IS executioner of Chechen 'spy' was Russian: Kadyrov
The jihadist who beheaded a Chechen man in an Islamic State video is an ethnic Russian from a far northern city, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov said Friday.
"The supposed killer is identified as a resident of Noyabrsk, an ethnic Russian," Kadyrov, the strongman leader of the Chechnya region in Russia's North Caucasus, wrote on Instagram.
Kadyrov named the victim as Magomed Khasiyev.
In the video released Wednesday, the prisoner confesses in Russian to having been recruited by Moscow to spy on the jihadist group and its Russian members.
It is the first IS video to show the execution of a Russian since Moscow began air strikes in Syria to support the Syrian government.
While conceding that Russian secret services are operating in Syria, Kadyrov said Khasiyev was not working with them and claimed he could have been killed as a result of the CIA leaking false information to the jihadists.
"We have never hidden the fact that there are efficiently operating groups in Syria that carry out missions to neutralise bandits who present a real threat to Russia or voice such threats," Kadyrov said.
"However, Khasiyev had nothing to do with them."
At the same time he said he could not "completely rule out that (Khasiyev) had some link with some Russian agencies."
He suggested the Chechen likely got drawn into the ranks of IS "through deception" and later "saw the true face of the bandits".
Life News website identified the executioner as 28-year-old Anatoly Zemlyanka, saying he is wanted by Russian police.
Kadyrov said the victim was an orphan from the Urals mountains who was adopted by a Chechen woman.
He used the name Yevgeny Yudin until 2012, Kadyrov said, which was reportedly when he became a Muslim.
Over the last three years he lived in the city of Maikop in the Russian North Caucasus, Kadyrov added.
Khasiyev's adoptive mother told Life News that in recent years he had distanced himself from her family and she did not know he had gone to Syria.
The revelation that both the killer and his victim were Russians comes as thousands of nationals of ex-Soviet states are fighting for IS.
President Vladimir Putin on Thursday raised the threat of "natives of Russia" returning from Syria.
"If they win there, they will inevitably end up here to sow fear and hatred, to blow up, murder and torture people," Putin said.
© 2015 AFP