Skip to main content

Report: Chechen rebel leader Doku Umarov is dead

By Nick Paton Walsh and Marie-Louise Gumuchian, CNN
updated 1:17 PM EDT, Tue March 18, 2014
Doku Umarov, leader of the Caucasus Emirate, called for attacks on last month's Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Doku Umarov, leader of the Caucasus Emirate, called for attacks on last month's Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Jihadist website says Chechen warlord died
  • There has been no independent confirmation of his death
  • The veteran Chechen guerrilla claimed responsibility for several Moscow bombings

(CNN) -- Chechen warlord Doku Umarov, one of Russia's most wanted men, has died, a Chechen jihadist website said Tuesday.

The Kavkaz Center website said Umarov would be replaced as leader of the Islamist group Caucasus Emirate by Ali Abu Mohammed.

Umarov has frequently been reported as killed or wounded in combat. The report of his death has not been independently confirmed.

The website did not say when or how Umarov had died. It called him "a martyr."

The U.S. State Department said Umarov organized a suicide bombing outside the Chechen Interior Ministry in May 2009. His group also claimed responsibility for the bombing of Domodedovo Airport in Moscow in 2011 that killed 36 people, the 2010 bombings of the Moscow subway that killed 40 people, and the 2009 bombing of the high-speed Nevsky Express train in which 28 people died.

Umarov was a seasoned fighter who survived more than six years as the self-styled leader of the Caucasus Emirate.

The Caucasus Emirate, or Imarat Kavkaz, has its roots in the 1990s Chechen insurgency.

Umarov had called on his followers to do what they could to disrupt last month's Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

He claimed the Games were being held on the graves of Muslim occupants of Sochi, who he said were driven out by Russian imperial forces in the 19th century.

What was behind Volgograd attacks?

Editors' Note: This article has been edited to remove plagiarized content after CNN discovered multiple instances of plagiarism by Marie-Louise Gumuchian, a former CNN news editor.

CNN's Tim Lister and Laura Smith-Spark contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 8:53 AM EDT, Wed September 10, 2014
ISIS has captured the minds of a new generation of global jihadists. What does it mean for al Qaeda?
updated 3:03 PM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
For years, Morten Storm moved between two worlds. A radical Islamist turned double agent is lifting the lid on some of the world's best-kept secrets.
updated 8:38 PM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
A man abducted alongside killed U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff tells CNN how they were kidnapped and says no one from the U.S. government has tried to talk with him since his release.
updated 5:12 AM EDT, Wed September 17, 2014
Have you been to these? The global museum list, released Tuesday, ranks 25 of the world's best museums.
updated 6:16 PM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
iOS 8, the latest version of Apple's mobile operating system, comes with new features that you'll enjoy.
updated 11:34 AM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
What will happen to Scotland's business (not to mention its currency) if they vote to leave?
updated 8:53 AM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
The Ebola virus, very deadly and currently without a cure, is fast-spreading throughout the small West African country.
updated 9:24 AM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
Go to any provincial city in China and you'd be forgiven for thinking the national youth pastimes are online gaming and flirting.
updated 4:51 AM EDT, Mon September 15, 2014
North Korea calls its human rights a "superior system."
updated 5:29 AM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
In Wenzhou, called the "Jerusalem of China," authorities have demolished churches.
Are you Muslim? What do you want the world to know about your religion?
updated 6:04 AM EDT, Wed September 17, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT