Russian Man Sentenced to 16 Years for Jihadist Activities in Syria

Alexander Avilov / Moskva News Agency

A resident of Russia’s North Caucasus has been sentenced to 16 years in a maximum-security prison for fighting alongside jihadists in war-torn Syria.

Islam Gugov, 23, was accused of training at a camp and joining the militant jihadist Caucasus Emirate (Imarat Kavkaz) group between 2014 and 2015. He was detained in the Russian republic of Kabardino-Balkaria in early 2016.

A military court in southern Russia’s Rostov-on-Don convicted Gugov on terrorism charges on Monday, the state-run TASS news agency reported.

The Caucasus Emirate was responsible for scores of suicide bombings and thousands of attacks in the Caucasus and elsewhere in Russia after its founding in 2007. In recent years, the group's capacity has been declining in Russia because its forces and recruiting pool have been drained by an exodus to Syria and Iraq since late 2011.

The Supreme Court designated the Caucasus Emirate a terrorist organization in 2010.

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