Chechen terrorist leader and al Qaeda commander Shamil Basayev (AKA Abdallah Shamil Abu-Idris) has been killed by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), according to the chief of the security. Basayev was killed in an explosion during a raid in the Federal Republic of Ingushetia, which neighbors Chechnya. Russian President Vladimir Putin stated Basayev “deserved retribution” for his multitude of terror attacks in the Russian Federation. “Basayev’s body has been identified through some of the fragments, including his head,” Ingush Deputy Prime Minister Bashir Aushev told the Interfax news service. Up to ten Chechen terrorists may have been killed during the attack.
Ingushetia was the scene of the horrific Beslan school massacre, where over 1,200 children and adults were taken hostage. Over 340 were killed, 184 them were children (see The School, a timely story by C.J. Chivers for the details of the Beslan Massacre). Basayev claimed responsibility for this terror attack.
A child killed in the Basayev planned Beslan Massacre on September 3, 2004. Click image to view further pictures.
Basayev also was responsible for the Dubrovka theater attack in Moscow in 2002, where over 100 were killed during the raid to free the hostages, and the Budyonnovsk hospital siege in 1995, where over 100 patients and hospital personnel were killed. The Associated Press provides a roundup of Basayev’s attacks.
The U.S. Department of State designated Basayev as a terrorist in 2003 under Executive Order 13224, and declared he “has links to al Qaeda.” Executive Order 13224 documents Basayev’s other terror attacks:
On December 27, 2002, Chechen suicide bombers destroyed the Chechen administration complex in Groznyy, killing 78 dead and wounding 150. Basayev claimed he personally pressed the button detonating the explosive device. On May 12, 2003, a truck loaded with explosives killed 60, including seven children and wounded 200 at a government compound in the Chechen town of Znamenskoye. The next day in Iliskhan-Yurt a female suicide bomber approached Akhmad Kadyrov, head of the pro-Moscow Chechen administration, at a local religious festival. The blast did not kill Kadyrov but it did kill the bomber and 18 others, wounding 43. Basayev publicly claimed to have planned these suicide bomb operations.
Lorenzo Vidino documents the al Qaeda – Chechen links, Ibn al-Khattab’s contribution to the Chechen campaign and Chechnya’s international Islamic support network in How Chechnya Became a Breeding Ground for Terror. Dan Darling provides a roundup of the links between the Chechen rebel groups and al Qaeda, and a look at the different terrorist organizations. Evan Kohlmann has a chart documenting the Chechen-al Qaeda connections (.PDF file).
Kavkaz Center, the propraganda arm of the Chechen Islamists, reports on Basayev’s last statement, where he “officially thanked the Iraqi Mujahideen for elimination of a group of Russian diplomats the spies in Bagdad.”
“Mujahideen of the Caucasus express huge gratitude to those who has carried out the elimination of the Russian diplomats the spies in Iraq. Their elimination is the worthy answer to the murder by Russian terrorists from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation of the Chechen diplomat, ex-president of CRI, Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev.
May Allah (SWT) reward you in the best way.
Kavkaz Center has confirms Basayev’s death, and claims “The Chechen commander died as a result of a accidental spontaneous explosion of a cargo vehicle with explosives on July 10, 2006, in Ekazhevo village, Ingushetia. Three other Mujahideen became Shaheeds (insha Allah) together with him.”