Islamist rebel leader Doku Umarov called on Muslims throughout Russia to wage jihad against the state, in a video posted on several insurgency-affiliated sites web sites on Thursday.
"Spring has come, the end of February, so I ask you, brothers, to activate jihad, eliminate the enemies of Allah," Umarov said in the eight-minute Russian-language video.
"I want to appeal to those … everywhere in Russia where there are Muslim brothers today. … I call on you to open up the front in all places," Umarov said.
In a sign the insurgency could spread, Umarov said he wanted Russia's "occupied Muslim lands" such as Tatarstan and Bashkortostan to join in jihad. "There is an absolute war going on," he said.