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Islamist leader Doku Umarov calls for attacks on Olympic Games

Islamist rebel leader Doku Umarov called for his supporters to 'do their utmost to derail' the 2014 Olympic Games in a video released Wednesday.

Doku Umarov Enlarge
A screengab of a Chechen Islamist militant leader, allegedly Doku Umarov, who urged in a recent video his followers to prevent the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia. (Screengrab)

A Chechen Islamist leader on Wednesday called for militants to attack the 2014 Olympic Games, to be held February in Sochi, a Black Sea resort near Russia's restive North Caucasus.

In a video uploaded to YouTube, rebel commander Doku Umarov, flanked by two men, canceled a moratorium on attacks and urged extremists loyal to his cause of establishing an Islamist state to stop the international games.

Umarov, the Kremlin's most wanted fugitive, has claimed responsibility for the 2010 metro bombing in Moscow that killed 40 people and the 2011 attack on Domodedovo airport that killed 37.

"We know that on the bones of our ancestors, on the bones of many, many Muslims who died and are buried on our territory along the Black Sea, today they plan to stage the Olympic Games," Umarov reportedly said in the video.

"We, as the Mujahedeen, must not allow this to happen by any means possible," he added.

In 2012, Umarov ordered a ceasefire, a move the Islamist leader says Russian President Vladimir Putin mistook for weakness.

"Today we must show those who live in the Kremlin … that our kindness is not weakness," Umarov said Wednesday.

In response, Russia's National Anti-Terrorist Committee said security forces would work on the "timely discovery and suppression of various threats, including terrorist ones, to ensure the order and safety of participants and guests."