Moscow bombing: Chechen warlord warns 'year of blood and tears' for Russia

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Niccolo and Donkey
Moscow bombing: Chechen warlord warns 'year of blood and tears' for Russia

Telegraph UK

Andrew Osborn

February 8, 2011

The Chechen warlord who claimed responsibility for last month's deadly terrorist attack at Moscow's busiest airport has warned "hundreds" of suicide bombers are primed to launch attacks across Russia to ensure 2011 is a "year of blood and tears".


Doku Umarov, the self-styled leader of Russia's Islamist terror movement, claimed full responsibility for the suicide bombing of Moscow's busiest airport last month, an attack that left thirty six people dead.

"This special operation was carried out on my orders and, if Allah wills it, more of these special operations will be carried out in future," he said by video.

"There are hundreds of our brothers ready to sacrifice their lives to assert the word of Allah."

Umarov had earlier appeared in another video alongside a man he identified as a suicide bomber but had stopped short of claiming responsibility for the airport bombing. This time, he was more explicit, vowing to intensify his campaign of terror by conducting "deeper and more aggressive" attacks.

"We can carry out operations at any time where and when we want," he warned, wagging his finger aggressively every few minutes in a mostly rambling speech.

The 46-year-old terrorist urged the Kremlin to abandon the North Caucasus, its southern flank, altogether explaining that his campaign of terror was meant to turn the area into an Islamist Emirate with him as its Emir.

The Kremlin is adamant that it will never relinquish the North Caucasus, a predominantly Muslim area riven by chronic poverty that includes Chechnya and a string of other small internal republics.

Russian Special Forces have long been hunting Umarov, one of the country's most wanted men. Last year, he assumed responsibility for the double suicide bombing of the Moscow metro that left forty people dead. He has also been linked to the deadly bombing of a passenger train in 2009.

Security at airports has been sharply tightened since last month's attack and everyone now has to pass through rigorous checks just to enter a terminal building.

A raft of top officials at the FSB security service were fired or demoted due to their failure to prevent the attack, and a manhunt for the bomber's accomplices is under way.

The bomber has been unofficially named as a 20-year-old man from the Muslim republic of Ingushetia which borders Chechnya.

Ten years ago I was a firm believer in the ability of terrorist strikes to convince a citizenry to end the government policy that provoked it. But this requires the citizenry to have some control over the course of their government's policies, and to be so disinterested with the pursuit of the policy in question that the loss of security is enough to cause them to desire its cessation, and they have to be intelligent and well-informed enough to understand the cause of the terror attack. But with a media and government that successfully convinces its people that these policies are good for them, that these attacks can be stopped by other means, or that these policies didn't provoke the attack (if the citizenry is even aware of the policy), this is impossible.

Killing common Russians was a good way to ethnically cleanse the majority Muslim Ciscaucasian republics. But bombing them in Moscow might just cause Putin and Kadyrov to make harder efforts in Jihadi killing, with the support of common Russians who don't understand that secession for the Muslims is justified and will benefit both peoples.

I would suggest Umarov target the Russian beneficiaries of the occupation, the energy firms for example, who need provinces like Chechnya and Dagestan under Russian administration so they can do their business there. Their headquarters, their executives, their largest investors. They are the primary motive behind Russia's refusal to grant full sovereignty to these nations, so bring the war to them.