The Northern Caucasus has become increasingly unstable as the growth of Islamist terrorists under the banner of the Caucasus Emirate, have joined the global Islamist movement. A new paper by Ariel Cohen at The Heritage Foundation details the threat in this dangerous region and how it threatens not only Russia, but the world. A leader of the movement, Doku Umarov, declared that "after expelling the kuffar we must reconquer all historical lands of Muslims, and these borders are beyond the boundaries of Caucasus," and "Everyone who attacked Muslims wherever they are are our enemies, common enemies."
Russian policies have only pushed the growing Muslim population toward Islamist extremism. Russia has instituted a brutal police state with puppet governors in regions such as Chechnya and Dagestan. Furthermore, the constant violence from both Russian and terrorist forces has severely curtailed economic growth. While Russia has poured cash into the Northern Caucasus, most of it has been drained by corruption and waste, resulting in a stagnant economy. The combination of a growing and young Muslim population; brutal, corrupt governance by Russian and local authorities; and a stagnant economy has led many to join these terrorist groups.
Such a combination is dangerous to nearby forces and allies in Europe and the Middle East. We should not let this threat go unchecked.