The Islamic State group’s branch in the Northern Caucasus region of Russia released a video Saturday that showed the execution of an alleged Russian spy. The new ISIS video reportedly called on Russian Muslims to “kill apostates” in the country and threatened to carry out an attack on President Vladimir Putin.
In the video, which was released on social media, the group’s militants in Chechen — commonly referred to as Chechnya — urged Muslims in Russia to join ISIS’ fight against the West, claiming that "the Caliphate is already here,” according to the Jerusalem Post.
The video reportedly begins with a news report being broadcast on a Russian TV channel about a car bombing that hit the town of Dzhemikent in Dagestan province on Feb. 15, killing two Russian police officers. The video later shows the militants in front of a black ISIS flag talking about the importance of "striking the apostates,” the Jerusalem Post reported.
"Today we do have a place where we can implement Sharia. Thanks to Allah, we have many brave brothers here with us and millions of Muslims in Russia. Let's get together my brothers, seize a territory and expand it,” one of the leading members of the group reportedly said in the video. "If someone does not find us, he shall start killing Russian apostates on his own. It is not difficult to find weapons in Russia."
The video ends with the execution of an alleged Russian intelligence agent, who is reportedly shot by one of the militants.
Russia has had heavy security presence in the Muslim-dominated North Caucasus region since separatist wars were waged in Chechnya in the 1990s. Islamist rebels in Dagestan, a restive region just east of Chechnya, have been making several efforts to join ISIS.
After ISIS claimed responsibility for the downing of a Russian Metrojet plane over Egypt in October 2015, resulting in the death of all 224 people on board, Moscow, which began targeting the Sunni-militant group in late September, intensified its attack targeting ISIS strongholds in Syria.