The United States has designated the North Caucasus-based Caucasus Emirate, a terrorist organization. This action will help stem the flow of financial and other assistance to the group.
The Caucasus Emirate, or CE, uses bombings, shootings and attempted assassinations to provoke a revolution and expel the Russian government from the North Caucasus region. The goal is to establish an Islamic emirate through violence in the North Caucasus, Southern Russia, and Volga regions of the Russian Federation.
In December 2009, investigators identified a May 15th, 2009 suicide bombing outside Chechnya Interior Ministry as being organized under Doku Umarov, CE's senior leader. Since its attack against a Russian high-speed rail train in November 2009, the organization has continued to threaten the government of Russia. In addition to its attack on the high-speed Nevsky Express, Caucasus Emirate also claimed responsibility for the January 2011 bombing at the Domodedovo airport that killed 36 people.
Terrorist leader Umarov has issued several public statements encouraging followers to commit violent acts against CE's declared enemies, which include the United States as well as Israel, Russia, and the United Kingdom. On May 26th, the U.S. State Department authorized a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to the location of Doku Umarov. Anyone with information about his location is urged to contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate, any U.S. military commander, or Rewards for Justice Office at www.rewardsforjustice.net.
Earlier in the year, in March, Umarov was listed at the United Nations 1267 al Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee. And in June 2010, Umarov was named a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, which provided the U.S. government with the legal means to disrupt Umarov's financial support network.
"The designation of Caucasus Emirate [as a terrorist organization] is in response to the threats posed to the United States and Russia," said U.S. ambassador Daniel Benjamin, the Department of State's Coordinator for Counterterrorism. "The attacks perpetrated by Caucasus Emirate illustrate the global nature of the terrorist problem we face today. We stand in solidarity with the Russian people in condemnation of these deplorable terrorist acts."