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Terrorist Organizations and Other Groups of Concern

Special Purpose Islamic Regiment (SPIR)

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 SPIR is one of three Chechen-affiliated terrorist groups that furnished personnel to carry out the seizure of the Dubrovka Theater in Moscow in October 2002. The SPIR has had at least seven commanders since it was founded in the late 1990s. Movsar Barayev, who led and was killed during the theater standoff, was the first publicly identified leader. The group continues to conduct guerrilla operations in Chechnya under its current leader, Amir Aslan, whose true identity is not known. SPIR was designated under EO 13224 in February 2003.

Activities
SPIR has primarily engaged in guerrilla operations against Russian forces. Has also been involved in various hostage and ransom operations, including the execution of ethnic Chechens who have cooperated with Russian authorities.

Strength
Probably no more than 100 fighters at any given time.

Location/Area of Operation
Primarily Russia.

External Aid
May receive some external assistance from foreign mujahedin.