Russia's most-wanted militant has vowed to bring “a year of blood and tears” to the country, in a video where he appears flanked by a man resembling the main suspect in last month's Moscow airport bombing.
In the clip uploaded to a rebel website over the weekend, Doku Umarov — the self-styled “Emir of the Caucasus” and the leader of the Islamic insurgency in the country's south — was flanked by two men, one of whom is believed to be the suicide bomber who attacked Domodedovo Airport last month.
Umarov does not mention the airport bombing in the undated video, which appears to have been made before the attack.
He introduces a man standing on his left as “Seifullah” and says he is being sent to Moscow to carry out a “special operation”.
“Depending on the reaction, depending on your actions, God willing, these operations will be conducted monthly, weekly, as God allows us,” Umarov says in the chilling 12-minute recording.
Russian media believe that the man in the video could be 20-year-old Magomed Yevloyev, from the troubled republic of Ingushetia, which borders Chechnya.
Media outlets known to be close to the FSB security service have named the Moscow bomber as Yevloyev, and the figure in this weekend's video bears a striking resemblance to a widely-circulated photograph of the young man.