Doku Umarov, the leader of the Islamic Caucasus Emirate, al Qaeda’s affiliate in the Caucasus, from a videotape in which he took credit for the March 29 suicide attacks on the Moscow Metro.
Doku Umarov, the leader of the al Qaeda-linked Islamic Caucacus Emirate in southern Russia, has retracted his resignation, which he issued just four days ago.
Umarov announced the retraction of his resignation in a 1:37-long videotape posted at Kavkaz Center, the propaganda arm of the Islamic Caucacus Emirate. He described his previous statement as “completely fabricated” but did not explain why he had issued it.
“In connection with the current situation in the Caucasus, I think it is not possible to step down from the Emir of the Caucasus Emirate,” Umarov said. “Insha’Allah [Allah willing], the previous statement is canceled by my statement. The previous statement was completely fabricated.”
He also said he was in good health and would fight until his death.
“I’m officially declaring that the health of me, Alhamdulillah, by the will of Allah, is good to serve on the way of Allah,” Umarov said. “Insha’Allah, I will serve in this way as long as Allah gives me life on this earth, and I will kill enemies of Allah.”
Umarov’s initial resignation was published on Aug. 1 at Kavkaz Center; shortly thereafter, the website was taken offline without explanation. It is unclear if the administrators of Kavkaz Center shut the website down, or if the Russians or other intelligence agencies or hackers took the site offline.
In his Aug. 1 statement, Umarov had appointed Aslambek Vadalov, the military commander of Caucaus Emirate forces in Dagestan and Chechnya, as his successor. The previous week, on July 24, Umarov had announced that Vadalov would be named his successor in the event of Umarov’s death or capture.
Russia has been targeting Umarov since he took control of the Chechen Islamists in 2006. Umarov announced the formation of the Causacus Emirate on October 31, 2007.
The US placed Umarov on the list of specially designated global terrorists on June 25 of this year. Over the past four years, Umarov has reignited the terror insurgency in the Caucasus and has backed suicide attacks throughout the region and even inside Russia. The most deadly attack inside Russia claimed by Umarov was the March 29 double suicide attack on the Moscow Metro that killed 39 people, and he has vowed to conduct further strikes in Russia.
For more information on Doku Umarov and the Islamic Caucasus Emirate, see LWJ report, Caucasus Emirate leader Doku Umarov resigns.