Russia's Islamist insurgency says not at war with US

MOSCOW - A group leading an Islamistinsurgency against Russia said on Sunday that it was not at warwith the United States, distancing itself from last week'sBoston Marathon bombing.

Ethnic Chechen Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, who was killed in agunfight with police following a manhunt that shut down Bostonon Friday, and his younger brother Djokhar, 19, are suspected ofcarrying out the attack last week.

A trip the elder Tsarnaev made last year to Russia'svolatile North Caucasus has aroused suspicions he might havemade contact with militant groups that wage daily violence toestablish an Islamist state there.

A statement from militants operating in Dagestan, where thebrothers spent time as children, said the leading insurgencygroup Caucasus Emirate, led by Russia's most wanted man DokuUmarov, was not attacking the United States.

"We are fighting with Russia, which is responsible not onlyfor the occupation of the Caucasus but for monstrous crimesagainst Muslims," the statement said.

The insurgency is rooted in two separatist wars Russiantroops waged against Chechen separatists following the fall ofthe Soviet Union.