Russian airport bomber visited home on eve of attack: report

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The suicide bomber who killed 36 people at a Moscow airport visited his home village shortly before the attack and may have collected the bomb there, a report said Thursday, citing investigators.

The bomber briefly returned to his home village on January 19, five days before blowing himself up in Domodedovo airport's arrivals hall, the Kommersant business daily reported, citing investigators.

Officials have named the bomber as 20-year-old Magomed Yevloyev from the North Caucasus region of Ingushetia and announced they had also arrested his brother and sister on suspicion of helping him plot the suicide strike.

Yevloyev's father earlier told Russian television that his son had disappeared in September after saying that he was going to look for seasonal work.

His sister Fatima told investigators that a childhood friend, Umar Aushev, gave Yevloyev a lift to the bus station that links the village to Moscow and witnesses saw the bomber carrying a large bag, Kommersant reported.

Yevloyev's brother Akhmed and sister Fatima have been arrested, and Kommersant reported that investigators found traces of an ingredient used to make a plastic explosive on their hands.

Akhmed has been identified as a 16-year-old, while Fatima's age was given by various news agencies as either 12 or 22. Kommersant named her Thursday as the wife of an insurgent leader.

The friend who drove Yevloyev to the bus station, Aushev, was arrested as a suspected accomplice Wednesday, Kommersant reported.

Officers from FSB secret police several days ago uncovered a bomb-making factory in the neighbouring village of Ekazhevo that could have prepared the explosive device, Kommersant reported.

Responsibility for the bombing has been claimed by Doku Umarov, a shadowy Islamist who proclaimed himself head of the "Caucasus Emirate" movement in 2006, but Moscow officials have refused to comment on his claim.

© 2011 AFP

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