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Dagestani police colonel accused of complicity in 2010 Moscow subway bombings

Source: Meduza
Kizlyar District Municipal Administration

On Monday, November 23, Russian state investigators charged Dagestani Police Colonel Gazi Isayev with complicity in a 2010 terrorist attack on the Moscow subway system. Isayev has headed a district police department in Dagestan for a decade. State investigators maintain that he is also responsible for leaking information on special operations to local militant groups, and sources told the media that he is potentially under suspicion for organizing murders, as well. 

Russia’s Investigative Committee has named Colonel Gazi Isayev, the chief of police for Dagestan’s Kizlyar District, as an accomplice in the 2010 Moscow subway bombings. According to state investigators, Isayev, as a member of the terrorist group Caucasus Emirate, personally drove a female suicide bomber carrying an explosive device to a bus station in Dagestan’s Kizlyar District so she could “depart for Moscow and commit a terrorist attack.” The Investigative Committee also maintains that in 2009–2010, Isayev transported members of Caucasus Emirate across Dagestan and informed the organization’s leadership about special operations targeting militants.

The terrorist attacks took place at Moscow’s Lubyanka and Park Kultury subway stations on March 29, 2010. Female suicide bombers detonated improvised explosive devices after trains pulled into the stations during the morning rush. The bomb detonated at Lubyanka Station had the power of up to four kilograms of TNT, while the one set off at Park Kultury Station had the power of up to two kilograms. The explosions killed at least 39 people and wounded more than 100 others. The organizer of the attack was later identified as Magomedali Vagabov — one of the leaders of the terrorist gang Novokostek Jamaat, which operated in Dagestan. FSB officers killed Vagabov in 2010. Most of his alleged accomplices were killed during the arrest. 

Isayev stands accused of banditry, terrorism, and involvement in a criminal organization. Moscow’s Basmanny Court has jailed him until January 4. Sources told the Russian state news agency TASS and the newswire Interfax that Isayev is also suspected of organizing murders. The anonymous Telegram channel Ask Rasul (Sprosite u Rasula) reported that Isayev may be under suspicion for links to the militants who organized the 2010 murder of Shevket Kudzhayev, the deputy head of Dagestan’s Anti-Extremism Center (Center E). A former criminal investigator from the Kizlyar police department, Magomed Magomedov, was convicted of complicity in Kudzhayev’s murder in 2017.

Gazi Isayev became the head of the Kizlyar District Police Department in 2010. According to the departmental magazine Politsiya Rossii, Isayev’s predecessor was killed in a suicide bombing and in 2011 the police department came under fire from a grenade launcher. Over time, however, Isayev managed to gain control over local militants: in 2018, the Kizlyar District didn’t register a single crime on charges of “organizing an illegal armed formation,” Politsiya Rossii reported. Mediazona has underscored that Isayev took part in meetings of the Kizlyar District’s anti-terrorism commission. The local newspaper Chernovik wrote that media reports about possible allegations against Isayev from law enforcement agencies have appeared at least twice (the newspaper didn’t provide any further details).

Text by Olga Korelina

Translation by Eilish Hart

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