UPDATE 1/10 11:30AM: See Liz Fuller’s coverage of this for the Caucasus Report at RFE/RL.
NOTE: According to the Kavkaz-Jihād blog this was the reasoning behind his murder:
During the night of December 29, 2010, Aṣlān Tsipinov, a renowed ethnographer, has been killed in the village of Shalushka, in the Chegem sector of W. KBK. He was a Circassian nationalist and frequently criticized ‘the Islamic component of the Circassian culture.’ He was also promoting and propagating the local pre-islamic pagan customs. His execution has been decided by a Sharī’ah court and carried out by two Mujāhidīn.