More Details of Suicide Attacks in Dagestan

Kommersant | 10/09/2012

New findings have been announced into the suicide bombings in Dagestan, the office of the Investigative Committee of Russia reported yesterday. Suicide bombers were used in the assassination of Sheikh Said-Afandi Chirkeisky on August 28 and a terrorist attack against a traffic checkpoint in Makhachkala on May 3. Investigators have identified Aminat Kurbanova (Saprykina) as the woman who detonated an explosive device on her body that killed the Sheikh. It has also been established that the brother and sister team of Rizvan and Muslimat Aliyev were not fully responsible for the attack on May 3. Attacks are now allegedly being organized by a new Dagestani militant amir – Rustam Aselderov.

The investigation at the scene of the August 28 explosion revealed a tumbler switch among the remnants of the device. This suggests that suicide bomber Aminat Kurbanova (Saprykina) herself could have detonated the bomb.

Investigators believe Saprykina, a Makhachkala resident, who was married to a succession of four militants, all since killed, was the bomber in the latest act, and they also believe she recruited girls to be used as suicide bombers.

Her name is also connected with two attacks on March 6 and May 3. In the first, five police officers were slain and two were seriously injured. The suspect is 25-year-old Aminat Ibragimova of Makhachkala. She was the wife of 23-year-old Zaur Zagirov, who was killed in an enforcement operation in the village of Gurbuki on February 11. A leader of Dagestani militants, Ibragimhalil Daudov, the Amir of Vilayat Dagestan and the commander of the Imarate of the Caucasus Front was also killed in that operation.

A few months ago Doku Umarov officially proclaimed Rustam Aselderov the commander of the front. Security agencies link Aselderov’s new role with the stepped up terrorist activity in the republic.

According to intelligence information, the Dagestani militant underground is now divided into two camps. One observes a sort of Sharia law and passes sentences on religious leaders who show anti-Wahhabi activity or who cooperate with law enforcement.

The other camp is led by Rustam Aselderov. An attack on an uncooperative mosque or a death sentence is carried out by his orders. The assassination of Sufi Sheikh Said-Afandi Chirkeisky is believed to have been perpetrated on Aselderov’s instructions.

The investigation failed to find evidence that during the double attack on May 3 Rizvan Aliyev died together with his sister Muslimat Aliyev. “The gene patterns of the suicide bombers are not identical,” said the Investigative Committee. The second bomber could be one of four suspects. According to the National Anti-Terrorism Committee, they were members of a Makhachkala sabotage and terrorist group: Gusein Mamayev (Khamza), 24; Ruslan Kazanbiyev, 24; Rasul Medzhidov, 27, and Kurban Omarov, 23.

A week later, on May 15, Mamayev was killed in a special operation by the Federal Security Service and the Interior Ministry. Investigators will soon identify which of the other three militants blew himself up on May 3.


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