Monday, July 8, 2013

Russian Islamist Doku Umarov calls for attacks on 2014 Winter Olympics


Russian Islamist Doku Umarov calls for attacks on 2014 Winter Olympics

Supporters must use maximum force to ensure Sochi Games do not take place,

rebel leader says in video


    Miriam Elder in Moscow, Wednesday 3 July 2013 05.49 EDT   



Doku Umarov is Russia's most wanted man

Islamist leader Doku Umarov in the video calling for jihadists to attack a

range of targets including the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games. Photograph:



The leader of Russia's Islamist movement has lifted a moratorium on attacks

inside Russia and called on his rebels to disrupt the upcoming Winter

Olympics in the southern city of Sochi.


In a video dated June 2013, Doku Umarov said his followers must use "maximum

force" to ensure the Games do not take place.


After claiming responsibility for deadly attacks on the Moscow metro and

Moscow's Domodedovo airport, Umarov last year declared a ceasefire inside

Russia as protests against the Kremlin leadership gripped the capital. In

the video he said Vladimir Putin, the president, had mistaken the move for



"Today we must show those who live in the Kremlin . that our kindness is not

weakness," Umarov said, speaking in a forest and dressed in green

camouflage. "They plan to hold the Olympics on the bones of our ancestors,

on the bones of many, many dead Muslims buried on our land by the Black Sea.

We as mujahideen are required not to allow that, using any methods that

Allah allows us."


Russia's Islamist rebels consider Sochi to be part of an unformed Caucasus

emirate stretching along Russia's southern flank.


Security concerns over the Olympics, to be held in February 2014, are

running very high, with Sochi just 250 miles from the republics of Chechnya

and Dagestan, where most of Russia's rebels live.


During a visit by Putin and David Cameron to Sochi in May, the two leaders

said Russia and Britain's security services would co-operate on security

before the Games.


Russia has also reached out to the US and Georgia, two countries with which

it has poor relations, to co-operate on security, moves that reflect both

Russian and global concern over potential violence at the event.


Umarov called on his followers to use "maximum force . to disrupt these

satanic games to be held on the bones of our ancestors".


Umarov, the leader of an umbrella organisation comprising branches of

regional rebel groups throughout Russia, relies on video messages to get his

messages out, both to leaders in the Kremlin and to his followers around the

country. He is believed to be hiding in the mountains between Chechnya and



He has claimed responsibility for a number of spectacular attacks on Russian

soil, including suicide bombings on the Moscow metro in 2010, which killed

40 people, and at Domodedovo airport in 2011, which killed 37.



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