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Rocket launcher murder plot by Russian mayor

Rocket launcher murder plot by Russian mayor
Police have seized a portable surface-to-air missile system, which they say the mayor of the capital of Russia’s Republic of Dagestan, also known as ‘Bloody Roosevelt,’ planned to use to assassinate a high-ranking state official.

There’s “solid ground” to believe that Amirov and his two accomplices “were preparing an attempt on the life of a state official, in order to influence decision making by the authorities of the Republic of Dagestan,” the prosecutors said in a statement.

“As an instrument of crime, they were planning to use an illegally acquired portable surface-to-air missile system, Strela-2M, which was discovered today [on Tuesday] in the cache, which Abdulgalimov kept in one of the republic’s districts,” the statement added.

The identity of the official, whom the trio wanted dead hasn’t been revealed in the interests of the investigation.

On Tuesday, a search was conducted of Amirov’s premises, during which “items relevant to the investigation” were discovered and seized.

Strela-2M is a man-portable, shoulder-fired, low-altitude surface-to-air missile system, with a high explosive warhead and passive infrared homing guidance. The rocket launcher, which went into series production in the 1970, is comparable to the earlier US Army FIM-43 Redeye system.

The son of Makhachkala’s mayor – local MP, Magomed Amirov – was present in the house during the search, but there are no reports of him being arrested.

The operation was carried out early morning, with riot police blocking the approaches to the building ahead of the investigators’ arrival.

Armored vehicles were used to detain Said Amirov on June 1, with the official transferred to Moscow before the charges were made against him due to security concerns.

Amirov is the principle suspect in another high profile assassination. The currently suspended head of Makhachkala’s administration is believed to be one of the republics top criminal lords.

He remains in custody in Moscow on accusations of ordering the killing of an Investigative Committee employee, Arsen Gadzhibekov, back in 2011. Gadzhibekov was leading an investigation into a string of contract murders in the republic.

9K32 Strela-2.(Image from wikipedia.org)

Amirov has been the mayor of Makhachkala, since 1998. Since the early 1990s, the 59-year-old has survived over a dozen attempts on his life. In one incident a bullet severed his spine, putting him in a wheelchair.  

Dagestan’s press has nicknamed Amirov ‘Bloody Roosevelt,’ linking him to a number of assassinations of local businessmen, who refused to share profits or give up lucrative companies to the mayor’s control, as well as stubborn officials and politicians, who opposed the local mafia clans.