Though various reports refer to the presence of an Azerbaijan’s jamaat prior to 2008, the group was founded during 2008 in Sumgait during the period when Ildar Mollachiev (aka Emir Abdul-Mejid) was Emir of the Dagestani Shari'ah Jamaat. Mollachiev, who became Emir in September 2007, is from the city of Zagatala in northern Azerbaijan and was an ethnic Tsakhur (a Sunni ethnic group that resides on both sides of the Azeri-Russian border). The Azerbaijani Tsakhurs live mainly in the region of Zagatala and Kakh, a multi-national zone full of small ethnicities, such as the Tsakhurs, Ingiloy and Tabasars. The Azerbaijan jamaat was founded with the objective to enable a support base for the Dagestani jamaat within Azerbaijan. Since its formation, the Azerbaijan jamaat has been closely associated with the Dagestani jamaat, though as a military outfit it maintained its independence. The group is also being referred to as “Forest Brothers” and “Sumgait Jamaat.” Map: …
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