Thursday, March 5, 2009

Kavkaz endorsing al-Awlaki and vice versa

Everything that Anwar al-Awlaki writes on his blog gets copied immediately (and without a word of criticism) to numerous other websites operated by his Anglophone cult followers. But lately a different sort of element has joined into this practice: the English-language section of Kavkaz Center. Kavkaz is part of the web presence of the network that calls itself the Causasus Emirate. Today al-Awlaki made the unusual move of copying and pasting some of Kavkaz's English stuff to his own blog.

Kavkaz original
al-Awlaki's copy

The piece is a scripted "interview" of the CE member Supyan Abdullayev, translated from Russian into English by Kavkaz I'm pretty sure.

Evidently one of Abdullayev's aims is to discredit Hamas and paint his own group as the real champions of the Gazans. I am a little surprised that al-Awlaki would include this anti-Hamas material on his own blog.

Abdullayev also talks about the main recurring theme in CE's English-language propaganda: their rivalry with other Islamists who have ambitions against Russia.

Al-Awlaki's stuff is not yet being ported to the Russian and Arabic sides of Kavkaz.

Appendix 7 March 2009: I very much doubt that al-Awlaki has any serious following among Umarov's people in Daghestan or any other part of Russia. None of those people has ever mentioned him, to my knowledge. But his appearances on Kavkaz indicate that the English Kavkaz webmaster is one of al-Awlaki's fans in the UK. That person seems to have no languages other than English. Al-Awlaki definitely has the services of another British Muslim propaganda and incitement group, who go by Tibyan Publications, one or more of whom is probably also doing the English Kavkaz stuff. The English Kavkaz condemns their Russian rival Ahmed Zakayev rather often, as it would if the Kavkaz web person were in the same country as Zakayev, i.e. the UK.

The more serious (but equally dishonest) side of Kavkaz is written in Russian and uploaded by Chechen fugitives elsewhere, particularly Istanbul. Somebody in that group closely follows the Turkish press. Much of the Russian material gets translated into Turkish.