Islamic Caucasus Emirate claims suicide bombings in southern Russia
A group calling itself the "Mujahid Subversive Group of Ansar al Sunnah" has claimed credit for the pair of suicide attacks on transportation targets in the southern Russian city of Volgograd late last year. The group, which said its leader is "Doku Abu Uthman," or Doku Umarov, the chief of the Islamic Caucasus Emirate, released the statement yesterday "on the website of Wilayat Dagestan, the Dagestani media branch of the Islamic Emirate of the Caucasus," according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which obtained and translated the statement. The group's banner [right] is nearly identical to that of other al Qaeda groups.
The statement is attributed to Umar, who is identified as the emir of Mujahid Subversive Group of Ansar al Sunnah. Umar's statement was also accompanied by a video of the two Volgograd suicide bombers, who were identified as Suleiman and Abdul Rahman. The Dec. 29, 2013 suicide attack at a train station killed more than a dozen people. The Dec. 30, 2013 suicide attack on a trolley killed at least 15 people.
Umar claimed that although Doku Umarov had previously cautioned against conducting such attacks in Russia, he recently "reconsidered his decision, and gave the order to resume the war in any way possible." Umar may be referring to a February 2012 statement by Umarov in which he ordered his followers to halt attacks on Russian civilians.
"A couple successful operations were immediately carried out on militant territories, and this is just the beginning of your end," Umar warned in yesterday's statement. "Each region, each city, street, neighborhood - we will fill your homes with blood!"
"Orders for another attack to destroy the Russian Crusaders are already laying for consideration," Umar later said.
Interestingly, Umar's statement did not mention the Olympics in Sochi in southern Russia, which will begin in February. Doku Umarov had previously threatened to conduct attacks in an attempt to thwart the Olympics.
Umar's statement was released just days after the emergence of rumors that Umarov is dead. Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov claimed that intelligence intercepts indicate the Islamic Caucasus Emirate's emir was killed by Russian security forces, according to CBS News. But the Islamic Caucasus Emirate has not issued a martyrdom statement, and Russian security officials have not confirmed the rumors. Umarov has been reported killed several times over the years, only to re-emerge.