Vilayat Dagestan (Province of Dagestan), formerly known as Shariat Jamaat, is an Islamist Jihadist group based in the Russian republic of Dagestan and is part of the Caucasus Emirate. The group, created during the Second Chechen War in favor of Dagestan's independence as an Islamic state, is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Russian security and military personnel, officials, and civilians. The group is closely associated with the separatist conflicts in the nearby Russian republics of Chechnya and Ingushetia and is also known to have members and bases in Azerbaijan.
The Jamaat Shariat claims to be "legitimate authority of Dagestan" with the aim of establishing a "fair society" based on sharia law. To achieve this end, the Jamaat considers it legitimate to target police and security officials and some civilians such as the government-loyalist Muslim clergy and clerics of the Russian Orthodox Church. The Jamaat says that peace talks with Russia are hypothetically possible, but only when Russia withdraws its troops from the region and provides security guarantees. Otherwise, the group claims, it is prepared for a long-term guerrilla war of attrition that may be broadened to encompass the whole of the Russian Federation, including Moscow and St. Petersburg. As of 2010, the ongoing violence has plunged the multiethnic and corruption- and poverty-plagued republic into near civil war.