Chechen Rebel Claims He Ordered Moscow Subway Attack

BY jbreslow  March 31, 2010 at 4:06 PM EDT

The leader of a Chechen militant group has claimed responsibility for this week’s twin suicide blasts that killed 39 people in the Moscow subway system, and he warned Russians that more attacks are on the way.

In a video posted Wednesday to a pro-rebel Web site, Doku Umarov said Monday’s bombing was an act of revenge for the killing of civilians by Russian security forces during an anti-terror raid near the Chechnya border in February.

The Moscow bombings “were carried out on my orders, and they are not the last ones, with God’s will,” the rebel leader said. Vowing more attacks, he added: “I promise you the war will come to your streets, and you will feel it in your own lives and your own skin.”

The video appeared online hours after 12 people were killed when suicide bombers attacked in the republic of Dagestan, a province to the east of Chechnya in Russia’s volatile North Caucasus region. According to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, more than 900 people were killed by violence in the region last year.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has promised to “drag out of the sewer” the terrorists responsible for Monday’s bombing, and on Wednesday he said he did not rule out the possibility that the Dagestan attack was carried out by “one and the same gang.”