Islamdin.com, the website of the Kabardino-Balkar-Karachai (KBK) wing of the North Caucasus insurgency, posted late on April 20 an undated seven-minute video clip in which fighter Astemir Mamishev, 22, responds to the self-styled Black Hawks who attacked his family’s home and those of several of his comrades in arms in late January-February.
Mamishev, flanked by two masked fighters with handguns, explains he is speaking with permission from his commander, Abdullakh (Asker Jappuyev).
Addressing the Black Hawks, an unidentified group who have taken it upon themselves to hunt down and kill the Islamic militants, Mamishev warns that their efforts directed against Allah will not succeed in this world, and that the flames of hell await them in the next.
Mamishev affirms that the Black Hawks’ threats will not persuade him to abandon the jihad, and that “like other fighters who embark on this path, I shall continue killing you as long as Allah sees fit.”
He stresses that he is not indifferent to the plight of his family, whom he loves, “but even if you kill them all, that will not stop me…. We shall catch up with you sooner or later, and then we shall see under whose feet the ground will burn” — an allusion to one of the Hawks’ videotaped threats.
Mamishev challenges the masked Hawk who threatened him personally in one video clip to “show your face, if you are a man,” stressing that he himself makes no effort to hide his identity. Jappuyev and lower-level sector commanders Kazbek Tashuyev (aka Abdul-Jabbar) and Ratmir Shameyev (Emir Zakaria) similarly never conceal their faces in front of the camera.
Mamishev’s undated statement is the first by a member of the KBK insurgency wing since early March, when three of its members were betrayed and killed. Since then, its fighters have suspended operations and gone into deep cover, which has not prevented the arrest of two support personnel. In addition, several men known as practicing Muslims have been killed and posthumously branded militants.