Vilayat Dagestan, a Salafist terror group loyal to Shamil Basayev, has taken credit for the Volgograd bombing in late December that claimed the lives of 34 people. A video posted on the group’s website shows two men, identified as the suicide bombers it says are responsible for the Russian attack, wearing explosive belts and posing with assault rifles.
The men warn terrorists will attack the Winter Olympics, scheduled to begin on February 6 in Sochi, a Russian resort city on the Black Sea.
“We have prepared a… present for you, for you (President Putin) and all those tourists who will come over,” the men say in a statement.
“If you hold the Olympics you will receive a present from us. It will be for all the Muslim blood that is shed every day around the world, be it in Afghanistan, Somalia, Syria, all around the world. This will be our revenge.”
The video has since disappeared from Youtube.
Russia’s FSB security service declined to comment on the 49-minute video. Despite the U.S. State Department issuing a travel alert for Americans planning to attend the games, spokeswoman Laura Seal had no comment on the video or the threat by Vilayat Dagestan to attack the Olympics.
Vilayat Dagestan, formerly known as Shariat Jamaat, was created during the Second Chechen War. It calls for an Islamic state in Dagestan and is responsible for killing hundreds of civilians, military and security personnel, and government officials.
The group was loyal to Shamil Basayev, the Chechen commander who was indoctrinated and trained by the Pakistani Inter Services Intelligence in Khost, Afghanistan, at the Amir Muawia camp set up in the early 1980s by the CIA and ISI and run by the Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. His mujahideen group, Hezb-e Islami, was funded by the CIA and the Afghan drug trade.
“Following the dissolution of the USSR, radical Afghanistani Mujahadeen, Islamists from Saudi Arabia, from Turkey, Pakistan and other Islamic countries flooded into the Muslim regions of the former USSR,” writes F. William Engdahl. “The existence of the so-called jihadist Salafi brand of Islam in Dagestan is quite recent. It has also been deliberately imported.”
On Sunday, Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told CNN the Russian government is “not giving us the full story about, what are the threat streams, who do we need to worry about, are those groups — the terrorist groups who have had some success — are they still plotting?”
Texas Republican and chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, Rep. Michael McCaul, also expressed concern about a possible terror attack during the Olympic games. McCaul said although “President Putin is taking this very seriously” and “taking all the precautions,” a terror attack is likely to occur during the event.
“I think it’s more likely that the attacks would probably happen outside the perimeter, more soft targets, transportation modes, if you will,” he told ABC.
Putin said he has deployed 40,000 police and special services officers to ensure security during the games.