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Valentin Zorin
“Now the West Has No Choice but Between al Qaeda and Kadyrov”: “Caucasian Emirate” is a Provocation by Kadyrov's Intelligence Chief

Last October President of the non-recognized Chechen Republic of Ichkeria Doku Umarov proclaimed a new formation - the Caucasian Emirate, and declared himself the Emir of the Caucasian militants and the leader of Jihad. Umarov's seemingly unmotivated proclamation of the caliphate came as surprise to Chechnya watchers Western and Russian think tanks. Why would the leader of the embattled Chechen Islamists suddenly decide to antagonize the West who is interested in stoking the unrest in the Russian Caucasus? The international research group burtsev.ru has the answer to this question.

According to sources close to Ukrainian and Russian intelligence, Doku Umarov's declaration of “Islamic Caucasian Emirate” was the result of his manipulation by Brigadier-General Ruslan Saidov, head of the “Istanbul Bureau” of the External Intelligence of the Republic of Ichkeria (formerly, the Department of Information of the Defense Ministry of Ichkeria).

Umarov made this declaration under the pressure from Anzor Astemirov, aka Emir Seyfullah. Astemirov—ethnically Adygei-Kabardinian—has been Saidov's agent for a long time. Saidov helped him to became the head of the Supreme Sharia Court in 2005, after Russians eliminated Sadulaev, who had had this important position before being appointed the president of Ichkeria after the death of Maskhadov. Sadulaev was also considered to be controlled by Saidov and was probably betrayed by him when Saidov officially changed sides and gave oath of loyalty to Ramzan Kadyrov.

It is said that Akhmed Zakaev, the former foreign minister of the so-called Chechen Republic of Ichkeria (ChRI), was horrified by Umarov's declaration that presented him as a de facto representative of the Caucasian branch of al Qaeda, not the most comfortable position in England these days. Waxed hysterical, he resigned his post, but does not dare to expose Astemirov's provocation. In the 1980s the KGB used Zakaev, as well as Movladi Udugov and Zelimkhan Yandarbiev, as their agent in the circles of nationalist Chechen and Ingush intelligentsia. In September 1991 the KGB files with their personal information were captured by the Dudaev people when they stormed the KGB office in Grozny, and got in Saidov's hands. Zakaev and Udugov know this and are afraid to confront Saidov. i 

Saidov has made the goals of his provocation clear by the very title of his recent article “Now the West Has No Choice but Choose Between al Qaeda and Kadyrov.” ii By presenting Umarov and Zakaev as pan-Islamists and al Qaeda jihadists, Saidov wants to secure support for Ramzan Kadyrov from those sections of Western elites and intelligence services that still see Kadyrov as pro-Russian and continue to support the opposition to his rule, while trying to explain to them that Kadyrov's regime is a form of the Qadiri tactics of deceptive surrender to Moscow in order to regroup and make another bid for independence when the time comes.

What we know about Saidov

According to the recent book by the editor of Left.ru Anton Baumgarten, Ruslan Saidov (cover name for Ruslan S-ev) is a former officer of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Soviet General Staff (GRU) who was trained as a “deep penetration” agent for the Near East and Central Asia. iii He was born in Daghestan, half Akin-Chechen, half Spaniard. His father, important Communist functionary in the Ferghana Valley, died under the arrest for corruption. After special training in a GRU school served in Afghanistan with a group of other young officers who later formed the organized criminal group known in the Russian press as FarWest. In 1991 Saidov was sent to Dudaev and since then worked together with Dudaev's and Maskhadov's intelligence chief Khozh Nukhaev, former Moscow gangster wanted for the murder of American journalist Paul Khlebnikov. Both are thought to be Sufi sheiks. In the early 1990s Saidov and Nukhaev spent much time in London. Saidov's relations with British intelligence can be dated by that time at the latest. In London Nukhaev was observed and eventually embraced by the Atlantist elites around Margaret Thatcher and the Bush family.

Hozh Nukhaev, wanted for the murder of American journalist Paul Khlebnikov, together with Margaret Thatcher in London.
Hozh Nukhaev, wanted for the murder of American journalist Paul Khlebnikov, together with Margaret Thatcher in London.

In the mid-1990s Saidov was introduced to Prince Turki al-Faisal and can be described as his “junior partner” in the Russian Caucasus since then. According to Saidov, he was the one to greet Turki's agent Abu al -Walid in Chechnya. Earlier he had established business relations with the family of Adnan Khashoggi. Also in the mid-1990s Saidov developed strong relations with the Turkish General Staff and one of the branches of the extremist pan-Turkists organization Grey Wolves. Since then Istanbul has been his operational base. Shortly before the second war with Russia in 1999 Saidov and Nukhaev moved to Istanbul the newly formed Bureau of External Intelligence, a secret mini-intelligence organization within the Interior Ministry.

In September 1999 Saidov was badly wounded during the fighting in Daghestan and received medical treatment in Switzerland, where a year before his GRU colleagues and partners, together with US private intelligence companies, set up the “consulting agency” Far West Ltd. Saidov claims that the hitman was sent by al-Walid. It appears that al-Walid, the resident of Saudi intelligence in Chechnay, suspected that Saidov was a double agent, working for the pan-Turkists of the General Staff and having commercial realations with some old hands in GRU. Saidov's revenge came in 2004 when he was contracted by the CIA to prevent al-Walid's move from Chechnya to Iraq that was agreed upon during President Akhmat Kadyrov's visit to Saudi Arabia. Saidov gave al-Walid's whereabouts to the GRU battalion “East” under the command of Yamadaev and he was killed.

The journalistic investigation by burtsev.ru has also revealed that throughout the 1990s Saidov and Nukhaev provided financing to Chechen separatists in part through the family of Adnan Khashoggi, partly through narcotrafficking and racket. In the process, Saidov amassed significant personal wealth. With the help of Saudi intelligence, Saidov received access to construction business and his companies now participate in the management of commercial real estate, including Jumeira Beach Residence and Mall of the Emirates . Using his connections in Russian Ministry of Defence Saidov played important role in the heroin operation by the FarWest organized crime group, moving dozens tons of heroin from Afghanistan to Kosovo. After the withdrawal of Russian troops from Kosovo, Saidov and his FarWest partners became more involved in subversive politics in Russia. There are reasons to believe that Saidov played some role in events in Andijan and in the bloodshed in Nalchik in 2005. According to our sources, Saidov's Istanbul Bureau carried out the assassination of Paul Khlebnikov and Anna Politkovskaya, as well as assisted in the assassination of Andrei Kozlov, the first deputy chairman of the Central Bank, in 2006.  iv 

Ruslan Saidov with close associate Natalia Roeva. Photo courtesy Forum.msk.ru
Ruslan Saidov with close associate Natalia Roeva. Photo courtesy Forum.msk.ru

Saidov is a a vice-president of Far West LLC, a “consulting company” based in Dubai, which serves as front for the anti-Russian alliance of secret services of US, Britain, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, Lithuania, and (partly) Belorussia. The other vice-president is Vladimir Filin, general of the Ukrainian General Staff and one of the shadow power brokers in Ukrainian politics.

Saidov has Russian, Turkish and Jordanian passports, possibly other citizenships. Regularly visits the United States.


i  Saidov has publicly alleged Udugov's service for KGB and FSB in a number of articles, the latest is “The West Blackmails Russian Elite by Swiss Bank Accounts” 11.06.2007 <http://news.rin.ru/news///144893/> . Saidov tied Zakaev to Soviet KGB in “A Brawl Among Chechen Emigre: former actor Akhmed Zakaev is responsible for the liquidation of Aslan Maskhadov.” Forum.msk.ru 11.25. 2007 <http://forum.msk.ru/material/news/408816.html>

ii  “Выбор для Запада, кого поддерживать в Чечне, упрощен до предела: Рамзана Кадырова или местный филиал «Аль-Каиды»” Forum.msk.ru 11.23.2007 <http://forum.msk.ru/material/region/408023.html>

iii  Anton Baumgarten. Third Barbarossa. <http://www.left.ru/2007/11/baumgarten163.phtml>

iv  Первые отклики начальства и Фарвеста на книгу Антона Баумгартена «Третья Барбаросса». Left.ru no. 12 (2007) <http://left.ru/2007/12/burtsev164.phtml>

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