The news coming out of the Islamic Caucasus Emirate continues to be one of mixed signals regarding the resignation of Amir Dokka Umarov. One flank of analysts point to the recent addition of Mujahideen Abu Usman to the State Department list as a designated global terrorist as the reason for the sudden resignation. I believe that there was a prior event which brought about this announcement. This resignation is less about our State Department and more about a crisis of confidence within the ranks of the Chechen insurgency.
March 2010. Dokka Umarov created a political bifurcation within his ranks. His approval to release female suicide bombers to accomplish an attack on the Moscow subway system came back on this man in huge manner. The site which I monitor (not KavKaz, which is the mother ship) experienced a grass-roots revolt against this act. While the webmaster did not back down in his approval of the use of female combatants, later weeks showcased articles on family values. In schizophrenic manner, one article spoke of men being the guardians of women. Figure that one out.
The August 2 resignation was almost as quickly refuted with a letter declaring the prior announcement null and void, stating that Umarov would continue to lead. Yet the rumbling still continues. On August 6, an open letter and appeal to the Amir to please continue to steer the ship. So the political situation must still be considered fluid.
Part of the hullabaloo does have to do with an understanding of Islamic jurisprudence. A famous discourse between Prophet Muhammad and an appointee as governor of Yemen comes to mind. Dokka Umarov is scrutinized based on such precedents.
Regarding who will come out on top - Dhul Qa'dah 6 A.H. and Al-Hudaibiyah come to mind. The bifurcated ranks will determine to whom is owed their Bai'a. They will make these pledges under the trees of the forest, just as was done with Prophet Muhammad and his ranks as Ma'qil bin Yasar held up the branch of the tree. (Qur'an 48:18)
While the recent State Department designation against the Amir Dokka Umarov may play a part in this recent turn of events, the man is too wiley and has survived too long to be easily moved by our policies. But mutiny within his ranks? He may be a man who is marked by his own former loyalists. My concern? The forest fires in Russia could prove the necessary cover for Dokka Umarov to mount a spectacular attack to regain a measure of respect and status. If so, the attack will be mounted by a cadre of men. Women need not apply.