TBILISI, DFWatch–The United States has listed a Chechen with Russian citizenship who was released by the Georgian government in 2012 as connected to the Islamic State.
The updated list of individuals affiliated with Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, states that Akhmed Chatayev is currently acting in support of the terror organization which controls parts of Syria and Iraq.
The U.S. Treasury Department further writes that Chatayev is the commander of the Yarmouk Battalion, a Chechen faction of ISIL.
“In the video, Chatayev greets militants in Dagestan who in December 2012 pledged allegiance to ISIL and its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and says that ISIL in Syria rejoiced when it heard the news about their pledges,” the note about Chatayev reads.
“In the video, Chatayev also calls on those militants in Chechnya who had not yet declared their allegiance to ISIL to do so.”
Chatayev was released from prison by the Georgian Prosecutor General’s Office in 2012. In December the same year he was found innocent by Tbilisi City Court.
The trial concerned a border shooting in Lapankuri in the north of Georgia, near Chechnya. A police operation was carried out there under the previous government in late August, 2012. Witnesses testified against him, and in September he surrendered, without pleading guilty.
A few years earlier, he was detained in Ukraine. Russia wanted him extradited on terrorism charges, but the extradition request was rejected.
After his detention in Georgia, people in Pankisi Gorge, where he lived with his family, protested against his detention, claiming that he was unlawfully detained.
A Chechen, and a citizen of Russia, Akhmed Chatayev, also known as Akhmed al-Shishani, was earlier reported to have received refugee status in Austria.
After being released by Georgian authorities and after reports that he might have received asylum in Austria, a video appeared on Youtube in February, which allegedly showed him in Syria as a commander of Yarmouk Battalion, which is a Chechen faction of ISIS.