Friday Vesti programme of RTR TV channel showed documentary proofs of the field commander Khattab’s death, presented by Russian Federal Security Service (FSB). The film which clearly showing the body and the face of killed Khattab was obtained by FSB workers from Chechen militants. The fact that the film was shot very carefully proves that it was aimed for “foreign leaders” or that it was made for “history,” Vesti supposes. The shots show Khattab’s body lying on a stretcher. The died Khattab dressed in black T-shirt and camouflaged trousers. His eyes are closed. It is obviously the body of Khattab. The viewers also could see Khattab’s beard and mutilated hand: earlier, in Tajikistan, Khattab was injured in an explosion and lost phalanges of fingers, so he usually hid this hand in a black glove. According to the videotape recording, at night on 19th to 20th March, Khattab’s guard pronounced last words over the washed body. These shots seem to be an indisputable prove of one of the most odious militant heads – Khattab. The special operation on annihilation “Black Arab” which was carried out in full secret had been prepared within almost a year. At that time, Khattab was hiding himself in mountains, in the south of Chechnya, where there was the whole system of underground passages, caves and earth-houses, so Khattab did not personally participate in military actions and did not come in the air. For about a half of year, only six the most devoted guards were together with him. So, how was the militant head annihilated? Vesti corresponded notices that special services prefer to keep it back. It is only known that, while carrying out the operation, internal contradictions of the militants were used, stimulated by the agents, as well as the fact that Khattab did not die like a shahid – in a battle. An undisclosed source in the special services said to Interfax correspondent that details of the operation would not be opened. Khattab is not the last of Chechen militants who was annihilated in such way. Shamil Basaev will be probably the next one. While commenting on the shots, Vremya Novostei newspaper presents a probable version of the terrorist’s death. Taking into account that the body does not have any obvious injuries, the newspaper reads, Khattab was either poisoned, or smothered. According to NTVRU.com, the poisoning is hardly probable, so the terrorist was most likely annihilated in a multipass special operation whose details are known only to a limited circle. At the same time, Khattab’s body has not been found yet. The spokesman for FSB Centre of Public Relations says that the terrorist’s body was, without any doubts, buried in Chechen mountains. Russian Public Prosecutor General’s Office, however, intends to continue investigation of the international terrorist’s deeds as well as searches for his body. “We need the dead body,” – deputy Public Prosecutor General Sergei Fridinsky said. United Military Group in Northern Caucasus, referring to data of radio intercept, reports that after Khattab’s death, the command over his units was taken by Khattab’s nearest brother-in-arm, Abu al-Validi. That was he, who earlier received and distributed financial means which arrived from abroad and fixed prices of terrorist acts and diversions. Abu al-Validi also kept contacts with Muslim Brothers international terrorist organization. So, despite being so indispensable, Khattab was replaced by his successor. Of course, Khattab’s death is a success which proves effectiveness of Russian special services. Though, it is a local success. It is not by chance that Russian President Vladimir Putin, while commenting on the information, stressed that “the question is not about khattabs, but about a complex of measures which are necessary to be carried out in Caucasus and in Chechnya, in particular, about military and economical measures… And only through complex using of these measures the situation in the republic could be changed. If we act only in one, military, direction, we will not obtain a success,” – the President supposes.
Sergei Stefanov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Vera Solovieva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/04/27/40430.html