Russia's Islamic Threat


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Gordon M. Hahn

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Why contemporary Russia is a dangerous seedbed for radicalized Islam and what we should be doing about it

The notion that the Chechen-led jihad in the North Caucasus is an indigenous affair, far removed from the global Islamist jihad, is perhaps comforting to Americans and other Westerners, but it is a myth. Moreover, the North Caucasus jihad may be the harbinger of a much larger Muslim challenge to Russia’s political stability and state integrity. So concludes Gordon M. Hahn in this meticulously researched analysis of Russia’s emerging Islamic threat. Hahn draws an explicit picture of an already sophisticated and effective Chechen jihadist network that is expanding the territorial scope of its operations with inspiration and some assistance from the global jihadist movement. Given its proximity to large stockpiles of diverse weapons, the expanding population of Russian-based Islamist terrorists is particular cause for alarm, the author warns. The book lifts the veil on the Muslim challenge to Russia’s political stability, national security, and state integrity as well as the potentially grave threat to international and U.S. security. Hahn shows that many of the demographic, historical, socioeconomic, political, and religious factors sparking jihadi revolution in Muslim countries are extant in Russia and are driving revolutionary Islamist terrorism there. In a penetrating conclusion to the book, the author analyzes the policies that have fueled the rise of militant Islam and offers a series of important recommendations for policymakers.

Gordon M. Hahn is senior researcher, Center for Terrorism and Intelligence Studies, Akribis Group, San Jose. He is the author of Russia’s Revolution from Above, 1985-2000 and numerous articles on topics relating to Russia and the former Soviet Union. He lives in Mountain View, CA.

"This is a very important work, which will help to fill a major gap in Western scholarship about contemporary Russia. Given the very serious threat posed by Russia-based islamist terrorists not only to Russia but to the West as well, this gap is indeed not just serious but highly dangerous. Yet for a variety of reasons, very little work on this subject has appeared in English. Dr Hahn’s work on this subject entitles him to be regarded as one of the leading experts in the world not only on the islamist threat as such, but on the entire field of Russia’s Muslim-majority regions, their internal politics, and relations between them and the federal centre in Moscow. His book is an extremely useful, detailed guide to all these issues, and will I’m sure be described by many reviewers as indispensable to everyone working not only on Chechnya and the North Caucasus, but on contemporary Russian political and security issues in general. It is superbly researched, and full of insights and intelligent analysis.”—Anatol Lieven, author of Empire: The Russian Empire and Its Rivals

“Hahn provides a groundbreaking source book for everyone concerned with Islamic terrorism in Russia.”—Martin McCauley, Emeritus, University of London

'Gordon Hahn's book is a meticulously research analysis of the state of the Islamic entities within Russia and Russia's sphere of influence, especially through the Caucasus.'  - Charles H. Middleburgh, Union of Liberal and Progressive Synagogues

"The work is meticulously researched. . . [It] not only fills a gaping hole in the Russian studies literature, it deftly ties the subject to the broader, and more important, issue of international security. A very important book."—Matthew Crosston, Middle East Quarterly

"Russia's Islamic Threat is almost certain to become the definitive work on the subject. . . . The tale that Hahn tells is as substantial as it is striking."—Leon Aron, New Republic

"This is a gripping and important book, honest in its descriptions of both radical Muslims and Russians. Highly recommended."—Choice

"Russia's Islamic Threat provides meticulously detailed research and analysis about Islamic separatism in Russia. . . . A must-read for any student of radical Islam in Russis/Central Asia. . . . Hahn's book will be of great interest to anyone studying Putin's impact on the development of democracy in Russia."—Charles K. Bartles, Military Review

"His analysis directly challenges the currently dominant Western wisdom. . . . This is a rare and important book."—Andrei P. Tsygankov, Russian Review

"Russia's Islamic Threat" is not only a valuable addition to Russian studies, but also a landmanrk contribution to the broader literature on international terrorism and security studies from which all students of politics can and should benefit."--Dilshod Achilov, The Journal of the Politics of Religion

"'Russia's Islamic Threat' is not only a valuable addition to Russian studies, but also a landmark contribution to the broader literature on international terrorism and security studies from which all students of politics can and should benefit from."

— Dilshod Achilov, The Journal of Politics and Religion


Selected as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2007  by Choice Magazine
ISBN: 9780300120776
Publication Date: July 9, 2007
368 pages, 234 x 156
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