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The wreckage of a suicide bombing near a police checkpoint in Russia’s Dagestan republic, Feb. 15, 2016 (NewsTeam photo by Bashir Aliev via AP).

Russia’s North Caucasus Insurgency Widens as ISIS’ Foothold Grows

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Russia’s North Caucasus insurgency has gone relatively quiet, but reduced casualty numbers belie a still-worrying situation where long-standing grievances remain. As more and more fighters join the cause of globalized jihadi groups, most of all the self-declared Islamic State (ISIS), Moscow may find that it has only transformed and widened its war.

A thwarted suicide bombing outside a police station near the Northern Caucasus city of Stavropol on Monday was the latest sign. Adding to the threat is the fear of blowback at home of previously dormant ISIS-inspired terrorist cells. This comes after a remarkable reduction of violence in Europe’s deadliest conflict since 2014. For two years in a row, the numbers of casualties in Russia’s North Caucasus insurgency have been halved each year. Security sector successes were partly responsible, but the insurgency was not entirely quashed, nor did the root causes of the anti-Russian upsurge in the region disappear. ...

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