Russia completes probe on bombing anniversary

24th January 2012, Comments 0 comments

A year after a suicide bomber blew himself up at Moscow's Domodedovo airport, killing 37 people, Russia said it had completed a probe into four suspects who would be charged shortly.

The Investigative Committee said Tuesday it had finished a probe into "four members of an organised criminal gang" who have been jailed for suspected involvement in an attack claimed by Chechen militant Doku Umarov.

It named the men as "the Yadniyev brothers, Akhmed Yevloyev and Bashir Khamkhoyev," saying they were all members of Umarov's Caucasus Emirate group.

The men would be charged "in the near future," the Investigative Committee said in a statement on its website.

A 21-year-old suicide bomber, Magomed Yevloyev, triggered an explosive belt packed with ball bearings to cause maximum injuries, wounding 173 people as the arrivals hall filled with smoke in nightmarish scenes.

Investigators said that the airport bombing was organised by a gang of around 35 led by two of Umarov's deputies, Aslan Byutukayev and Supyan Abdullayev, who selected Yevloyev and trained him to carry out the attack.

Russia said it had identified 28 members of the Caucasus Emirate involved in preparing and carrying out the attack but had only detained four.

It is investigating whether two of the gang members were killed in Istanbul in September last year in a bold attack in which three men from the Caucasus were shot as they left a mosque.

Russian investigators said in October they were checking the identity of the men killed in Istanbul, two of whom were believed to be suspects in the Domodedovo bombing, Rustam Altemirov and Zaurbek Altemirov.

Umarov in November threatened Turkey with retaliation over the Istanbul shootings, saying that the militants were killed by Russian agents.

Russia has charged Umarov in absentia with "carrying out serious and extremely serious crimes of a terrorist character," investigators said.

Umarov wants to set up a breakaway Islamic state in the Russian Caucasus. He has also claimed responsibility for a 2010 twin suicide bombing that killed 40 on the Moscow metro.

© 2012 AFP

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