Radical Islam a Surging Threat in Russia
Tech-savvy dissident ignited movement
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 7, 2010 4:42 AM CDT
Said Buryatsky, aka Alexander Tikhomirov   (The Jamestown Foundation)

(Newser) – In just two years, Alexander Tikhomirov, 27, rose from obscurity to become the face of a fast-growing Islamist insurgency in Russia. Tikhomirov was gunned down last month in the Caucasus, but he lives on as a "digital legend," the Washington Post reports, revered as a martyr by Russia's burgeoning radical Islamist movement, with his sermons preserved on the Web and his DVDs sold across the former Soviet Union.

A charismatic tech-savvy militant who called himself Sayid Buryatsky, Tikhomirov shows the challenge radical Islam poses to Russia and the rapid evolution of the Caucasus insurgency. Russia is home to some 20 million Muslims, most of them moderate, but state restrictions on Islam have caused a severe shortage of mosques and mainstream institutions, providing fertile ground for radical leaders like Tikhomirov.