Edit: Thank you for the questions, if anyone wants to add to questions here, please just scan through the responses to see if it's been addressed.
A little background on Chechnya, and on myself:
Chechnya is nominally a part of the Russian Federation in the North Caucasus. Chechnya first came under Russian control in the late 19th century, and has essentially a part of the Russian Empire since then.
The Chechens fought a long war of independence in the 19th century, and fought two more wars with Russia beginning in 1994, and ending roughly in 2004. The Chechens are historically Sufi Muslim. Within Sufism there are several 'paths' to the divine, somewhat like denominations. Sometime in the 20th century, most Chechens followed the Naqshbandiyya path (tariqa), while today they are predominantly Qadiriyya.
The North Caucasus are extremely diverse, with hundreds of ethnicities and languages over the past few hundred years, although the republic of Chechnya is one of the most homogenous countries in the area, with a vast majority of ethnic Chechens.
The issue of language in Chechnya is, like nearly everything regarding contemporary Chechen culture, extremely politicized and pregnant with the politics of history. The native language of Chechnya is Chechen (noxchiin mott in Chechen), a Caucasian language in the Nakh-Daghestanian language family. It is unique to the Caucasus, and is spoken by the great majority of ethnic Chechens living in Chechnya. Throughout Chechnya’s history Cyrillic, Latin, and even Arabic alphabets have been used, depending on the influence of Russification policies, Islam, or anti-Russian nationalism in vogue at the time. Like most other ethnic minorities in the Soviet Union though, most Chechens throughout the twentieth century also spoke Russian. In the early 1990s all non-Cyrillic alphabets were made illegal for use in the Russian federation, and Chechen has since been written in the modified Cyrillic.
I am not a linguist, nor an expert in the language, but I can answer basic questions.
I received my degree in Russian History, with a Thematic Specialization in Political Violence. My dissertation was on the motivations behind Chechen terrorists, particularly suicide bombers. This AMA is a bit of a hybrid, as I am willing to field questions on Chechnya and its history, and also on theoretical terrorism, suicide bombing, and guerrilla warfare as it pertains to Chechnya. I have published two peer reviewed articles on Chechnya, one on the Russian counterinsurgency operation in Chechnya from 1994-1996, and the second on the Chechen insurgency and the development of terrorism.
I will not answer nor address any questions or comments with racist or hateful undertones. This sub is for enlightened and educational historical dialogue, not as a venue for bitter diatribes and hateful rhetoric. Please be respectful. I will not speak on the morality of terrorism. I do not condone terrorism. I recognize terrorism as a form of political communication. Even so, the 'ism' ending on the word implies not only a communicative act, but also an ideology and mindset of 'terror,' and so I recognize that terrorism comprises much more than a single act. There is no universally agreed upon definition of terrorism, so the definition that I use, a combination of two common definitions, one provided by Boaz Ganor and by Rhonda Callaway & Julie Harrelson-Stephens:
"Terrorism is defined as any intentional act of violence against civilian targets that do not have the authority or ability to alter government policy, with the purpose of attaining or furthering political aims."
I will be here for several hours, will be away for the weekend, and will continue answering any left-over questions on Monday.
There is such thing as a stupid question, but you won't know until you ask. So feel free to ask about the mundane as well as the complex, it's a little-known country with a little-known history, so I don't mind questions many may regard as silly or stupid.