Moscow airport bomber named, his siblings arrested
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Last Updated: Wednesday, February 09, 2011, 15:17
  
'Rostov-on-don: Russian authorities named a suspected suicide bomber of Moscow's airport and arrested his teenage brother and sister, an official said Wednesday.

The Jan. 24 bombing of Domodedovo airport was conducted by the 20-year old Magomed Yevloyev, said an official working with Russia's top investigative agency in the province of Ingushetia. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to publicly discuss the issue.

Officials have previously said that the bomber was a 20-year old man from the Caucasus, but didn't give his name.

Chechen rebel warlord Doku Umarov has claimed responsibility for the attack that killed 36 and injured more than 180.

A court in Ingushetia's provincial capital, Magas, also ordered the arrest of Yevloyev's 15-year old brother and the 16-year old sister, suspected of involvement in the attack, the official said. They also arrested another resident of Yevloyev's home village of Ali-Yurt on the same charges.

The ITAR-Tass news agency reported Wednesday that the investigators had found traces of explosives used in the airport bombing on the hands of Yevloyev's arrested brother.

Umarov said in a statement posted Monday that he ordered the airport bombing and that many more such attacks will follow if Russia does not allow the Caucasus to become an independent Islamic state governed by Sharia law.

In another video released over the weekend Umarov appeared with a young man whom he said was being sent to Moscow on a suicide mission.

Umarov has claimed responsibility for an array of terrorist attacks, including last year's double suicide bombing of the Moscow subway system that killed 40 people. He is seen more as an ideological than a military figure, as many militant cells operate autonomously and shun centralized command.

Some observers have questioned Umarov's claim.

Ben West, an analyst at Stratfor, a global intelligence analysis company, said in a written comment that Umarov could have claimed the attack to boost his profile after a fallout with other rebel leaders last fall. He said that Umarov previously hadn't had any known links to the militants in Ingushetia, which raises doubts about his claim.

Chechen rebels have fought two separatist wars against Russian forces since 1994. Major offensives in the second war died down about a decade ago, but the Islamic insurgency has spread across neighboring North Caucasus provinces, stoked by poverty, official corruption and abuses against civilians by security forces.

Bureau Report


First Published: Wednesday, February 09, 2011, 15:17


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