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Entries in Domodedovo Airport (6)

Friday
Sep232011

Payback? Istanbul Assassination Victims Linked to Moscow Bombing

Vans of the Russian Emergencies Ministry wait outside Moscow's Domodedovo international airport on January 24, 2011, shortly after a suspected suicide bombing. ANDREY SMIRNOV/AFP/Getty Images(ISTANBUL) -- Two of the three suspected Chechen militants gunned down in what appeared to be a professional assassination in Istanbul last week shared a link to one of the deadliest terror attacks in Russian history.

Rustam Altemirov, who Turkish police said was shot by an assailant with a silenced pistol on the street in broad daylight last Friday along with two other men, was charged in absentia in June for his alleged role in the suicide bombing of Moscow's Domodedovo airport in January, according to Russia's state news organization.  The bombing killed 37 people and injured more than 100 more.

Another of the men killed in Istanbul, Berg-Khazh Musavei, was a reportedly "close associate" of Chechen terrorist Doku Umarov, the man who bragged in a video online that he was the one who ordered the Domodedovo bombing as well as an earlier deadly attack on Moscow's subway system.

The third victim in the shooting, Zaurbek Amriyev, has also reportedly been linked to Chechen anti-Russian operations.  All were killed the afternoon of Sept. 16 when the assailant fired 11 shots in less than 30 seconds from a silenced pistol, including several headshots, according to major Turkish news reports.

The Turkish reports said police received a tip Monday as to where the assailant was staying, but arrived just minutes after the killer slipped away.

But the supposed assassin left in such a hurry that his equipment -- including the silenced pistol, a night-vision camera and binoculars -- were left behind, as well as a passport identifying the suspect as a Russian citizen named Zharkov Alexander, the reports said.  Ballistic tests on the gun reportedly showed it was the one that had been used in the triple murder.

A Turkish official told ABC News Wednesday the country's intelligence service was investigating whether Alexander had any connection with the Russian government -- an accusation already leveled by Chechen rights groups and media, who said he was a spy for Russia's intelligence agency, FSB.

A spokesman for the Russian Embassy in the U.S. said that any implication the Russian government was somehow involved in the killing is "pure speculation having nothing [to do] with reality."

Brad Garrett, a former FBI agent and now ABC News consultant, said that whoever the killer is, he appeared to be a professional.

"This clearly looks like an organized kill... it doesn't have any flavor of a street crime," Garrett said.  "The silencer, that even adds to the belief that this was an execution... I would say he's somebody that was sent to do what he did."

As Turkish police continue to investigate the killing and chase down Zharkov, one Russian official involved in the North Caucuses offered a blunt opinion on the assassination to Russia's Izvestia newspaper.

"If those killed were really involved in suicide bombings, then everything that happened is a normal phenomenon in the war," Maxim Shevchenko, head of the working group for the North Caucasus of the Public Chamber, told the paper.  "They've declared war on the Russian state, and it is logical that the security services respond with a group of liquidators and cleansers."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Feb082011

Chechen Militant Claims Credit for Moscow Airport Suicide Bombing

Photo Courtesy - Andrey Smirnov/AFP/Getty Images(MOSCOW) -- A leading Chechen militant has claimed responsibility for the Jan. 24 suicide bombing of Moscow's Domodedovo airport that killed 36 people and injured scores more.

Appearing in a 16-minute video released on the Internet, Doku Umarov claims the "martyr operation" was carried out on his orders.

In the video, Umarov says the Muslims of the Caucasus were at war with the Russian "occupation" and says the attacks will continue, according to Kavkaz Center, a Chechen news outlet that posted the video statement from Umarov.

While the Chechen's claim of responsibility has not been verified, a senior U.S. official told ABC News Umarov's past claims of responsibility gave him credibility. "We would not be surprised to learn that he is in fact behind the [airport] attack," the official said.

The bombing targeted the arrivals area of the Domodedovo airport at 4:40 p.m. Moscow time Jan. 24.  In addition to the 36 dead, another 130 were injured in what investigators called a suicide bombing at the country's busiest airport.

Initial reports published by Russia's state news agency RIA said witnesses had seen two suicide bombers carry out the attack.  Later reports pointed to a single attacker.  On Twitter, one purported eyewitness, Ilya Likhtenfeld, said the bomb was on a man standing in a crowd near a cafe.

Video taken inside the airport apparently minutes after the bombing shows the blast area full of smoke, with luggage scattered around the ground.  Several bodies, prone and unmoving on the ground, are also visible.

No hard evidence has emerged yet to link the Domodedovo bombing to any specific terrorist group, but, according to former White House counter-terror adviser and ABC News consultant Richard Clarke, it fits the pattern of a persistent Chechen campaign of violence.

"This is part of a pattern where the Chechen rebel group attacks in Moscow or in Russia -- a major attack about every two years," Clarke told ABC News following the bombing.  "They've attacked in the Metro, they've attacked in schools, they've attacked in apartment buildings.  This is a regular pattern."

Suicide bombers, often female, from Chechnya or Dagestan and sometimes known as "black widows," have carried out many attacks on Russian targets in the past decade, including the simultaneous bombings of two planes mid-flight that killed 90 people in the summer of 2004 and a Moscow Metro bombing that killed 10 a week later.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Jan292011

Investigators Release New Details In Moscow Suicide Bombing

Photo Courtesy - ANDREY SMIRNOV/AFP/Getty Images(MOSCOW) -- Russia has confirmed the identity of the suicide bomber who struck Moscow's Domodedovo Airport last week.

Authorities said Saturday that the bomber was a 20-year-old man from the country's southern Caucasus region, but did not release a name.

The statement, released on the Federal Investigative Committee's website, said the attack was no accident; the bomber had his sights set on killing foreigners when he blew himself up at the airport's international arrivals hall on Monday.

Thirty-five people were killed in the bombing; another 180 were wounded.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan262011

Moscow Mourning Airport Bombing Victims

Photo Courtesy - ANDREY SMIRNOV/AFP/Getty Images(MOSCOW) -- Wednesday was a day of mourning in Moscow in honor of the airport bombing victims. Thirty-five people were killed and over 100 injured by at least one suicide bomber.

At Domodedovo Airport, a makeshift memorial is growing as more flowers and candles are left.

Security has now been beefed up there with people being screened 'before' they enter the airport terminal.

There's a security reshuffle in Moscow in the wake of the bombing.

The Russian president has fired the top police chief in charge of security for the entire transportation system in the greater Moscow area. And lower down the chain, the head of transport police at Domodedovo Airport and two officers there have also been relieved of their duties.

It's the transport police that are responsible for guarding access to the specific part of the airport where the blast occurred.

No terror group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, which took place in the arrivals hall of Domodedovo airport -- a space that, like in American airports, is open to the public and not subject to security screening.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jan252011

'I Have Very Little Time,' Moscow Terror Victim Predicted

Photo Courtesy - Andrey Smirnov/AFP/Getty Images(MOSCOW) -- A celebrated playwright who was one of the victims of the suicide bombing Monday in a Moscow airport had written just one month ago that she felt she had "very little time."

Anna Mishutina, who wrote under the pseudonym Anna Yablonskaya, arrived at Moscow's Domodedovo Airport just after 4 p.m. Monday from her native Ukraine for an awards ceremony.

As she entered the arrivals hall in the Russian capital's busiest airport, a suicide bomber detonated an explosive device, killing Mishutina and at least 34 others in the deadliest terrorist attack in Russia in almost a year.

Mishutina, who lived in Odessa with her husband and 3-year-old daughter, was recently described by Moscow's leading English language newspaper as "one of the most talked-about new Russian playwrights."

But just one month ago she posted an ominous note on her blog.

"It seems to me that I have very little time," she wrote.

"I really didn't like it when I read that," Mishutina's friend Natalia Antonova told ABC News.  "I don't know if people can feel these things coming, but she was a very sensitive person, very attuned to the physical and the metaphysical."

Mishutina's plays were produced in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus.  According to the Royal Court Theatre in London, she took part in an international residency last year, and there will be a reading of her play The Pagans there in April.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jan242011

Explosion Rocks Moscow Airport; 35 Killed, Dozens Wounded

Photo Courtesy - Andrey Smirnov/AFP/Getty Images(MOSCOW) -- An explosion rocked Moscow's busiest airport Monday in an apparent terrorist attack, killing 35 and injuring dozens more, according to Russian officials.

The blast erupted in the arrivals area of the Domodedovo airport at 4:40 p.m. Moscow time.  In addition to the 35 dead, another 130 were injured in what investigators called a suicide bombing.

Evgeny Khorishko of the Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C., told ABC News it was "too early to say" who may have been responsible.

Initial reports published earlier Monday by Russia's state news agency RIA said witnesses had seen two suicide bombers carry out the attack.  Later reports pointed to a single attacker.  On Twitter, one purported eyewitness, Ilya Likhtenfeld, said the bomb was on a man standing in a crowd near a cafe.

U.S. President Barack Obama said he "strongly condemns this outrageous act of terrorism against the Russian people" and offered his condolences to those affected, according to a statement read Monday by White House press secretary Robert Gibbs.  The U.S. State Department said it has no indication that any Americans were among those killed or injured.

Video taken inside the airport apparently minutes after the bombing shows the blast area full of smoke, with luggage scattered on the ground.  Several bodies, prone and unmoving, are also visible.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio