Shamil Salmanovich Basayev (Russian: Шамиль Салманович Басаев; January 14, 1965 – July 10, 2006) was a Chechen militant Islamist and a leader of the Chechen separatist movement.
Starting as a field commander in the Transcaucasus, Basayev led guerrilla campaigns against the Russian troops for years as well as launching mass-hostage takings of civilians with his goal being the withdrawal of Russian soldiers from Chechnya. Beginning in 2003, Basayev used the nom de guerre and title of Emir Abdallah Shamil Abu-Idris. In 1997-1998 he also served as vice-Prime minister of Chechnya in Maskhadov's government.
Basayev was considered by some as the undisputed leader of the radical wing of the Chechen insurgency. He was responsible for numerous guerrilla attacks on security forces in and around Chechnya as well as terrorist attacks on civilians, most notoriously the attack on a school in Beslan, which led to the deaths of more than 385 people.