IS media arm Al Hayat have released a video on the 12 November 2015 directly threatening Russia with attacks in the near future, claiming that ‘soon, very soon the blood will spill like an ocean’ in revenge for Russian airstrikes in Syria.

IS threat to Russia

This could manifest itself by ‘home grown’, self radicalised individuals and groups within Russia or by more familiar sources such as militant groups in Chechnya, Dagestan and Ingushetia.

Fundamentalist Islamic groups have long fought a guerrilla war against Russia in the North Caucasus following two brutal Russian-Chechen wars of 1994-1996 and 1999-2000.

Some groups have pledged allegiance to IS this year while others continue to support the long standing Caucasus Emirate and al Qaeda. While groups such as the Caucasus Emirate seek to establish an independent Islamic Emirate in the region similar to the Taliban seeking an Islamic Emirate in Afghanistan, IS (and al Qaeda) want to establish and expand an all encompassing single Islamic State.

This is not to say that the Caucasus or Afghan Islamic Emirates would not want to expand their Islamic territory should they succeed in achieving their initial aims.

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