Russia's Interior Ministry and the FSB received information from Chechnya claiming that the leader of Arab mercenaries was dead
The federal forces already declared death of Saudi Abu al-Walid at least five times: in April and July of 2000, in September 2001, in May and June 2002. However, each time the statements turned out to be just rumors. This time no loud statements followed on the issue even though there was a golden opportunity for making statements of this kind. Yesterday, September 9, was the fourth tragic anniversary of an explosion in an apartment block of Moscow's Guryanov Street. The Russian Federation Prosecutor's Office believes that Abu al-Walid was one of the organizers of the terrorist act. However, as the Kommersant newspaper has learnt, yesterday representatives of the Interior Ministry and the FSB verified information received from Chechnya and saying that the leader of Arab mercenaries had been actually killed.
The information is based upon the evidence of an intelligence agent. A Chechen policeman participating in a special operation held at the border of the Sahli and Vedeno districts told his commander that he had fired at "a man looking very much like Abu al-Walid." The policeman could see Abu al-Walid rather well through the telescopic sight of his gun and fired several times at him. The Chechen policeman says his bullets hit the target precisely, but as soon as the field commander fell his body was immediately removed from the firing line.
It was when field commander Hattab was liquidated that Abu al-Walid took over the command over Chechen terrorist groups and foreign mercenaries. It was even rumored that Abu al-Walid was involved in Hattab's death.
The Russian special services in Chechnya received this information from a prominent field commander detained during a special operation in June. The detained field commander said he knew "the details about the situation in armed terrorist formations and the relations between their leaders." The terrorist says the appointment of Abu al-Walid the key coordinator of diversionary activity in Chechnya (it was the Moslem Brothers organization that appointed him to the position) and the finance manager was delayed for a rather long period because the man "was scheming a plot against Hattab and Basayev."
With an attempt to stop it, Basayev ordered to organize a provocation even against Abu al-Walid. The detained terrorist says that Arab mercenaries from Hattab's people were charged with the same task. Both Basayev and Hattab wanted to compromise Abu al-Walid, who was gaining authority at that time, in the eyes of the Moslem Brothers leaders. The field commander says the death of Hattab may be connected with response measures taken by Abu al-Walid.
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