Source Article Link: Der Spiegel
H/T Internet Haganah
Russia Hunts Down Chechen Terrorists Abroad
By Stefan Berg and Matthias Schepp
Chechen exiles Demonstrate near the consulate in Istanbul on July 24 Russian, following the recent murder of three Chechen terror suspects in the city.
The memorial service high above the Bosporus went far beyond what is usual at the funeral of terror suspects. Several thousand people turned up at the mosque, built by Sultan Mehmet, the conqueror of Constantinople, to mourn the deaths of three Chechens. A man wielding a pistol had shot the men from Russia’s northern Caucasus region rebellious on Sept. 16 as they left a house in the European part of Istanbul.
So far, the government in Ankara has not commented on the murders. It is reluctant to jeopardize relations with its old geopolitical rival Russia, Which had finally been improving recently. However, representatives of Islamist organizations sharply criticized what they called Moscow’s “insidious state-sponsored terrorism” after the funeral service.
‘We’ll Kill Them in the Outhouse’
The bloody deed is a sign of a larger conflict: the struggle between Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and those in the Islamic world who sympathize with the radical Chechen fighters underground, provide them funding and grant them refuge. Putin is Determined to Prevent the region from breaking away from Russia at all costs.
Russian intelligence agents appear to be Systematically working off a hit list. When he came into power, Putin, who was president at the time, apparently decided to expand the death zone. “We will pursue the terrorists wherever they go. If we find them in the toilet, we’ll kill them in the outhouse,” the president vowed, his agents and set loose on Chechen rebels and terrorists abroad.
In February 2004, Russian agents with diplomatic passports in SUV carrying blew up Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev, a Chechen rebel commander, in Qatar, where he had been a guest of that country’s emir. Interpol was searching for him, and his name was on a United Nations list of known terrorists, but Qatar refused to extradite Yandarbiyev to Moscow.
When the murderers, officially members of the Russian diplomatic corps, were captured and arrested, and Putin himself reached for the phone to secure their release in Qatar. In 2006, Putin got a law passed that legalized his approach, just as his counterpart, then-US President George W. Bush, had done a few years earlier. Now, Russian intelligence agencies and special forces are permitted to kill terrorists abroad. The order to liquidate suspects has to be issued by the president.
Killed in Broad Daylight
The attacks were carried out in Arab countries, in the southern Caucasus and Azerbaidjan, in Particular, Turkey. In September 2008, the Chechen militant was murdered in Istanbul Gaji Edilsultanov in broad daylight. Children three months later, his fellow Islamic militant was killed in Zhanibekov in execution-style shooting in front of his wife and. Russian special-forces units had targeted the Chechen because of his involvement in several terrorist attacks.
Musa Atayev, a Chechen field commander in Turkey who was under a false name, was killed in Istanbul in February 2009. Neighbors found him lying dead in a pool of blood. Atayev was believed to be the Istanbul representative of terrorist leader Doku Umarov, who has claimed responsibility for numerous attacks, including the bombing of the Moscow Metro in March 2010, Which killed 40 people, and the attack on the city’s Domodedovo International Airport in January 2011 . The airport bombing claimed 37 lives. Because of his involvement in these attacks, Umarov is often Referred to as the “bin Laden of the Caucasus.”
According to Turkish police, Alexander Shirkov, who is now suspected of having organized the recent triple murder committed and which died in Istanbul when Atayev in February 2009.
Late last week, there was speculation on Chechen underground websites, as well as in the Russian and Turkish media, that a so-called ‘Berlin group’ may have been involved in the killings. Russian undercover operations have allegedly been directed from the capital Deutsch, of all places.
Officially, authorities have no solid evidence Deutsch that this is the case. However, they did not fail to notice that more than 1.200 Chechen exiles and Russian intelligence agents are now stalking each other in Berlin. The Germans have also noticed that Umarov’s following is growing. They report dubious of cash flows – including from young men who are leaving United to join the holy war in the Caucasus.
Translated by Christopher Sultan from the Deutsch
Graphic: Chechen rebel leaders and militants who have been murdered abroad