Moscow: Militants in Russia's volatile North Caucasus region of Dagestan have received financing from supporters in Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan and the United Arab Emirates, television said on Saturday, after a special operation yielded notebooks of expenses kept by rebels.
The notebooks seized during a special operation in Dagestan conducted by the Federal Security Service (FSB) on New Year's Eve show the rebels had received hefty donations from their foreign sponsors, national television said, airing footage from the press department of the Dagestan branch of FSB.
"Tens of millions of rubles came from the United Arab Emirates, Georgia, Turkey and Azerbajan," NTV channel said. Rossia television channel added that supporters from Saudi Arabia were also among the foreign sponsors.
"The sums are huge," Rossia channel said. "There was never any doubt anyway that militants in the North Caucasus have been generously bankrolled."
The notebooks show that rebels also extorted money from local businessmen and unscrupulous officials, television reports said.
"The money was distributed among various groups" in Dagestan and was used to finance purchases of arms, medicine and cars, they said.
The notebooks belonged to the leader of Dagestan's rebels, Umalat Magomedov also known by his nom de guerre as Al-Bara, television reports said, adding he was one of four rebels killed during the December 31 operation in the town of Khasavyurt.
First Published: Saturday, January 02, 2010, 18:48