For the first time, the Russian government released a list of what it considers to be 17 Islamic terrorist organizations, outlawed in Russia.

  1. On July 28, 2006, the Russian government published a list of what it considers to be 17 Islamic terrorist organizations whose activity is outlawed in Russia (consult the Appendix for the names of the organizations, all of which are Islamist in nature).

  2. The list was formulated by the Russian Federal Security Service and approved by Russia ‘s Supreme Court. According to Yuri Sapunov, President Putin’s representative on international counter-terrorism, the list is a first-of-a-kind officially valid document. Sapunov presented the criteria for the inclusion of an organization in the list of terrorist organizations, foremost among which are: armed activity against the constitutional structure of the Russian government; association with banned organizations in North Caucasus ; belonging to organizations declared as terrorist by formal international bodies.

  3. The list of terrorist organizations does not feature Hamas or Hezbollah (it does feature, however, the Muslim Brotherhood, which is not directly involved in terrorism and of which Hamas is an offshoot). The reason, according to Yuri Sapunov, is that these two movements pose no threat to Russia ‘s security. Sapunov specified the reasons for the non-inclusion of Hamas and Hezbollah in the list: �First of all, these organizations are not globally recognized as terrorist organizations; second, this is a national list that only includes organizations posing a threat to Russia ‘s security. Hamas and Hezbollah do not fit this criterion.� He further noted, �When terrorist leaders in North Caucasus attempted to persuade the Hamas and Hezbollah leaders to take part in their activity in Chechnya in exchange for assistance in the struggle against Israel , Hezbollah and Hamas rejected the proposal. There is not even a single fighter in these organizations willing to perpetrate a terrorist attack in Russian territory.� 1

  4. In our assessment, the non-inclusion of Hezbollah and Hamas in the Russian list of terrorist organizations is based on Russia ‘s foreign policy considerations. Russia ‘s foreign policy strives to strengthen its influence in the Middle East and promote its relations with the world of Islam, which includes Iran , Hezbollah’s patron, attempting to differentiate its policy from that of the US , which considers Hamas and Hezbollah to be terrorist organizations.

  5. A reflection of this policy could be seen in President Putin’s invitation of a Hamas delegation to visit Russia (February 9, 2006). The Russian government says it will maintain relations with Hamas as long as the latter refrains from actively (as opposed to ideologically) supporting the Chechen separatists. Thus, the Russian government, as already mentioned avoids including Hamas in the list of terrorist organizations. The implication is that the Russian government has in fact come to terms with Hamas’s ideological association with the Chechen separatists and the acts of terrorism they perpetrate.

  6. Hamas’s ideological association with the Chechen separatists is a result of the organization’s view of the Chechen struggle as part of the international Islamic resistance movement � the global jihad. This is reflected in leaflets, posters, and disks found by IDF in Hamas institutions in Judea and Samaria, which express admiration and sympathy for the Chechen separatists and encourage the continuation of �the path of jihad� (i.e., violence and terrorism against Russia). Hamas’s website even published religious rulings by Muslim clerics (among them Hamed al-Bitawi, a senior Hamas cleric), justifying suicide bombing attacks against the Russians and associating them with similar actions against the Jews. 2

A Hamas poster titled � Chechnya , Afghanistan , Balkan, Kashmir, Palestine , Lebanon �. It was found on a propaganda CD produced by Hamas and distributed, in our assessment, to (mainly educational) institutions in the Palestinian Authority administered territories. The poster features Ahmed Yassin (upper left) with two Chechen Islamic terrorism leaders (killed by the Russians) and Osama Bin Laden.


A list of Islamic terrorist organizations (in the Russian government’s view)
outlawed in Russia 3

  1. Al-Qaeda (a terrorist organization of global reach)

  2. Taliban ( Afghanistan )

  3. The Muslim Brotherhood (an Egyptian organization with branches across the Islamic world)

  4. Al-Jama’ah al-Islamiyyah ( Egypt )

  5. �Usbat al-Ansar (an Al-Qaeda associated terrorist organization operating in Lebanon )

  6. Tanzim al-Jihad ( Egypt )

  7. Hizb al-Tahrir al-Islami (founded in Jordan in 1953, has branches in many countries, in particular operatives in the UK and in Uzbekistan )

  8. Lashkar-e Taiba (an Al-Qaeda oriented Islamist organization operating in India )

  9. Jamaat-e Islami ( Pakistan )

  10. Al-Hizb al-Islami fi Turkistan ( Uzbekistan )

  11. Jam’iyyat al-Islah al-Ijtima’i ( Kuwait )

  12. Jam’iyyat Ihya’ al-Turath al-Islami ( Kuwait )

  13. Mu’assasat al-Haramain ( Saudi Arabia )

  14. Majlis al-Shura al-Harbi al-A’la li-Quwwat al-Mujahedin fil-Shishan ( Chechnya )

  15. Majlis Ishkiria wa-Daghestan (Ishkiria and Dagestan � Caucasus )

  16. Jund al-Sham (founded in Afghanistan by Al-Zarqawi; its members are mostly Syrians, Palestinians, and Lebanese. The organization apparently operates in Iraq and in Syria )

  17. Jama’at al-Mujahedin (possibly an organization operating in Kashmir )