Situation, Facts and Events

An Islamic scholar has revealed a new feature of terrorist recruitment in Dagestan

After looking into the personal characteristics of the terrorists who carried out the attack on the church and synagogue in Derbent, experts concluded that the recruitment tactics used by radical groups have changed. Senior researcher at the Center for the Problem of the Caucasus and Regional Security at MGIMO, historian and Islamic scholar Akhmet Yarlykapov spoke about this in an interview with

According to him, since the mid-2010s, terrorists began to recruit people fr om the families of officials who can provide for themselves, rather than from poor families.

Back in 2016, Yarlykapov, together with his colleagues, found out that 80% of people recruited by radical groups were the children of officials, law enforcement officers, and people who had respect in society.

“Now we see the same composition among those who carried out the attack: relatives of the head of the district, in general rather successful people,” the researcher said.

He noted that the appeal of extremists to the middle class was observed not only in Dagestan, but this phenomenon was typical for the entire North Caucasus.

Yarlykapov called this trend “unhealthy” and recommended changing the approach to addressing this problem.

“Probably the reason is that people stumble into issues such as glass ceilings so that they cannot advance further in their careers when they reach a certain lim it, as well as issues of corruption and so on,” he noted.'s interviewee believes that the recruitment of such individuals by terrorist groups was “ahead” of the expert community with regards to assessing the situation taking place in the Caucasus.