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4 May, 2010 10:28

Lithuanian extremist planned bomb attack in Russia

A Lithuanian woman, arrested in March after her links with extremist organization were discovered, was allegedly planning a suicide bombing attack at a Russian military site.

Egle Kusaite, 21, has been trained in handling explosive devices and had contacts with radical extremists in Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Russia and Great Britain, a spokesman for the Lithuanian General Prosecutor’s House Justas Lautsus said on Tuesday.

“Kusaite did everything she could to do what she set out to do – go to Russia and blow herself up at a military site,” quotes him Interfax news agency.

The woman was arrested on March 28 in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius as she was boarding a flight to Russia. Some media reports have linked her with the terror attacks in the Moscow Metro, which happened a day later, after police found a bomb-making manual and a map of the Metro in her bags.

Kusaite, a citizen of Lithuania, has been under surveillance for several months. Police were monitoring her due to the anti-Russian messages she posted on the Internet. She also applied several times for a Russian visa, but was repeatedly denied.

Lithuanian investigators suspected that Kusaite had some sort of crime on her mind and launched a joint operation with their Russian counterparts. She was allowed to enter Russia, but was arrested en route.

Lithuanian media said that at the age of 18, the girl became engaged to a young man from Chechnya, who later left the country to an unknown destination. A year later, she fled her home and disappeared, to be discovered three months later in Germany living in a family of Chechen immigrants.

Her Lithuanian family said she went through a drastic change of character, becoming a highly religious and radical Muslim. Later she returned to her home country.

Kusaite is now on trial in Lithuania. If found guilty, she could be sentenced to up to ten years in prison.