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Prosecutorís Office decides to find 4 escaped terrorists (Moscow theater hostage crisis)
Svobodnaya Pressa ^ | February 14th, 2011 | Andrei Polunin

Posted on 02/14/2011 7:24:53 PM PST by struwwelpeter

Those responsible for the large-scale terrorist attack are named in a new criminal case

The Moscow prosecutor’s office has canceled the order that terminated the criminal case concerning the terrorist attack on Dubrovka, which took place in October 2002. Igor Trunov, the attorney representing the victims’ interest, revealed this to ‘Svobodnaya Pressa’ (‘SP’). According to Trunov, the Moscow prosecutor’s office was instructed by the chief of the Russian Investigative Committee to carry out a supplementary investigation into the incident.

Igor Trunov explains why prosecutors are once again investigating‘Nord-Ost’

‘SP’: Igor Leonidovich (Trunov), the prosecutor’s decision to continue the investigation, what does this change?

IGOR TRUNOV: A quality investigation is one that, above all, acts as a prophylactic measure to ensure that such crimes do not reoccur in the future. Prevention was not achieved at ‘Nord-Ost’. At a minimum, four terrorists escaped responsibility, carrying with them a weapon, a laptop computer, and a satellite communications system. Figuring among the four is one Abu-Bakar, also known as Elmurzayev. He was one of the leaders of the group along with Movsar Barayev.

It is likely that all of them continue to engage in terrorist activities.

‘SP’: Is it now known who exactly was able to escape?

IGOR TRUNOV: During identification of the 42 terrorist bodies, five hostages testified that several of the militants were not among the dead. It turned out that at least four persons with specific identifying characteristics were missing. Some of the negotiators also stated that not all of the terrorists were killed.

With regard to Abu-Bakar, his body was supposedly presented for identification, yet he was not identified: not by the negotiators, nor by the former hostages. Extremely curious was the identification procedure of Abu-Bakar by his mother. The woman was shown photos of Abu-Bakar alive, but his corpse was never presented for identification. This, I think, was just plain stupid.

Abu-Bakar mostly likely escaped, along with a weapon. We have ballistics that show that one of the gunmen fired a specific 7.62 mm assault rifle in the theater, but ballistics do not match any of the weapons on the list of weapons taken from the dead terrorists.

It is understandable that the hostages cannot give the names of the terrorists they saw, the terrorists who were later not to be found among the corpses. This is an issue for the investigation. In the new investigation this quartet must be put on the wanted list.

‘SP’: As the lawyer for the hostages and relatives of the slain hostages, what are you trying to achieve?

IGOR TRUNOV: We believe that a large number of those killed were as a result of official negligence and malfeasance. The terrorists killed none of the hostages, and no one blew anything up. The hostages were killed by the negligence of the medics and those who organized the rescue work. We know that living hostages, unconscious due to the gas, were taken out of the theatrical center and loaded onto buses, literally in piles. Those who ended up at the bottom, under the weight of the other bodies, they died. Who, I ask, thought of transporting them this way? The investigation must also determine this.

We are also awaiting the decision of the European Court on the extent of responsibility of the officials who were engaged in counter-terrorist operation at Dubrovka. This decision will set a precedent and be the basis for continuing the investigation. It turns out that the supplemental investigation presently being conducted by the Moscow prosecutor’s office is to be followed by yet another investigation. Here they will look at the actions of individuals who participated in the hostage rescue.

I know, all this is old news, but many fundamental questions still remain.

‘SP’: How about the issue of compensation for the former hostages?

IGOR TRUNOV: The victims of ‘Nord-Ost’ received niggardly compensation. If the European Court satisfies our demands, that would mean a review of the victims’ cases. It is possible that it they may receive compensation similar to that the Domodedovo terrorist attack (Prime Minister Vladimir Putin promised that families of the deceased would receive 3 million rubles from the federal and regional budgets, while persons with serious or moderate injuries would receive 1,900,000 and 1 million rubles, respectively – ‘SP’).

‘SP’: There is a theory that the decision to storm ‘Nord-Ost’ was political. That the assault was hurried in order to end the matter before the start of the World Congress on the Chechen People, which was to open in Denmark. The Congress was ostensibly ready to guarantee the lives of the hostages in exchange for a decision on the political status of Ichkeria (an independent Chechen republic - ed) and thereby annul the results of the Second Chechen War. This explains the haste in preparing the assault, and the fact that the terrorists were not trying to blow up the hostages, since the murders would have hurt the reputation of the government of Ichkeria. It also explains the senseless shooting of every one of the terrorists, even the unconscious ones. In this situation, is there any chance that a new investigation of ‘Nord-Ost’ will bring this to a close?

IGOR TRUNOV: Part of the history of the investigation confirms this theory. We received formal letters from the investigators for each of our complaints, and for every specific fact. I agree, given all that has happened, it is now difficult to expect any major changes, but as they say: knock and it shall be opened unto you (Matthew 7:7-8 – ‘SP’). We continue our work, and for this we have international legal instruments. No matter what, someone will answer for ‘Nord-Ost’.

How they stormed Dubrovka. An eyewitness account

‘Svobodnaya Pressa’ contacted a law enforcement officer who was part of the group that investigated the events in the theatrical center on Dubrovka immediately after the assault.

SOURCE: The Chechens were not preparing to die at Dubrovka. To a large extent their threat to blow up the hostages was a bluff. This is evidenced by one final fact: they had a chance to blow up the hostages, and yet they did not. The gas was noticed from the moment when it was released, and it took five minutes before it began to take effect, and even then it was mostly on the hostages. A white smoke, the gas, was visible. The terrorists, as I remember it, had gas masks with them, so had they really wanted to blow everything up, and were ready to die, then they would not have any problem doing it. But they did not want that.

Another important point: we still do not know the purpose - the true, real purpose - why the terrorists went there. I took away a negative impression, since they did not take a single terrorist alive. At the time there was, apparently, a possibility, starting with the gas and ending with ‘Alpha’ (one of the commando units that stormed the theater - ed). They probably could haven taken someone alive, but we see a complete disregard for any information that could have been obtained from the terrorists. We could have gotten the names of their accomplices. We could have prevented future terrorists from smuggling explosives to Moscow. We could have found out who and how they got it there. Perhaps there were accomplices in the security services? After all, it was not just anyone, but the security services who kept a lid on this. With these things in mind we could have at least tried to take one of the terrorists alive. No, they did not take a single one alive, and it is not clear why this was not viewed as a defeat, but as an achievement.

From the ‘SP’ Dossier:

‘Nord-Ost’ was the first Russian musical and was playing at Dubrovka on October 23rd, 2002. In the auditorium were more than 900 people. Almost all were taken hostage by at least 40 Chechen terrorists, who carried out in the center of Moscow is one of the largest terrorist attacks in Russian history.

On the night of October 25-26, it was decided to conduct an assault. In the operational headquarters were deputy FSB chief General Viktor Pronichev and Alexander Voloshin, the chief of the Presidential Administration. The operational headquarters gave orders for the assault to units from the FSB special commando center under the command of another deputy FSB chief, General Alexander Tikhonov.

The military operation began with the release of gas through the theater’s ventilation system. It is known that the gas was composed of powerful opiates based on fentanyl (used in medicine for anesthesia). It is also known that rapid and unmeasured doses of the substance can be fatal, and is especially dangerous when used on persons in a seated position.

On September 20th, 2003, Russian President Vladimir Putin, at a meeting with reporters, said “these people didn’t die from the gas,” which, he said, was harmless, but were victims of “a number of factors: dehydration, chronic diseases, any mostly due to the fact that they had to stay in that building.” On death certificates issued to the relatives of the dead, the block for “cause of death” is crossed out.

The Ministry of Health officially refuses to disclose data on gas used in the operation, stating that it is a state secret. The Parliament Security Committee refuses to examine the validity of this classification, and the formula of the gas remains a secret.

The first official report about sporadic deaths of hostages was made at about 8 am, but deputy chief of staff Vladimir Vasilyev said that there were no children among the deceased. As we learned from the criminal case, by this time five children had already been pronounced dead.

According to official figures, 130 people died as a result of the terrorist attack, including 10 children.

The exact time the military operation to destroy the terrorists began is unknown. Part of the FSB commando group entered the auditorium through a gay club operating in the theatrical center. Video cameras did not show the appearance of commandos in the theater foyer until 6:22 am. It is known that during the assault commandos were also poisoned, but none of them died from the effects of the gas.

The operational headquarters thought out the special operation to destroy the terrorists down to the last detail. The operational headquarters, however, did not make a hostage rescue plan.

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Russia; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: chechnya; dubrovka; fentanyl; moscow; nordost; russia; russians
Lots of information on the Moscow theater hostage crisis (Nord-Ost, Dubrovka) here:
1 posted on 02/14/2011 7:25:02 PM PST by struwwelpeter
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