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Terrorism & Security

Chechen rebel leader Doku Umarov claims responsibility for Moscow airport attack

In a video posted online late Monday, Doku Umarov says he ordered the Moscow airport attack and his forces will carry out more attacks if Russia does not grant the Caucasus independence.

By Nissa RheeCorrespondent / February 8, 2011

This image taken from video received late Monday, Feb. 7, by The Kavkaz Center, a website affiliated with Chechen rebels, shows insurgent leader Doku Umarov speaking in a video in which he claims responsibility for last month's deadly bombing of Moscow's Domodedovo Airport. It was not clear when or where the video was recorded.

The Kavkaz Center/AP

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Chechen rebel leader Doku Umarov claimed responsibility for last month’s deadly bombing of Moscow's Domodedovo Airport in a video posted online late Monday. The video of Russia’s most-wanted criminal was the second to surface in the past few days, stoking fears of further acts of terrorism by radical Caucasus groups.

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Mr. Umarov said in the video that he ordered the Jan. 24 attack on Russia’s largest airport, which killed 36 people and injured 180, and warned that more bombings will follow if Russia does not grant the Caucasus independence.

"You see this special operation carried out by my order ... more special operations will be carried out in the future," Mr. Umarov said in the video, as translated from Russian by the Associated Press.

"Among us there are hundreds of brothers who are prepared to sacrifice themselves,” he said in apparent reference to the possibility of future suicide bombings. “We can at any time carry out operations where we want."

Umarov expressed solidarity with other Islamist militant groups in the video, including those in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan. He added that Muslims around the world are threatened by “Zionist and Christian regimes led by Israel and America,” according to the BBC.

Russia’s Federal Security Service refused to comment today on Umarov’s claims in the video.

Umarov is the leader of Caucasus Emirate, a self-proclaimed Islamic state in the North Caucasus that has been labeled a terrorist organization by the United States and Russia. He is wanted in Russia for kidnapping, treason, and homicide, and has taken responsibility for several large-scale terrorist attacks including the Moscow metro bombings last year, which killed 40.

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