Skip to comments.Al Qaida-Linked Militant Killed Near Chechnya
Posted on 05/18/2005 6:59:30 AM PDT by Valin
Russian authorities said today a Kuwaiti militant who was an al Qaida emissary to Chechnya has been killed by security forces in a neighbouring region, the second statement in as many days linking foreigners to Chechen rebels.
The alleged militant, who went by the single name Jarah, was killed on Tuesday evening along with another suspect during an operation near the Chechen border in Dagestan, said Major General Ilya Shabalkin, the spokesman for the Russian campaign against rebels in Chechnya and surrounding areas.
In a statement, Shabalkin said Jarah was an al Qaida emissary in Chechnya and has close connections with members of the Muslim Brotherhood, an outlawed Egyptian Islamic movement, and of Al-Haramain, a Saudi Charity that the kingdoms government dissolved last year amid US suspicion that it was bankrolling al Qaida.
He said Jarah had been a middleman for the funding of Chechen rebels by foreign terror groups and had helped top rebel leaders Shamil Basayev and Aslan Maskhadov, who was killed earlier this year to organise many large terrorist acts. He did not name any specific attacks Jarah allegedly helped plan.
Russia authorities say Chechen rebels, fighting their second separatist war in a decade, have been financed by Islamic terrorist groups abroad and that many Arab mercenaries have fought alongside the rebels in the mountainous southern region, in some cases leading groups of militants.
According to Shabalkin, whose claims could not be independently confirmed, Jarah received training in Taliban terror camps and was adept at preparing bombs and poisons. He said that Jarah had spent a long period of time in the Pankisi Gorge, a region near Chechnya in neighbouring Georgia, and in Azerbaijan.
While in Georgia and Azerbaijan, he said the Kuwaiti citizen and unidentified associates received large amounts of money from foreign terrorist centres and sent it along to Russias North Caucasus region, which includes Chechnya.
Jarah also frequently entered Chechnya, where he moved with rebel groups under Basayev and took part in terror and other attacks, trained militants in explosives and taught them extremist Muslim ideology, Shabalkin said. He was also involved in training female suicide bombers, Shabalkins statement said.
On Tuesday, Shabalkin had announced Russian security forces killed a prominent Chechen rebel he accused of planning chemical attacks. He said the rebel was supposed to carry out the attacks under orders from a Jordanian militant, Abu Mudjaid, who allegedly organised a shipment of toxic substances to Chechnya from abroad.
Authorities in Chechnya say many attacks there have been carried out by militants entering from Dagestan, the restive region where Shabalkin said Jarah was killed.
Russian and regional officials met today to discuss plans to base a Russian military unit in Dagestans Botlikh district, an area near the Chechen border where rebels seized villages in 1999 fighting that was one of the catalysts for the Kremlins decision to send troops into Chechnya that year, starting the second war.
Russian forces had withdrawn from Chechnya following a devastating 1994-1996 war that left the region with de-facto independence.
And in other news
ORDINARY CHECHENS GIVING UP RINGLEADERS AND FOREIGN MERCENARIES
GROZNY, May 17 (RIA Novosti) - Since 2002, ringleaders of the militants and foreign mercenaries in Chechnya have been seized owing only to the local population tipping off the authorities, the spokesman for the Regional Operative Headquarters (ROH) running the counter terrorist operation in Chechnya told RIA Novosti.
"Since 2002, 100% of ringleaders of the militants and foreign mercenaries have been neutralized by the authorities tipped off by people from various strata of the local populations, including those assisting the law enforcement agencies routinely," the spokesman said, referring to the statistics collated by the Chechen law enforcers.
He also said that more than 60% of the militant gangs had been defeated and rank-and-file militants bagged owing to tip-offs or direct assistance of the public.
"This is a proof of the public's growing trust in the law enforcers and highlights the public's hatred of the ringleaders," a ROH spokesman emphasized.
He stressed that the locals assisting the federal forces often risk their lives as well as those of their families and friends. At times, they deliberately act in guise of militants' collaborators for their assistance to be more effective.
According to the ROH, most people assist the law enforces out of patriotism.
"People have repeatedly refused to accept monetary rewards for their tip-offs resulting in arrest of militants, despite some of the rewards being to the tune of several hundred thousand rubles," the officer said.
At the same time, rather few ran-and-file militants arrested or eliminated indicated a certain degree of understanding on the part of the local population.
The ROH links it with several reasons.
"For instance, virtually all rank-and-file militants are, naturally, relatives of the people who reject terrorism outright and do not accept separatism in any guise. Possibly, certain sympathizing is due to rank-and-file militants having been involved in the gangs by means of lies and threats of bodily harm," the officer said.
He stressed that the current intelligence on ringleaders should be viewed as the people's hope for quick elimination of odious militant leaders, which would cause the gangs to collapse, enabling rank-and-file militants to lay down their arms and return to peaceful life.
Tip O The Hat
Jarah ? Jarrah ? Sounds vaguely familiar. Wasn't he one of the AQ liasons to the Taliban ? Mohammad Jarrah or some such ?
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