‘Detonator, explosives, UAV’: Moscow police evacuate 12-storey apartment after breaking into ‘terrorist lab’ (VIDEO)

‘Detonator, explosives, UAV’: Moscow police evacuate 12-storey apartment after breaking into ‘terrorist lab’ (VIDEO)
An apartment block had to be evacuated in Moscow after police arrested a suspected terrorist, who allegedly built a home explosives lab. Local media say the suspect is a former official and lawyer turned revolutionary.

An operational video posted on the internal ministry website shows a team of agents breaking down a door and then wrestling a shirtless man to the ground on the inside during a surprise raid that took place on Wednesday. The video also captures a messy workbench, scattered printouts and jars with hand-written labels stacked around the flat.

“Found in the suspect’s flat were bomb ingredients, detonators, a chemical lab, literature on bomb-making, 16 mobile phones, 30 data storage devices and a radio-controlled flying device with a carrying capacity of 300 grams,” said the police report.

Still from police video

Residents of the of the apartment block in a Moscow suburb, were told to leave their flats, due to possible detonation of “highly volatile” substances kept by the would-be-terrorist.

Police say the suspect actively tried to hide evidence of his activities by trying to physically break his notebook as they were about to burst in. They claim the suspect also monitored police communications through a self-assembled radio unit.

Still from police video

“The suspect tried to undermine the constitutional order of the Russian Federation through propaganda on the internet. Among his followers he advocated civil disobedience and terrorist attacks on oil and gas sites,” say the police.

The suspect faces up to six years in prison, for inciting mass violence and manufacturing explosives.

Moskovskiy Komsomolets newspaper quickly identified the burly, bearded man in the video as 37-year-old Igor Puzanov, better known online by the possibly ironic alias Che Guevara. 

Igor Puzanov as a respectable lawyer (Image from igorpuzanov.pravorub.ru)

According to public internet sources, Puzanov, a qualified lawyer, had a successful career, first as a senior property and bankruptcy official, then a director of a large oil drill producer, and finally as the owner of his own legal firm.

But his professional biography appears to end in 2006.

In recent years Puzanov has assumed a radically different persona. In his account on social network Twitter – where he has nearly 2,000 followers - Puzanov introduces himself as ‘Oppositional politican, Communist, Revolutinary’ (sic).

Among his recent tweets are “Putin will be toppled, Putin will be executed” and “The people need to take up weapons!” as well as multiple attacks on ‘oligarchs’ and ‘the bourgeoisie’.

Puzanov was also wanted by federal prosecutors on charges of fraud (which appear to be confirmed by Puzanov’s own statements in his Twitter feed, though he claims to have been “set up”).

Investigators say they will now be seeking any possible accomplices, who may have helped the former lawyer build up his cache of explosives.