has had a dramatic impact on the development of the North Caucasus
region. People do not identify primarily with either a national
or international Islamic community.
Vakhabite community has become a major regional force during the
past decade in spite of numerous efforts to suppress its influence.
of the Vakhabites has resulted in the emergence of a clandestine
Vakhabite network supported from abroad.
throughout the region (mostly Saudi and North African Arabs) have
joined with the Khattab group in order to receive military training
in camps which are operated to support Arab terrorists. Khattab
was born in Saudi Arabia.
diaspora that has played a major supporting role in the modern Middle
East, especially in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, is returning
its children to Chechnya. And now, the return of Chechen Jordanians
such as Shamil Bassayev and Ipak Fath has helped to radicalize many
young Chechens who became active combatants in the Chechen wars.
and soldiers (mujahideen) provided by radical Islamic groups from
abroad have played a major role in strengthening the Chechen resistance
After the first
Chechen war (1994-1996), religious differences between the Sufi
movements and the Vakhabite movement began to have a deleterious
political impact in the region. While Sufi Muslims called for creation
of a secular state that would preserve traditional social patterns,
the Vakhabites have demanded a purification of Islam and the eradication
of local customs that have tainted and undermined pure Islam.