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Posted by on Jul 10, 2006 in At TMV | 4 comments

Russia Terrorism Blow: No. 1 Chechen Terrorist Rebel Basayev Killed

Russia has reportedly scored a blow in its war against terrorism with the reported death of a Chechen rebel leader responsible for one of the worst terrorist massacres in Russian history. The AP:

Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev, the purported author of modern Russia’s worst terrorist attacks, was killed Monday, the head of the Federal Security Service said.

FSB head Nikolai Patrushev told President Vladimir Putin that Basayev had been killed overnight in Ingushetia _ a republic bordering Chechnya that was plagued by sporadic spillover violence from the separatist region. Patrushev’s meeting with Putin was shown on Russian state television.

Basayev, 41, claimed responsibility for some of Russia’s worst terror attacks, including the seizure of some 800 hostages in a Moscow theater in 2002, the 2004 school hostage taking in Beslan that killed 331, and the seizure of about 1,000 hostages at a hospital in Budyonnovsk that killed about 100.

That’s quite a terrorist resume. And it sounded as if something was on the back burner for later this week:

Patrushev told Putin that the Chechen rebels had hoped to “put political pressure on the Russian leadership” during the Group of Eight summit later this week, which Putin is chairing.

From Russia’s Novosti news agency:

“Basayev and a number of militants were eliminated in Ingushetia last night,” Nikolai Patrushev, the head of the Federal Security Service (FSB), told President Vladimir Putin.

Basyev had claimed responsibility for the 2004 Beslan school massacre and other atrocities.

The siege of a school in Beslan in the southern Russian republic of North Ossetia in September 2004 led to the deaths of 331 people, including 186 children.

Patrushev said the operation had been a success after the FSB strengthened its positions overseas, mainly in countries where weapons were collected and delivered to Russia for terrorist attacks. also adds this interesting perspective:

Basayev, who claimed responsibility for the 2004 Beslan school attack in which more than 330 died, half of them children, and a string of other attacks, was killed together with other Chechen fighters, Nikolai Patrushev told Putin.

The announcement came only a couple of weeks after Shamil Basayev, wanted by Russia for a string of shocking terrorist attacks, was named by Doku Umarov, president of the self-styled Ichkeria (Chechnya) as his vice president in a move seen as a signal towards radicalization of the Chechen rebel movement.

Doku Umarov Umarov took over as Chechnya’s new separatist leader earlier this month after police killed Abdul-Khalim Sadulayev during a raid in an eastern Chechen town. In his first public statement in June Umarov vowed to widen attacks to the rest of Russia, saying rebel forces would focus on military and police targets but would avoid attacks against most civilians.

That statement appeared to signal an effort to avoid terrorist attacks such as the September 2004 Beslan school hostage taking, in which 331 people died, more than half of them children. Basayev claimed responsibility for that attack, which shocked Russia and divided the rebel movement, since civilians, including women and children, were among those primarily taken hostage.

Meanwhie, Russia’s Interfax has this:

The killing of notorious warlord Shamil Basayev is retaliation he deserved for killing Beslan children and perpetrating other terrorist acts, President Vladimir Putin said following a Monday report by Federal Security Service Director Nikolai Patrushev.

Patrushev reported that Basayev was killed in a special operation in Ingushetia in the early morning hours of Monday.

“This is retaliation he deserves for killing our children in Beslan, Budennovsk, all the terrorist acts his bandits perpetrated in Moscow and other regions of Russia, including Ingushetia and the Chechen Republic,” he said.

Putin ordered Patrushev to nominate for awards the security service agents who conducted the special operation.

Four words for terrorists: Don’t mess with Putin.

UPDATE: Times Online says Russia has effective “decapitated” the Chechen rebel movement.