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Special Purpose Islamic Regiment (SPIR)


One of three terrorist groups affiliated with Chechen guerrillas that furnished personnel to carry out the seizure of the Dubrovka Theater in Moscow on 23 October 2002. The suicide attackers took more than 800 hostages, whom they threatened to kill if the Russian Government did not meet their demands, including the withdrawal of Russian forces from Chechnya. Movzar Barayev commanded the SPIR until he was killed in the October seizure, which he led. The SPIR has continued to carry out guerrilla operations in Chechnya under the leadership of another Chechen leader, Khamzat, whose true identity is not known.


Primarily guerrilla operations against Russian forces. Has also been involved in various hostage and ransom operations, as well as the execution of ethnic Chechens who have collaborated with Russian authorities.


Probably no more than 100 fighters at any given time.

Location/Area of Operations

Primarily Chechnya.

External Aid

May receive some external assistance from foreign mujahidin.

Sources and Resources

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Created by John Pike
Maintained by Steven Aftergood
Updated May 1, 2003