This work examines Russia's encounter with Radical Islamism from 1978 to the present. It argues that the complexity of Moscow's interactions with Radical Islam has to do with the duality of its relation to Islam that has historically been perceived in Russia as being at the same time a domestic and foreign element. Using securitization theory, this work examines how Vladimir Putin has erected the threat of radical Islamist violence into a standalone security issue in Russian policy since 1999.