A consortium of researchers dedicated to improving the understanding of the human causes and consequences of terrorism

Terrorism and the North Caucasus: An Overview


The FBI has identified Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev as the prime suspects in the April 15 bombing of the Boston Marathon. Tamerlan was killed in an armed confrontation with police on April 19 and Dzhokhar was arrested later that day following a massive manhunt. The two brothers are ethnic Chechens but resided in the United States for approximately nine years; Dzhokhar is a naturalized U.S. citizen but his brother's request for citizenship had not yet been granted at the time of his death. The Russian government alleged that the older brother had ties to militant groups in the Caucasus, and authorities are currently examining Tamerlan's six month trip to Russia in 2012. In this background report, START reviews the modern history of terrorism by groups and individuals operating in and around the North Caucasus as investigators and analysts work to confirm or deny possible ties to Tamerlan Tsarnaev. The report gives an overview of:

  • The background on the conflict zone
  • Attacks by the numbers following the dissolution of the Soviet Union
  • Active groups in North Caucasus Region since dissolution of the soviet Union
  • Attacks by region
  • Attacks by target type
  • Attacks by tactic type
  • Major terror attacks 1999-2011

Publication Information

Full Citation:

Johns, Mila. 2013. "Terrorism and the North Caucasus: An Overview." College Park, MD: START (April). 

START Author(s):