Doku Umarov says Russia is part of ‘a single theater of war’

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From left to right: Khamzat, the commander of the Riyad-us-Saliheen Martyr Brigade; Doku Umarov, the leader of the Caucasus Emirate; and Saifullah, the suicide bomber of the deadly Jan. 24 suicide attack at Domodedovo International Airport in Moscow that killed 35 people.

Kavkaz Center, a propaganda arm of the Islamic Caucasus Emirate, conducted an interview with the group’s emir, or leader, Doku Umarov. Umarov touches on the capabilities of his forces in the Caucasus, the death of bin Laden, and the so-called Arab Spring. During the interview, Umarov notes that he is insistent on waging war with the Russians, and that a local war for succession of Chechnya is far in the past.

We consider the Caucasus Emirate and Russia as a single theater of war.

We are not in a hurry. The path has been chosen, we know our tasks, and we will not turn back, Insha’Allah [Allah willing], from this path. Today, the battlefield is not just Chechnya and the Caucasus Emirate, but also the whole Russia. The situation is visible to everybody who has eyes. The Jihad is spreading, steadily and inevitably, everywhere.

I’ve already mentioned that all those artificial borders, administrative divisions, which the Taghut [false leader, or liar, a reference to Russia’s political leaders] drew, mean nothing to us. The days when we wanted to secede and dreamed of building a small Chechen Kuwait in the Caucasus are over.

Umarov has made good on previous threats to expand the war into Russia. Umarov’s suicide bombers carried out the deadly Jan. 24, 2011 suicide attack at Domodedovo International Airport in Moscow that killed 35 people and wounded scores more. And Umarov has also claimed responsibility for the March 29, 2010 suicide attack by two female bombers that killed 39 people in the Moscow metro.

For more information on the Islamic Caucasus Emirate and its war with Russia, see LWJ report, 35 killed in suicide attack at Moscow airport.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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