Chechen warlord Doku Umarov admits Moscow airport bomb

Doku Umarov: "We can carry out these operations whenever and wherever we want"

Related Stories

One of Russia's most wanted men, Chechen warlord Doku Umarov, has said he ordered the deadly bomb attack last month on a Moscow airport.

The suicide attack on the arrivals area of Domodedovo international airport on 24 January left 36 people dead and 180 injured.

In a video posted online, Mr Umarov said the attack was a response to "Russian crimes in the Caucasus".

Similar suicide attacks would continue, he added, speaking in Russian.

Mr Umarov is self-styled leader of the "Caucasus Emirate" and is considered the head of the Islamist militant insurgency in the North Caucasus. He is one of the few prominent Chechen rebels still active, having served as security minister in the Chechen separatist government from 1996-99.

Another video of the rebel leader was posted online late on Friday last week in which he threatened a year of "blood and tears" but made no explicit reference to the airport bombing.

Analysis

Doku Umarov's claim that he ordered the Domodedovo bombing will not come as a surprise to Russians.

The Chechen warlord has been linked to previous acts of terror.

But his declaration that there are hundreds more suicide bombers ready to strike at any moment will spread fear across the country.

Following the Domodedovo bomb, the authorities have taken measures to prevent similar attacks.

As of 1 February, there are new security regulations at Russian airports. It means tighter controls outside airport buildings and more document checks.

One Russian newspaper this morning warned passengers to arrive four hours before a flight. It also predicted that it would be harder for individuals without valid air tickets to get access to the terminals.

What's more, a string of law enforcement officials have been sacked and a new head of transport security has been appointed in the Interior Ministry.

But few Russians believe that these measures will prevent future terror attacks and provide them security.

Doku Umarov has previously claimed the March 2010 suicide bombings on the Moscow Metro in which 39 people died, and is said to have ordered the November 2009 bombing of a train from Moscow to St Petersburg that left 26 dead.

'On my orders'

The video which appeared on the Kavkaz Tsentr website is dated 24 January, the day of the attack.

Appearing alone, dressed in combat fatigues, Mr Umarov speaks to the camera: "This special operation was carried out on my orders and, God willing, special operations like it will continue to be carried out."

He goes on to argue that Muslims are under attack all over the world, talking at length about the situation in Sudan, and condemns "Zionist and Christian regimes led by Israel and America".

Mr Umarov says that he and his fighters "are waging jihad in the Caucasus today to establish the word of Allah", and there are "hundreds more brothers" ready to sacrifice themselves to that end, in the fight with Russia's "racist regime".

Promising "regular, deeper and more aggressive operations", he says he wishes that so much blood did not have to be spilt for Russia to "leave the Caucasus".

'Special operation'
Still from video released on 4 Feb 2011 Doku Umarov was flanked by two men in an earlier video. The younger man (R) is named "Seifullah"

Russian investigators say the suicide bomber who struck at Domodedovo Airport was a 20-year-old man from the North Caucasus.

Although the attacker has not been named officially, unnamed officials told the Interfax news agency on Sunday that he was believed to be Magomed Yevloyev from a village in Ingushetia in the northern Caucasus.

In the video of Doku Umarov posted last Friday, the rebel leader is flanked by two men, one of whom the rebel leader claims is preparing a "special operation". Russian media have suggested that the man in the video, named "Seifullah" by Mr Umarov, was Yevloyev.

At least seven foreigners were killed in the bombing at the airport - the busiest serving the Russian capital. The arrivals hall was full of people as several international flights had just landed.

Those killed included one person each from Britain, Germany, Austria, Ukraine, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. At least 16 Russians were also among the dead.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev sacked several officials - said to include a regional transport chief and a Moscow police deputy head - after the bombing, blaming them for poor security.

More on This Story

Related Stories

From other news sites

* May require registration or subscription

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Europe stories

RSS

Features

  • Peaky Blinders publicity shotBrum do

    Why is the Birmingham accent so difficult to mimic?


  • Oliver CromwellA brief history

    The 900 year story behind the creation of a UK parliament


  • TheatreBard taste? Watch

    Are trailer videos on social media spoiling theatre?


  • Two sphinxes guarding the entrance to the tombTomb mystery

    Secrets of ancient burial site keep Greeks guessing


  • The chequeBig gamble

    How does it feel to bet £900,000 on the Scottish referendum?


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.