U.S. Designates N. Caucasus Insurgency as Terror Outfit

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Context

The US State Department’s designation of Caucasus Emirate as a terror outfit on May 26th was unexpected. Until last week, the US had tacitly admitted that some of the militant groups in North Caucasus operating under the banner of Caucasus Emirate didn’t constitute a terror outfit, but a classic insurgency. Whether Russia’s May 27 offer to mediate with Libya’s Muammar Qaddafi to convince him to resign was the quid pro quo isn’t clear at this point. The State Department’s May 26th statement didn’t differentiate between the Emirate and what it formerly called the “national separatist” faction of the insurgency.