Basaev Didn't Save Face
// Terrorist No. 1 Killed Through Lack of Care
KamAZ truck exploded killing notorious terrorist Shamil Basaev and 3 other bandits in Ingushetia on Sunday night. Head of Federal Security Service Nikolai Patrushev reported to President Putin that Basaev was destroyed in the course of special military operation. Basaev had been preparing a terrorist act timed for the G-8 summit. Law enforcement officers of Ingushetia did not find proof on the site that a special military operation was indeed carried out there. They believe the terrorists exploded by accident. So, the question remains unsolved—who will receive $10 million of award for destroying Basaev. Meanwhile, Chechen separatists believe there will be no considerable changes in Chechnya, despite Shamil Basaev’s death.
Explosion on terrorist estate
Explosion burst on the fringe of Ekazhevo village in Nazran region of Ingushetia at 12:30 a.m. yesterday. The explosion was so strong that glass fell out of windows everywhere around, and the noise could be heard within tens of kilometers. The neighborhood was lightened by a blaze, as if a whole gas filling station exploded. Prompt response group of local Department of Internal Affairs were the first to arrive on the site.
“The site, which is about 1.5 kilometers from Ekazhevo, was quickly discovered,” say the officers of the group. “The explosion happened not far from a half-constructed estate consisting of 5 houses, which belongs to brothers Ganizhevy, well known businessmen in Ingushetia. Still fuming framework of KamAZ truck and 3 badly damaged Lada cars were found near the fence surrounding the estate. Judging by the damages, the explosion epicenter was in the truck, and the cars were hit by the blast wave and the wrecks of the truck which spread within 150-200 meters around it.
Operational investigative group of local police and prosecutor's office worked on the site till 6 a.m. The group discovered 3 relatively whole dead bodies, and a fragment of a fourth body, several sub-machine guns and a grenade dispenser. The investigators ascertained that one of the terrorists, of whose body only a fragment was found, caused explosion due to casual handling of blasting agents, and other bandits were killed by the blast wave. The exploded KamAZ truck was filled with at least 50 kilograms of trotyl, beside the projectiles put into the truck to increase the yields of explosion.
“Dead bodies were discovered near the KamAZ,” said the investigators. “Apparently, the explosion took the terrorists unawares. All of them wore black NATO uniform. Their faces and uniforms thickly covered with soot. None of the bandits had a beard, so terrorists shouldn’t be called bearded.
The police quickly identified the bodies of 3 terrorists, because each of them had their documents. These terrorists turned out to be Tarkhan, one of the 5 brothers Ganizhevy (his brothers live and do oil business in Tyumen), who was a communication agent in the criminal gang of terrorist Doku Umarov; Isa Kushtov, wanted for stealing since early 1990s, who joined Chechen terrorists; and Ali Taziev nicknamed Magas, a former officer of Internal Affairs Ministry of Ingushetia, wanted for terrorism by his former colleagues. He has allegedly arranged the assassinations of Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Ingushetia Djabrail Kostoev, leader of Special Police Force Musa Nalgiev, Deputy Head of Administration of Sunzhensky region Galina Gubina, the assassination attempt on Ingush Prime Minister Ibragim Malsagov, and the kidnapping of Ingush president’s father-in-law, local deputy Magomed Chakhkiev, on the instructions of Shamil Basaev.
After the investigators found one more KamAZ filled with explosives and projectiles (there were over 100 unguided rocket-propelled projectiles in the truck, beside other weapons), they decided there was a terrorist base there. However, Federal Security Service (FSB) officers arrived at dawn and did not let the local group finish examining the site. The estate was surrounded by a cordon. Only FSB officers and Prosecutor General’s officials were allowed onto the site.
At first, the press office of Ingush FSB Department said the KamAZ, which terrorists used for transporting explosives stored up for terrorist acts, blew up on its own. FSB officials even named the target of a possible terrorist act—the building of Ingush Internal Affairs Ministry in Nazran. Allegedly, terrorists wanted to take revenge on police officers for the successful special operations the latter carried out. FSB director Nikolai Patrushev announced only in the evening that in fact the KamAZ exploded not on its own, but as a result of a special operation, the purpose of which was to destroy terrorist #1 Shamil Basaev, and this purpose was successfully achieved.
April 22, 1996. Chechen President Djokhar Dudaev was destroyed near Gehi-Chu village. The missile thrown from Su-24 bomber aircraft was guided by the signal of his cell phone.
June 23, 2001. Terrorist Arbi Baraev was shot dead during a special operation in Chechen village of Alkhan- Kala. The house where he was hiding was taken by storm.
March 19, 2002. Jordan mercenary Hattab was poisoned in Nozhai-Yurtovsky region of Chechnya. FSB intercepted a letter from Saudi Arabia addressed to the terrorist leader, and covered it with poisoning agent which causes cardiac standstill.
February 13, 2004. Jeep of former Chechen President Zelimkhan Yandarbiev was blown up in Qatar’s capital Doha. Two officers of Russian special services, who carried out this operation, were arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment. In December, they returned to Russia to serve their sentence there. Nothing is known about them afterwards.
February 28, 2004. Terrorist Ruslan Gelaev was killed in accidental battle with frontier guards in Chaekha gorge in Dagestan.
April 2004. Arab mercenaries leader Abu Al-Valid was destroyed in Chechnya during the fight with army special unit. No details were given.
February 16, 2005. One of Al-Quida leaders, Kuweit-born Abu-Dzeit, was destroyed in the course of FSB special operation in Kantyshevo village in Ingushetia. After the underground shelter where the bandit was hiding was discovered, a grenade was thrown in there.
March 8, 2005. Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov was destroyed in Tolstoi-Yurt village during FSB special operation. Maskhadov ordered his guard to shoot him after their underground shelter was discovered by Russian troops.
May 15, 2005. Former Vice President of Chechnya Vakha Arsanov was killed in Grozny. Arsanov and his accomplices were in a private house, cannonaded police patrol, and were destroyed by arriving reinforce.
July 6, 2005. Leader of Shariat group Rasul Makasharipov was killed in Makhachkala when shooting at policemen. The latter discovered him by accident when they were checking a private house.
June 17, 2006. Chechen President Abdul-Halim Saidulaev was destroyed during a special operation on the outskirts of Argun. He was hiding in the basement of an empty house. According to Chechen Prime minister Ramzan Kadyrov, someone of the terrorist’s accomplices betrayed him for 1,500 rubles.
by Evgeny Belov
FSB believes that Basaev is the fourth dead body unidentified by local police in Ekazhevo. According to Ingush Ministry of Internal Affairs, its officers discovered only the body, without arms, legs, or head. FSB officers found during the day other fragments of that body, including the left half of the head, not far from the site of explosion. Shamil Basaev was visually identified by means of the undestroyed part of the face. De jure, he is still alive, however. Administration of the Prosecutor General’s Office in South federal district told Kommersant this information can be confirmed or disproved only by DNA expertise. By the way, DNA analysis was also carried out when terrorist Aslan Maskhadov was destroyed, although his body was better preserved for visual identification. Investigators intend to get DNA samples from Shamil Basaev’s relatives. Only after Basaev’s body is identified, will tens of criminal cases be terminated due to his death.
Nikolai Patrushev did not go into details of the completed special operation. Some sources in FSB state that FSB learned through local residents that Basaev was preparing a new terrorist act with a mined truck, and that FSB experts managed to remotely explode the truck, using secret technologies. Other sources say that Basaev was destroyed in a similar way to Djokhar Dudaev: FSB took a fix of his cell phone’s signal and sent a radio-guided missile to the target.
Patrushev linked the elimination of Basaev to the upcoming G-8 summit, for which bandits timed another terrorist act. Patrushev’s junior colleagues, in their turn, reminded of their boss’ birthday, who turns 55 today: “There could be no better present for him.” Meanwhile, beside political and career motives, FSB officers might have had financial reasons as well. The matter is that $10 million of reward was promised for the information concerning the whereabouts of Shamil Basaev. If the truck really exploded on its own, then no one will get the money. However, this large sum may now be distributed among FSB agents, whose names will never be announced even by their supervisors.
Yet, the theory of remote blowing up seems unlikely not only to Ingush police, but also to former FSB officers. “There exist special radio-technical facilities capable of initiating the remote blowing up of explosive devices happening to be within the range of such facilities,” said Vladimir Mikhailov, first director of the KGB Explosive Technology Bureau of USSR, created back in 1980s. “However, remote blowing up is possible only when the explosive device is in its finally set configuration, that is all 3 parts—blast, detonating fuze, and primer—are joined together and ready to explode. Yet, it is unlikely that anyone would transport explosive devices in such configuration, because they can explode on their own.”
The theory of a radio-guided missile is not very convincing either. First, none of the experts working on the site found any of its fragments. Second, it does not make sense why FSB officers came to check the results of missile firing not at once, but 5.5 hours later. Moreover, they called the attack a self-explosion.
Spontaneous explosion seems the most likely version to Ingush law enforcement officers. They say the bandits were really preparing a large terrorist act, making a bomb on wheels using the arsenal stored on the estate of brothers Ganizhevy. The last preparations were, apparently, carried out by Shamil Basaev himself. By the way, he often claimed he was a professional trainer in mine blasting work, and showed how to assemble bombs on the official terrorists’ website Kavkaz-Center. Perhaps, he was checking the bomb’s electrical circuit, sitting in the back of the mined KamAZ truck. Experts believe it could have exploded due to accidental short-circuit of wires. This explains the fact that Basaev’s dead body does not have legs, arms, and head, unlike the bodies of his accomplices. By the way, the self-explosion theory was confirmed by Kavkaz-Center website yesterday.
Chechnya will benefit from Basaev’s death
Leading Russian politicians think that Basaev’s death will radically change the situation not only in Chechnya, but in the entire North Caucasia region. Yet, Chechen authorities disagree.
“Terrorists Djokhar Dudaev, Zelimkhan Yandarbiev, Aslan Maskhadov, Abdul-Khalim Saidullaev were destroyed, but the struggle of Chechen people goes on,” spokesman of Chechen separatists in Georgia Khizri Aldamov told Kommersant. “They say it was impossible to make agreements with Shamil Basaev, and that now Russian authorities will be able to hold talks with Chechen terrorists, but this is not true. Basaev’s death is a great loss for Chechens, but it doesn’t mean his place won’t be occupied by a new leader, Doku Umarov for instance.”
Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Chechnya Usman Ferzauli, who is now in Europe, does not consider Basaev as the symbol of Chechen resistance at all. He does not think Chechen terrorists will be disarranged by Basaev’s death, or will surrender themselves like Russian authorities say (20 terrorists announced their surrender yesterday): “Many Chechens resisting federal authorities disagreed with Basaev about, for instance, the provocation attack on Dagestan in August 1999, or the attacks on public facilities, when he took children as hostages.”
Another Chechen source, who preferred to remain anonymous, even suggested that destroying such odious figure as Basaev might positively influence the future of Chechen separatism: “Because of Basaev, all Chechen fighters were associated with terrorism. The idea of our independence was discredited.” After Basaev, believes the source, moderate Chechen separatists will have an opportunity for some half-way actions: “If Basaev had been destroyed earlier than Maskhadov, the Chechen conflict could be settled peacefully.”
What Shamil Basaev is Known For
Shamil Salmanovich Basaev (Abdallakh Shamil Abu-Idris) was born on January 14, 1965
, in Dyshne-Vedeno village. He served in the army—in airfield fire-fighting brigade. In 1987 he entered Moscow Institute for Land Developers. He was sent down during his second year there for skipping classes. He tried business. On October 5, 1991, Basaev joined terrorist group in seizing the building of Chechen-Ingush KGB.
November 9, 1991
. Basaev headed the hijacking operation of passenger aircraft Tu-154 with 171 people on board flying from Minvody to Ankara. All hostages were later allowed to go. In 1992-1993 he took part in Georgia-Abkhazia war as Deputy Head of Defense Ministry
of Abkhazia and Commander of the troops of Caucasus Peoples Confederation.
June 14, 1995
. Up to 200 terrorists commanded by Basaev attacked Budennovsk and took over 1,000 people hostage. The hostages were released by negotiations. However, 129 people were killed and over 400 were injured.
August 7, 1999
. Basaev headed the attack on Dagestan. During the combats in Botlikhsky and Novolaksky regions till September 15, 126 soldiers were killed.
. Over 230 people died as a result of explosions of 3 residential houses in Moscow and Volgodonsk. In April 2003, Prosecutor General’s Office officially charged Basaev with organizing explosions.
January 9, 2001
. Head of humanitarian mission “Doctors Without Borders” US citizen Kenneth Glak was kidnapped in Chechnya. He was released on February 3. Basaev took responsibility for the kidnapping on March 14, 2001.
October 23, 2002
. Group of 41 terrorists seized over 900 spectators and actors of Nord-Ost musical in Moscow. Russian anti-terrorist forces stormed the building, killing 26 bandits. 127 hostages died of gas poisoning (the gas used by special forces), 2 more hostages were killed by the terrorists. On November 1, 2002, Basaev admitted being the organizer of the terrorist act.
December 27, 2002
. The administration building in Grozny was blown up, killing over 70 people. On February 25, 2003, Basaev took responsibility for the terrorist act. In 2003, a number of suicide attacks is committed: on July 5 during rock festival “Wings” in Tushino; on December 5 in a suburb train in Essentuki; on December 9 by National hotel in Moscow. Shamil Basaev took responsibility for all these acts.
May 9, 2004
. Chechen President Akhmat Kadyrov is killed by explosion in Grozny. On May 17, 2004, Basaev announced that he ordered the assassination.
June 22, 2004
. Bandits raid Ingushetia killing 97 people. On July 26, the bandits spread a video address of Basaev during the attack.
. Basaev took responsibility for a number of terrorist acts: August 25—blowing up passenger aircrafts Tu-134 and Tu-154 (93 victims); September 1—seizing a school in Beslan (330 people, many of them children, died).
October 13, 2005
. Bandits attacked Nalchik, 24 people died. On October 17, 2005, Basaev announced he was connected to the attack.
Six Deaths of Shamil Basaev
January 21, 1999
. Russian mass media, alluding to “sources high-placed enough”, announced that Basaev was killed in a fight between Aslan Maskhadov’s supporters and terrorists in Urus-Martan. However, Basaev appeared on Chechen TV on February 7.
May 22, 2000
. Anonymous sources in combined forces of North Caucasia announced that Basaev died of blood poisoning caused by injury received when fighting in Grozny, and leg amputation in field conditions. In a few hours, Basaev called this gossip “the upsurge of news schizophrenia” in his interview to the official terrorist website Kavkaz-Center.
June 19, 2000
. War News Agency reported that Mi-24 helicopters had destroyed a group on horseback, headed by a “legless man resembling Shamil Basaev” in Chechnya. Few hours later, president’s aide Sergey Yastrzhemsky announced that weather conditions on that day in Chechnya were unsuitable for flying, so “the aviation did not fly and could not have destroyed any groups on horseback whatsoever.”
April 30, 2002
. Head of Joint Staff Anatoly Kvashnin stated that Basaev probably died as a result of special operation in March-April 2002. RTR TV company with reference to its own sources added that he died of wounds between March 7 and 10. On May 22, chief of North Caucasian military district Gennady Troshev confirmed that Basaev died in a bombardment, and “it is impossible to find the parts of his body.” On May 24, human rights activist Alexander Podrabinek said he managed to talk to Basaev.
February 3, 2005
. Deputy Representative of National Security Service of Abkhazia Yuri Ashuba announced a possible death of Basaev, giving two versions: death while having it out with Arab mercenaries, or death due to the exacerbation of chronic kidney disease. On February 8, Kavkaz-Center website published a video interview with Basaev, recorded on February 6.
October 13, 2005
. Grozny newspaper Chechen Society, with reference to the source in FSB department of Chechnya, said that Basaev was killed during the terrorist attack on Nalchik while trying to seize the city’s airport. On October 16, the terrorist, through Kavkaz-Center, disclosed the details of the raid to Kabardino-Balkaria.
by Alexander Kukolevsky
All the Article in Russian as of July 11, 2006