Chechen Rebel Leader Umarov Resigns

By Loretta Duchamps
Loretta Duchamps
Loretta Duchamps
August 3, 2010 Updated: August 3, 2010

One of Russia’s most notorious rebel leaders, Doku Umarov, who claimed responsibility for the Moscow Metro Bombings four months ago that killed 40 civilians, appears to have stepped down from his position.

An online video showed what appears to be Umarov, handing his position over to a younger successor, called Aslambek Vadalov, sitting next to him.

Doku Umarov was in charge the Islamist insurgency in North Caucasus, leading small groups of guerrilla fighters who battled against Russian Special Forces in the Chechen mountains.

Umarov is considered a terrorist by the Russian government, as well as by the U.S. State Department, for crimes of kidnapping, treason, and homicide.

He is said to have fought in the Chechen Wars, the first one lasting from 1994 to 1996, and the second from 1999 to 2009. In November 2009, he orchestrated a train bombing between Moscow and St Petersburg, and in June 2004, he was one of the main organizers for the attack at Ingushetia, killing dozens of people.