Webpages operated by the Caucasus Emirate terrorist organization have played a key and growing role in financing their operations, according to a late-2011 report from the Center for Strategic & International Studies. The report revealed that while the Caucasus Emirate relied on centralized sites such as Qoqaz.net in the early 2000s, the Caucasus Emirate and Al Qaeda now follow a more decentralized approach of communicating through discussion forums, social media, and smaller websites.
What role, if any, such websites played in engaging Boston Marathon bombers Tamerlan and Dzhokar Tsarnaev is yet to be determined, but the 2011 article below from Reuters via Radio Free Europe about the CSIS findings now merits a second look.
The article also acknowledges the symbiotic relationship and financial ties between Al Qaeda and the North Caucasus guerrillas that Money Jihad profiled last Friday:
Think Tank Says Al-Qaeda Funding Caucasus Rebels
September 30, 2011
A leading Washington think tank says Al-Qaeda is providing growing support, including financial, to Islamic rebels in Russia’s restive North Caucasus.
In its report, the Center for Strategic and International Studies said Al-Qaeda has played a key role in “proselytizing jihadism” to the mujahideen in Chechnya and the Caucasus.
The report’s author, Gordon Hahn, pointed to a growing number of websites linked to the insurgency that are carrying statements of support from leading jihadists such as Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, who inspired Al-Qaeda in Iraq and is now in jail in Jordan.
Such websites, Hahn said, are also used to raise money.
Hahn pointed to the arrest by Czech police in May of eight individuals in Prague suspected of plotting attacks in the North Caucasus as possible proof of ties to Al-Qaeda.
The rebels goal is a state called the Caucasus Emirate, stretching from the Black Sea to the Caspian.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has labeled the insurgency Russia’s top security threat.
Hahn noted Chechen-born rebel leader Doku Umarov has called for the Caucasus Emirate to be incorporated into global jihad…
The full report can be accessed through CSIS’s website here.