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INSIGHT - CHECHNYA - lots of scary shit....

Released on 2012-05-10 01:00 GMT

Email-ID 5417422
Date 2009-02-18 06:44:08
**okay... I color coded as far as topic... green = inner Chechen shit ;
purple = scary Islam/Chechen shit ; blue = Western/bigger involvement????

ATTRIBUTION: Stratfor sources in the Kremlin
SOURCE DESCRIPTION: One of the top within the Kremlin circles, though from
Surkov's clan. He's the real deal.

Kadyrov's leash is too loose in most people's (including my) opinions. His
list of assassinations outside of Chechnya is growing...

- Feb 5 - Gilani Shepiev - murdered with three bullets in his head
as he returned home in the north-west of Moscow. a Baykal pistol with a
silencer at the scene of the crime meaning that the killing was the work
of a professional. Shepiev was well known in Chechnya. Having fought the
Russian army during the first conflict in 1994-96, he joined A. Kadyrov as
one of his bodyguards at the beginning of the century. He then became
deputy mayor of Grozny where he was responsible for security. Seriously
wounded during a settling of scores in 2006 he then stepped back even
though officially he still counted among the leaders of the Chechen
presidency's counter-terrorist unit.
- Jan 13 - Umar Israilov - (which we've discussed) was killed in
- Sept 24 - Ruslan Yamadaev - (which we've discussed) the "Hero of
Russia" and former parliamentarian.

All these men had in common the fact that they had both broken off with
the R. Kadyrov, so their elimination does make sense to some extent.

Except for the fact that in exchange for total freedom in Chechnya - with
very generous subsidises - R. Kadyrov has known to keep Chechnya's
problems and their possible violent solutions confined within the
Republic. Moscow has kept a blind eye to the nature of the Kadyrov regime
on the condition that Chechen would continue to keep its business to

The problem is that, after having granted Kadyrov everything he asked for
-including the break-up of S. Yamadaev's Vostok battalion - the Kremlin
has scarcely any control left over the master of Grozny. Kadyrov does
still feel he has a commitment to both Putin and Surkov. But that
commitment is being tested right now.

Ever since Kadyrov opened that enormous mosque in Nov and then his trip to
Saudi in December he has be acting very strange. It seems to the Kremlin
powers that he is drifting towards an increasingly rigid form of Islam.
This is seen in the ridiculous new liquor laws in Chechnya too. That mixed
with his constant griping that he is not happy with his simple and small
Russian territory (meaning he either wants independence or to be granted
ruling over some of the other Caucasus states). Now the concerns are that
Bukhari Barayev & Akhmed Zakayev could be returning to Chechnya.

Barayev has visited Chechnya, but never stays long. Barayev does not have
much power left inside of Chechnya from his former days, especially anyone
inside of Chechnya linked to AQ (those types are pretty much wiped out by
now), but he does still hold a few Taliban or AQ (we think) links inside
ME and SA (Saudi and Afgh specifically). It is nothing like he had in the
90s, but still a small concern. Barayev and Kadyrov have not gotten along
in the past, especially since Kadyrov killed a bunch of Barayev's men (and

Zakayev is another story, esp since he is on Russia's wanted list to be
extradited from UK. But Zakayev has been chatting with many parties about
reviving the militant movement within Chechnya. He has briefly (and
secretly) chatted on the phone with Kadyrov. Zakayev has been in much
contact with UK intelligence, which raises our suspicions.

There is a concern about the US being behind such a resurgence of militant
Islam in Chechnya. Putting the puzzle pieces together, the US has had the
opportunity to influence Barayev, Zakayev and have Saudi chat with
Kadyrov. We have always assumed that Kadyrov's subsidies for being loyal
were enough, but those are now in question.

At this time, we do not see a blowback from Afghanistan escalating the
situation between the Chechens and the Russians, but we are considering
the US escalating the situation should Russia not cooperate with their
little schemes in Afghanistan.

Lauren Goodrich
Director of Analysis
Senior Eurasia Analyst
T: 512.744.4311
F: 512.744.4334