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Terrorist Organizations and Other Groups of Concern

Islamic International Peacekeeping Brigade

Updated August 24, 2007

From: "Chapter 8; Other Groups of Concern," Country Reports on Terrorism 2005, US Department of State, April 30, 2006.

Description
The IIPB is a terrorist group affiliated with the Chechen separatist movement demanding a single Islamic state in the North Caucasus. In 1998 Chechen extremist leader Shamil Basayev established the IIPB, consisting of Chechens, Arabs, and other foreign fighters, which he led with Saudi-born mujahedin leader Ibn al-Khattab until the latter's death in March 2002. The IIPB was one of three groups affiliated with Chechen guerrillas that seized Moscow's Dubrovka Theater and took more than 700 hostages in October 2002. While this group has not been identified by the mujahedin media as conducting attacks since its designation three years ago, those Arab mujahedin still operating in Chechnya now fall under the command of Abu Hafs al-Urduni, who assumed the IIPB leadership in April 2004 after the death of Khattab's successor, Abu al-Walid. IIPB was designated under EO 13224 in February 2003 and listed by the UN al-Qaida/Taliban Sanctions Committee for its associations with al-Qaida

Activities
The IIPB has engaged in terrorist and guerilla operations against Russian forces, pro-Russian Chechen forces, and Chechen non-combatants.

Strength
At its peak, up to 400 fighters, including as many as 100 Arabs and other foreign fighters, but almost certainly has suffered significant attrition.

Location/Area of Operation
Primarily in Russia and adjacent areas of the North Caucasus, particularly in the mountainous south of Chechnya, with major logistical activities in Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Turkey.

External Aid
The IIPB and its Arab leaders appear to be a primary conduit for Islamic funding of the Chechen guerrillas, in part through links to al-Qaida-related financiers on the Arabian Peninsula.