Medvedev says all militants who do not surrender will be eliminated

Dmitriy Medvedev (RIA Novosti / Sergey Guneev)
President Dmitry Medvedev has ordered the Federal Security Service (FSB) to continue special operations against militants.

All those who do not lay down arms will be destroyed, the president said at a meeting with the FSB Deputy Director Sergey Smirnov on Tuesday. “The measures directed at destroying the bandit underground must be continued,” he stressed. “Unfortunately, problems still exist on the territory of several of our republics in the North Caucasus, and they should be solved in this way.” This work should be completed, Medvedev noted.“Every bandit should understand that his fate is in his own hands: either he ends all resistance, and then he has any chance to avoid this situation or he continues his criminal activity, and in that case he will be destroyed.” 

All terrorists who were involved in committing the twin suicide attacks on the Moscow Metro a year ago “have suffered a just punishment, and most of them were eliminated,” Medvedev said. “This is absolutely fair retribution.” All the suspects in the attack were established during joint work of the FSB and the Investigative Committee.

The National Antiterrorist Committee reported that 17 militants were “eliminated” and two men involved in the Domodedovo Airport bombing were captured on Monday. Law enforcement officers destroyed the base that had been allegedly used by militants for training suicide bombers. Three Russian servicemen were killed during the raid that involved ground forces and air strikes.

Investigators have to identify those killed during a special operation in the republic, head of the Republic of Ingushetia Yunus-Bek Yevkurov said on Tuesday. They will also find out whether or not terrorist leader Doku Umarov was among them.

Several gang leaders were present in this area, Yevkurov told Interfax. According to the republic’s leader, there is evidence that they were planning terrorist attacks against civilians in three neighborhoods in Ingushetia and against law-enforcement agencies.

They intended to take civilians hostage and kill, “to sow panic among the population and make special services responsible for the attack,” he said.

Preparations for the operation, which involved federal and Ingush security units, had taken a long time. “We hope that the entire gang was eliminated,” Yevkurov said.

Umarov, Russia’s most-wanted man, who called himself “the Emir of the Caucasus Emirate,” had earlier claimed responsibility for the March 2010 suicide bombings on the Moscow Metro and the attack at Domodedovo International Airport in January 2011. There have already been several reports about his death by security forces, which have not been confirmed.

The UN Security Council’s Sanctions Committee earlier this month listed Umarov alongside the world’s most dangerous terrorists. All UN member states are obliged to impose sanctions on the terrorist, freezing his assets and banning movement.

In June last year, the US Department of State also designated Umarov as a terrorist. The move was intended to help stop the flow of financial support to him and degrade his ability to control the militant underground in the North Caucasus.

Two female suicide bombers blew themselves up on the Moscow Metro exactly a year ago, killing 40 people. Spokesman of the Investigative Committee Vladimir Markin said that all the masterminds and executors of the attack had been established. Six of them were killed.

Another suspect, Gusen Magomedov is now on the international wanted list. Investigators believe he accompanied the two suicide bombers on their way from Kizlyar, Dagestan, to Moscow and organized their activities on the day of the attack.