listening to these protests? This state of war is not new to the Caucasus people in general and to the Chechen people in particular. Most of the people of the region are used to fighting against the Communist Russia. Everybody here is ready to fight against the oppressive Russian regime, insha-Allah.

Question 3) Everyone is accusing you and Shamil Basayev of masterminding the explosions in Moscow. What do you have to say about this?

Answer 3) Before we talk about the explosions in Moscow, let me ask you few questions.

Firstly, where was the world media when the Dagestani military police forces and the Russian forces besieged the towns of Karamakhe, Shabanmakhe and the Soumada region, bombing them with air strike and heavy artillery, only because these cities were implementing the Shariah of Allah? Those towns and regions never got involved in any Dagestani internal affair, nor had any trouble with the Dagestani or the Russian Governments.

Secondly, how come the world media kept quiet when more than 500 women and about 1000 children were prevented from leaving those towns during the heavy bombing of those places? Many got killed and injured during the Russian bombing of those towns.

Thirdly, why does all the world refuse to stand up and condemn the daily bombing of Chechen villages? The casualties until now have reached over 400 killed and 700 injured, with several thousand fleeing their homes. 15 to 20 villages and towns are either completely destroyed or partially damaged.

Finally, why does the world and the UN refuse to put pressure on the Russian Government to implement the accord signed between Russia and Chechnya after the war in Chechnya, in 1996? Why is Grozny Airport not open to international traffic? Why are the Chechen borders still closed? Why is Russia is making an embargo to Chechen trade and supply. We as Muslims and Mujahideen are fighting only against the disbelieving soldiers. It is not permissible for us to kill women and children. This is part of our religion. Those atrocities are committed by the Russian Forces on Chechen civilians because they are not able to defeat the Mujahideen on the battlefield, although they possess the biggest army in the world. Therefore, they bomb women and children to turn the people against the Mujahideen. They are making wicked plans but Allah is the best of Planners.

As long as the Russian army is continuing its bombing campaign against Chechen civilians and oppressing Muslims in the Caucasus, we cannot condemn the series of explosions in Moscow and Russia. Obviously, the world will accuse Shamil Basayev and I of making those explosions in Moscow and Russia. We denied being responsible or having any part to play in those series of explosions. Our role and responsibilities are to organise the Mujahideen in order to fight against the oppressive Russian army in the Caucasus region. Like the scientist Isaac Newton said, "Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

Question 4) Rumours are circulating that you have received $25 million from Usama Bin Ladin. Is this true?

Answer 4) The West and the rest of the world are accusing Usama Bin Ladin of being the prime sponsor and organizer of what they call 'International Terrorism', today. But as far as we are concerned, he is our brother in Islam. He is someone of knowledge and a Mujahid fighting with his wealth and himself for the sake of Allah. He is a sincere brother and he is completely the opposite to what the disbelievers are accusing him of. We know that he is well established with the Mujahideen in Afghanistan and other places in the world. But the distance between him and us is very big. As you know, routes and communication between him and us are severed. What the Americans are saying is not true. However, it is an obligation for all Muslims to help each other in order to promote the religion of Islam.

Usama Bin Laden is one of the major scholars of the Jihad, as well as being a main commander of the Mujahideen worldwide. He fought for many years against the Communists in Afghanistan and now is engaged in a war against American Imperialism. Usama Bin Laden never financed us in the Jihad in Dagestan because the distance between us is too huge and we have no contact whatsoever. Even during the Jihad in Afghanistan, such amounts of money ($25 million) were never spent by the Mujahideen in order to fight the Russian Forces. The Mujahideen have very basic means, with little weapons and money. Million or not, this will not delay or boost our Jihad for the sake of Allah. Our weapon is to believe in Allah (Iman). We just have to rely on Allah for help. Weapons, funds, support from individuals or groups is not everything. Allah will help those who are sincere in their intention of fighting for His Sake.

Question 5) What are the difficulties that have made by neighbouring countries to Mujahideen supply routes?

Answer 5) From a theoretical point of view, these states can plan to make difficult supply routes for the Mujahideen, but in reality it is virtually impossible to do so, because there are many roads and routes leading to Chechnya. On top of that, most of the Caucasus region is Muslim. Therefore, the Muslims and Mujahideen from Ingueshitia, Ossetia, Georgia, Azerbajan etc... help each other in providing supply routes to the Mujahideen in Chechnya and Dagestan.

Even when Chechnya was suffering from an economic and military blockade by Russian forces during the Jihad here in 1994-96, there were supply routes and unrestricted movement of people into and out of the country. Now the Russian Government and the Russian Army cannot even organise and control political and economical situation in Moscow. They cannot even govern the Russian people; what about the Caucasus as a whole? Russia is in disarray, the economy is bankrupt, the administration is a chaos, and the army is a mess etc.... Russia is very sick, finished and dying. Therefore, there is no benefit for the Caucasian countries to stay under the Russian leadership. Russian cannot even afford the payroll of its employees in Moscow; what about the payrolls of the whole of the Caucasus?

Caucasian people returning to their Deen (Islam)

The time has arrived now that the Caucasus people want to break free from Russian supremacy and dominance. They want to leave with their own Aqeedah (ideology), which is Islam. This is their rights. The Caucasus history shows well that the Russian regime oppressed them for many decades. Now the people of the region have the means and opportunities to defend themselves against the Communist oppression, by returning to their Deen. The entire history of the Caucasus is just a war between Russian forces and the Caucasian people. Today, the Caucasian people do not want the past to be repeated. They are getting ready to fight more than ever against the Russian army with Iman and Jihad.

Question 6) What message do you have to say to the Muslim world, especially in the West?

Answer 6) The first thing that the Muslim world can do to help the Mujahideen is Dua (supplicating to Allah to help the Mujahideen). Then they should follow up the news about the situation of the Mujahideen in the Caucasus. That is what the Mujahideen need more than anything else. During the Jihad in Chechnya, the Americans and the rest of the world were spreading news that the Jihad in Chechnya is a Russian internal affair. The Muslims have to know the truth. It is an obligation for all the Muslims to be in the Jihad and fight for the sake of Allah. Allah mentioned many times in the Quran to fight with your wealth and yourselves in His way. The Messenger (SAWS) quoted many hadith stressing the importance of the Jihad.

Islam was spread all over the world with Dawah and Jihad. Dawah and Jihad goes hand to hand. Each and every Muslim is responsible infront of Allah to leave his home to fight in the Jihad. Alhamdullilah, Allah blessed us by having taking part in the Jihad in Chechnya and now in the Caucasus as a whole. By being in the Jihad we can refute and deny the pack of lies that the disbelievers are trying to communicate to the outside world. Talking about the Jihad is not sufficient. You have to be in the battlefield in order to spread Islam and the correct information to the rest of the Muslim world. Although, Russia is on the verge of collapsing, the Russian Army still has some resources, either weapons or soldiers.

WE ARE STILL AT THE BEGINNING OF THE JIHAD IN THIS REGION. The Caucasian brothers are getting ready to confront the Russian forces. It will be a long and difficult struggle, but Allah is with the true believers who fight for his Sake. Therefore, as well as it being an obligation to follow up the news about the Mujahideen all over the world.

Military Commander of the Mujahideen in the Caucasus: Ibn-ul-Khattab

This interview was made on 27 September 1999

Azzam Publications is only a news outlet. We do not help or sponsor people to go for Jihad.

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