The Russian government says that a gas leak was most likely responsible for an explosion at an apartment building in Magnitogorsk on Dec. 31. On Jan. 17, the Islamic State claimed that the incident was really an “operation” conducted by the Islamic State’s Caucasus province.
The Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency quickly claimed credit yesterday for a shooting in the Russian city of Khabarovsk that left at least one FSB officer dead. However, the Russian government claims that “information” about the gunman “points to his being a member of a neo-Nazi group.”
The Islamic State’s Furat Media Establishment has released a short video allegedly showing a captured Russian intelligence agent. The man is made to address Russian President Vladimir Putin directly and plead for his life.
The State Department has added a former Guantanamo detainee, Ayrat Nasimovich Vakhitov, to the US government’s list of designated terrorists. According to press reports, Vakhitov was recently arrested in connection with the terrorist attack at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport. Also designated today is Aslan Avgazarovich Byutukaev, who leads the Islamic State’s forces in Chechnya.
The Islamic State’s Caucasus Province claimed responsibility for two attacks in Dagestan on Mar. 29 and Mar. 30. Russian officials have confirmed that explosions occurred on those days, but the government’s version of events differs from the Islamic State’s claims.
The designations include three jihadists from the Russian Caucasus, including Omar al Shishani’s deputy and a Turkey-based “overseas emissary.” A recruiter from the United Kingdom was also designated.
The US State and Treasury Departments announced 35 designations today. The designations target the Islamic State’s foreign fighters, leaders, “provinces” and other related entities. Several jihadists from the West were included among the designees.