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Chechens Among Jihadists in Syria

The Chechen background of the Boston bombing suspects has drawn attention to the roles of Chechens among jihadists fighting the government in Syria, writes Daria Solovieva.
An undated still image taken from video shows the address of Chechen rebels, led by Emir of the Caucasus Doku Umarov (C). Chechen rebel leader Umarov has said his forces will carry out more attacks and that Russia faces a year of "blood and tears" if it refuses to abandon its North Caucasus territories, according to a story on February 5, 2011.  REUTERS/ TV   (RUSSIA - Tags: CRIME LAW POLITICS CIVIL UNREST) - RTXXHY0

The Boston bombings have brought attention to the tumultuous Russian region of the North Caucasus, including Dagestan and Chechnya, which was a front line for international jihadists in the mid-1990s and which has seen a series of fierce and ultimately futile battles for independence from Russia.

In recent weeks, North Caucasus-based fighters became increasingly visible online, as well as on the ground in Syria. Along with a growing number of foreign fighters from the Arab world as well as Europe, they joined a legion of al-Qaeda offshoots and Syria-based movements to fight against the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

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