The investigation continues: federal forces arrest supposed accomplices of terrorists. Guerillas make a raid upon a settlement and take revenge on the federal forces for the arrests
Criminal cases against terrorists who took hostages in the theater in October 2002 will be stopped because of the death of the accused. The Prosecutor's Office of Moscow states that the criminal acts "have been completely assessed by the investigation; the actions of the terrorists are classified as acts of terrorism, taking hostages, and illegal production and purchase of weapons and explosives."
In the framework of the investigation, over 1,000 people have been interrogated; 775 people have been declared victims (unfortunately, the fact is a pathetic argument for the court that is rejecting the claims of relatives of the slain hostages regularly). As of now, the identities of 30 terrorists have been established; they are Aresen Baikhatov, Yesira Vitaliyeva, Movsar Salamov (Barayev), Rasul Khakhanov, Ruslan Elmurzayev (Abu-Bakar) and others. More bodies of the terrorists (11) are being identified.
At the same time, the Prosecutor's Office emphasizes that, although the case against the terrorists has been stopped, the criminal case on the hostage taking drama in Moscow will be further investigated. The main objective of the investigation will be to reveal the organizers, accomplices and other participants in the terrorist act and bring them to justice.
There is some progress being made in the investigation: in the middle of May, Deputy Prosecutor General for Russia's southern district Sergey Fridinsky reported the arrest of two Chechen women. He said that the arrested women had recruited suicide bombers for Barayev's group.
The widow of slain field commander Arbi Barayev, Zura, was at the head of a terrorist group consisting of 20 female suicide terrorists. Each of the women had a so-called shakhid belt which they threatened to detonate in case the theater building was stormed. Fortunately, none of the bombs were detonated; but it is still a mystery how an explosion was been averted. Members of the Alpha special forces group shot all the female suicide terrorists during the storm.
The age of one of the recruited women was the only thing that seemed dubious in the data provided by the Prosecutor's Office. According to Sergey Fridinsky, she was 16 years old; it seems young Chechen girls are becoming suicide terrorists.
The response of guerrillas to the victory gained by the federal forces with the arrest of the terrorists was in a manner quite typical for Chechen terrorists. Several days after the arrest of the supposed recruiters, a terrorist group attacked the settlement of Ulus-Kert where the alleged accomplices of Movsar Barayev had been seized; the terrorists demanded that the women be released.
A group of several dozen terrorists entered the settlement on Wednesday, about midnight. The terrorists rushed into the house of Tamara Vesengiriyeva, the head of the village administration, and cruelly beat her husband and two sons. To all appearances, it was the woman who told an investigation team headed by Deputy Interior Minister of Chechnya Sultan Satuyev about the demand of the terrorists to release the women arrested on suspicion of participation in the hostage taking in Moscow. Police in the settlement also fell victim to a terrorist raid upon the house of the head of the local administration. The terrorists captured two policemen and took them away.
Probably, the attack at the settlement of Ulus-Kert with its demand to release the arrested Chechen women will finally convince the Prosecutor's Office of their connection with the hostage taking in the Moscow theater in October 2002.
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