22 April 2011, 10:16
Al-Qaeda's main emissary and "religious authority" of armed bandits killed in Chechnya
Moscow, April 22, Interfax - Russia's National Anti-terrorist Committee (NAC) has said that an Arab mercenary, who was Al-Qaeda's chief emissary also known as Mohanned, has been killed in Chechnya.
"One of the slain militants has been identified as the chief emissary of the international terrorist group Al-Qaeda in North Caucasus, a native of Saudi Arabia nicknamed Mohanned," the NAC said in a statement obtained by Interfax on Friday.
"A group of up to six armed bandits" was found in a wooded mountain area east of the village of Serzhen-Yurt, Shali District, Chechnya, by local police forces at 11:50 a.m. on Thursday, April 21, the report said.
"A pursuit was organized to detain the criminals. At 5:30 p.m. three of the spotted bandits were neutralized after they opened fire. There are no injuries or fatalities among law enforcement officers," the report said.
"Along with Doku Umarov, Mohanned was the most notorious figure among bandits and was perceived as an absolute "religious authority" and the so-called influential "field commander," the NAC said.
"According to the information obtained from the militants held earlier, in recent years Mohanned had competed with Umarov in leading the insurgency. He was directly involved in virtually every suicide terrorist attack committed in the Russian Federation over the past few years," the NAC said.
"The materials at the disposal of the Russian FSB (Federal Security Service) show that in the spring-summer of 2011 Mohanned was planning to send more militants to North Caucasus from Georgia and to ensure his own full control over the North Caucasus insurgency through his subordinate militants," the statement said.
"Along with Umarov, Mohanned was a priority target for security and law enforcement services. This is why he had gone deep into hiding since the Russian security and police forces began a constant search for him last fall and was found thanks to the well-coordinated efforts by the local and federal law enforcement and security forces," the NAC said.
Further search operations and necessary investigative procedures continue in the Shali and Vedeno districts.
Last night Interfax reported about the Arab mercenary's elimination, citing Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov.