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Police launched an investigation after six corpses were found with gunshot wounds in or near four cars outside the North Caucasus gateway city of Stavropol; at least two of the cars were booby-trapped. Three suspects have been named, two of whom are Islamist militants. A Russian woman wearing a suicide belt was reportedly arrested on a Stavropol bus. Authorities are investigating a video that surfaced on the Internet a few days ago showing Russian men burning the Koran and taunting an injured young man on a Moscow subway. The Chechnya prosecutor's office charged Shakhid Temirbulatov, a Chechen man, in absentia with fighting for Islamist insurgents in Syria.




In a massive security crackdown ahead of the Olympics in Sochi, Russia has deployed 50,000 police, intelligence officers, and soldiers, along with submarines and drones to monitor the region from the sea and the air, and S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems. Cell phone and email traffic will also be monitored. The Interior Ministry believes that some 600 militants are organized in about 40 gangs in the North Caucasus. In September, Russian intelligence said up to 400 Caucasus militants were fighting for Islamist groups in Syria.




Securing Sochi: Nostalgic for Stalin




Authorities have detained over 700 people in Volgograd following two suicide bombings in the city at the end of December. Officials have said that the two bombers were men from the North Caucasus; other reports alleged that one was an ethnic Russian who had converted to Islam. No group has claimed the attack.




Year 2013 proves Russia, US able to work together: Kremlin




President Putin said Russia would continue its fight against terrorists "until their complete annihilation." After two recent suicide bombings in Volgograd, some 5,200 police officers have begun conducting an antiterrorism operation in the city, and have detained 87 people after examining 1,500 buildings and searching over 1,000 people. In Dagestan, a homemade bomb killed a prosecutor's aide, and a bomb attack on a police patrol yesterday killed two people and injured five more, four of whom were policemen.




Russia terror analysis: Volgograd and an Olympics under threat




Muslims In Daghestan, Azerbaijan Call For Boycott Of New Year Celebrations




Bomb Attacks in Russia Echo Threats by Chechen Insurgent




In Wake Of Repeated Bombings, A Question: Why Volgograd?




A suicide bomber detonated on a crowded trolley in Volgograd, killing at least 14 people, the second such attack in two days in the city. Yesterday a Caucasus Emirate-linked "Black Widow" suicide bomber from Dagestan detonated inside the Volgograd central train station, killing at least 17 people. Islam Atiev, a Caucasus Emirate member, was killed in a clash with security forces in Dagestan on Dec. 28. Since then, security forces killed two suspected militants in Dagestan, two more in Stavropol Krai, and three more in Kabardino-Balkaria. Security is being heightened across the country in advance of the Olympics in Sochi.




Suicide bomber strikes again in southern Russia

A trolley was demolished in a blast that is thought to have been carried out by a male suicide bomber. The attack is the second suicide bombing in Volgograd in two days.


Suicide bomber strikes at Russian train station

The bombing, which was likely executed by the Islamic Caucasus Emirate, took place in a region where Russia will host the 2014 Winter Olympics, and is the second suicide attack in Volgograd since October.


At least three people were killed when a car exploded near a police station in Pyatigorsk in the Stavropol region, which borders the North Caucasus republics. A video showing Caucasus Emirate leader Doku Umarov was uploaded to YouTube on Dec. 19, a day after Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of the Chechen Republic, declared that Umarov was dead. Foreign Minister Lavrov warned against the West's 'flirtation' with the Islamic Front in Syria, saying the group could be close to al Qaeda forces.




Syrian Kurds jockey for seat at Geneva talks




Authorities claimed to have killed four members of an Islamist militant cell, including leader Arsen Khandokhov, during a raid near Mount Elberus in Kabardino-Balkaria. Four security force members were killed in a shootout with militants in Dagestan. Apti Alaudinov, Chechnya's First Deputy Interior Minister, told municipal authorities that Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has given him virtually unbridled powers, including the use of summary executions and planted evidence, to crack down on Islamist extremists. Russia deployed short-range ballistic Iskander missiles in the western Kaliningrad area.




Russian force training to counter militants from Syria: Chechen leader




Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov said security forces are training to counter threats from jihadists who claim "that after Syria they will migrate to the North Caucasus and engage in terrorist and subversive activities." Chechen authorities have banned funeral ceremonies for anyone killed in Syria; a senior Chechen immigration official was sacked because his daughter had joined the Syrian rebels. Experts say well over 400 Russians are fighting with al Qaeda forces in Syria. The top federal investigator in Chechnya resigned after eight months. Security forces conducted a counterterroism raid in Kabardino-Balkaria and killed a suspected militant in a shootout in Dagestan.




Two suspected Islamist militants and one policeman were killed in a shootout in Ingushetia. Security forces killed three militants in Dagestan on Nov. 26.




Authorities arrested 15 members of the banned Islamist militant group At-Takfir Wal-Hijra in east Moscow. The Interior Ministry said the cell was discovered during ongoing investigations into criminal activity, not terrorism; the al Qaeda-linked group was allegedly funding its activities through crime. A quantity of weapons and explosives was confiscated, including grenades, IEDs, handguns, and bomb components, along with extremist literature.