Skip to main content

Making jihad or making money? Understanding the transformation of Dagestan’s jamaats into organised crime groups


Journal of Strategic StudiesJournal Abstract

While terrorist and insurgent groups have often combined anti-state subversion with ‘purely‘ criminal activities in order to obtain the financial means to wage their ideological struggle, little is known about the transformation of such groups into non-ideological organised crime groups (OCG) with close links to authorities. This holds particularly for jihadist groups that have on ideological grounds ruled out collaboration with their archenemies – ‘infidels’ and ‘apostates’. Using unique ethnographic data from Russia’s Dagestan, this article explores the causes and contexts of the gradual transformation of some of Dagestan’s jihadist units – jamaats – into organised crime groups collaborating with local authorities.

You might also like: