News / Europe

Russia’s Top Terrorist Promises More Bombs for Moscow

People lay flowers as they attend a rally to commemorate the victims of last month's deadly suicide bombing at Moscow's Domodedovo airport, January 27, 2011
People lay flowers as they attend a rally to commemorate the victims of last month's deadly suicide bombing at Moscow's Domodedovo airport, January 27, 2011
TEXT SIZE - +

Russia’s top Islamic fundamentalist warlord is taking credit for the suicide bombing at the international section of Moscow’s busiest airport. 

Wearing military fatigues and a black skull cap, Doku Umarov took credit for the bombing in a video that appeared to be filmed in a tent in southern Russia’s Caucasus region. Umarov promised to continue sending suicide bombers to Moscow until the Caucasus "is Islamic and free."

Coming from this battle-hardened Chechen warlord, these threats may not be idle bluster. Over the last year, he has claimed credit for three bombings in Moscow that have killed a total of 102 people and injured hundreds.

In the video posted Tuesday on the Islamic rebels website, Umarov said he has hundreds of suicide bombers prepared to carry out missions in Russia’s capital.

In this screen shot taken in Moscow, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2009 a computer screen shows an undated photo of a man identified as Chechen separatist leader Doku Umarov posted on the Kavkazcenter.com site.
In this screen shot taken in Moscow, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2009 a computer screen shows an undated photo of a man identified as Chechen separatist leader Doku Umarov posted on the Kavkazcenter.com site.
Umarov, a bearded 46-year-old who calls himself the Emir of the Caucasus Emirate, said in heavily accented Russian:  "God willing, these special operations will be carried out in the future There is no doubt of this, as we will have hundreds of brothers who will  be ready to sacrifice themselves.”

Russian terrorism expert Andrei Soldatov says he believes that Umarov will try to deliver on his threat.

"Doku Umarov, despite some dispute in the ranks of militants, is very determined to keep sending people to Moscow," said Soldatov.

He said the rebel understands the power of carrying out actions in Moscow, the nation’s political and media capital.

In the two weeks since the airport bombing, there have been daily attacks on police in the Caucasus. But of more concern to Muscovites, there has been a rash of telephone bomb threats that forced the evacuations of shopping malls and long distance railroad stations.

Umarov referred to actions in Afghanistan and Iraq. Soldatov says he now wants international attention.

"For Doku Umarov, it is clear from his video that for him it is very important to portray himself as one of the leaders of global jihadist movement," he said.

While Umarov promised Muscovites "a year of blood and tears",  Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev seemed to try to shift the media spotlight on Tuesday by firing two generals from the Federal Security Service, the successor agency to the KGB. Since the bombing, about 10 midlevel officials have been fired.

But critics, like Soldatov note that the ax is falling on officials  responsible for transportation security, not on officials responsible for tracking down terrorists. Prime Minister Putin, a KGB veteran himself, conceded last week that Russia had a lot to learn from foreign agencies in counter-terrorism work.

On Tuesday, Alexander Bortnikov, the head of Russia’s security service, briefed members of Russia’s parliament behind closed doors.

Afterwards, Vladimir Vasilyev, the head of parliament's security committee, told reporters that two people have been arrested in connection with the airport bombing. But, speaking on national television, he warned that Muscovites will have to live with the terrorist threat.

All residents of our country need to realize that we will have to live under the threat of terror in Moscow for a long time to come, he said

In a first step, Russian airports are now to be fitted with entry checkpoints with metal detectors and luggage screening systems.  Visitors will have to show a passport or driver's license to enter an airport. Terminals will be fenced off and fitted with surveillance cameras transmitting live feeds to law enforcement agencies.

It is unclear if  such measures will deter Russia’s wily warlord in the woods. The first arrest warrant for Doku Umarov, for murder, was issued in 1992.


James Brooke

A foreign correspondent who has reported from five continents, Brooke, known universally as Jim, is the Voice of America bureau chief for Russia and former Soviet Union countries. From his base in Moscow, Jim roams Russia and Russia’s southern neighbors.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid