'Slavic militant' sought over Moscow bombing: report

27th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

An ethnic Russian member of a North Caucasus militant group has emerged as the first suspect in the suicide bombing of Moscow's main airport that killed 35, a report said on Thursday.

Three days after the attack, investigators have yet to publish any firm conclusions but unofficial reports have pointed to a link with a North Caucasus militant group and a mysterious explosion in Moscow on December 31.

The Kommersant daily said the investigation was focusing on a man named Razdobudko from the Stavropol region just north of the Caucasus mountains who is suspected of belonging to an Islamist militant group Nogaisky Dzhamaat.

Suggesting that he could have been the suicide bomber, the newspaper said the authorities now believed that the attacker was most likely to have been a male ethnic Russian rather than from one of the Caucasus ethnic groups.

"He is not the only person suspected of involvement in the attacks," it quoted a security source as saying. "So it's not worth hurrying with conclusions."

Kommersant also reaffirmed previous reports the Domodedovo airport attack could be linked to a blast in Moscow late on December 31 where a suspected female suicide bomber is believed to have accidentally blown herself up.

Some reports have suggested that the woman was preparing a large scale attack in central Moscow on New Year's Eve and her charge was detonated when her mobile received a spam SMS congratulating her on the start of 2011.

Kommersant said that the woman and another girl who accompanied her may have been forced to go to Moscow after members of the Nogaisky Dzhamaat made threats against their children.

The threats may have come from Razdobudko himself, it said.

Militants from the Northern Caucaus have been blamed for a string of attacks in Russia over the last years, including the 2010 double suicide bombings on the Moscow metro that killed 40.

© 2011 AFP

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