Dagestan and the rest of the Caucasus republics of Russia have been the site of a long-running Islamic insurgency against Moscow and its local allies. A bombing and separate shooting killed six today.
As Russia invests $3 billion to attract visitors, it could open a nature preserve with the largest concentration of active volcanoes and geysers in Eurasia to tourism.
The US Senate this week called on Russia to stop its 'occupation' of two breakaway enclaves that were once part of Georgia. But both sides appear to be hardening their positions.
Russia's most wanted terrorist, Chechen Doku Umarov, warned Muscovites of an upcoming wave of suicide assaults. His video comes just two weeks after a suicide attack at Domodedovo airport.
Russians are asking whether the repeated ability of jihadists from the turbulent northern Caucasus to strike at will in Moscow means that the country is losing its own war on terror.