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Russian Jihadist Urges Attacks on Sochi Olympics


The leader of a Chechen separatist group urged his followers to use “maximum force” to attack the 2014 Winter Olympics in a new video posted online today. He also rescinded a 2012 pledge not to attack targets in Russia.

Russia plans “to hold the Olympics on the bones of our ancestors, on the bones of many, many dead Muslims buried on the territory of our land on the Black Sea, and we mujahedeen are obliged not to permit that, using any methods allowed us by the almighty Allah” said Doku Umarov, the jihadist who leads a separatist movement that frequently attacks Russian security forces and civilian targets.

The editor of a Caucasian monitoring group did not offer much hope for or confidence in the Russian authorities handling security at the games, which are just eight months away: “Unfortunately, I have every reason to think they would be able to organize a suicide attack around the games,” he told the Wall Street Journal.

Putin has staked his reputation on this event, vowing to invest $50 billion on security and regional infrastructure. Already the Russian security services are cracking down on militants in the Caucasus, but they are notoriously bad at handling terrorist threats and separatist movements. None of this bodes well for the 2014 Olympics.

Aside from Putin’s legacy, securing Sochi also provides a motive for Russia’s Syria policy. Moscow fears Sunni militancy creeping north. There have been reports of Chechen and other Caucasian militants fighting with the rebels in Syria. Moscow has vowed to make sure they are defeated there so that they can’t bring the fight back home.

This is just one aspect of the Kremlin’s position on Syria (there are others), but it’s an important one.

[Image of Doku Umarov courtesy Wikimedia]

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  • USNK2

    How dare any Chechen try to hijack the Tsarist genocide and expulsion of the Circassians, whose bones are the ones buried in Sochi and the coast of the Black Sea?!
    Today, Circassians are pledged to non-violence through their membership in (Unrepresented Nations and Peoples).
    The descendants of those Circassians who survived the final expulsion from Sochi, in 1864, were mostly resettled in the Ottoman Empire, and, to this day, wherever the Circassians live, they are loyal to the government of that nation, including Syria, Jordan, and Israel.
    Chechens have their own horrific story, mostly due to Stalin and Putin, but Chechens are NOT Circassians.
    No one should give Chechens any publicity for trying to hijack Circassian history.
    Maybe Queen Elizabeth II should finally answer the letter the Circassians sent to Queen Victoria, begging for help.

  • Jim__L

    Fidel Castro has moved to Chechnya, then?

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