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Chechens have nothing in common with terrorists - Kadyrov

Chechens have nothing in common with terrorists - Kadyrov
Terrorists are using some media outlets to disseminate their ideas, the head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov has said, adding that the Chechen people and militants have nothing in common.

Kadyrov's statement followed reports on a North Caucasus-based Islamist group – the Riyadus-Salikhiyn brigade – claiming responsibility for the June 10 murder of Yury Budanov, a former Russian officer convicted of the 2000 kidnapping and murder of an 18-year-old Chechen girl Elza Kungayeva.

A respective statement was posted last weekend on a militant website. Later, a video address by Russia’s most wanted terrorist, Doku Umarov, was published on the internet, where the Caucasian warlord thanked Allah for “a big holiday” - for punishing the “sadist…and killer Budanov”. According to the authors of the video, it was recorded on June 11, a day after the former army colonel was shot dead in south-west Moscow.

On Sunday, a source in law enforcement confirmed to Interfax that “a group that was formed byShamil Basaev (the Chechen terrorist leader who was killed in an explosion during a special anti-terrorist operation in 2006) claimed responsibility on a separatists' website for the murder of Yury Budanov”. The source added that the investigators had been expecting such a statement since the Chechen connection remained among the main theories behind the crime. “Nevertheless, such a statement by terrorists will make no impact on the investigation,” and other versions are also being considered, the source added.

Ramzan Kadyrov, talking the same day to journalists in Grozny, lashed out at the media for publishing statements that “equate terrorists and the Chechen people”.

The head of the republic stressed that “there is nothing in common between the terrorists and the Chechen people and it is incorrect to talk about any Chechen element, no matter what crime is at hand,” quoted Interfax.

Kadyrov admitted though that statements by “such bandits as Umarov should be thoroughly examined”.

“The Chechen people defeated terrorism,” the republic's head stated, adding that it was done both militarily, and also, by proving that they do not support bandits. He recalled that over 1,500 servicemen were killed during anti-terrorist operations, emphasizing that the majority of them were Chechen nationals.

As for Doku Umarov, Kadyrov stressed that the terrorist must be punished for all the crimes he had committed or “gladly” claimed responsibility for. “This is an ill, toothless rat, that tries to beg for financial aid from his foreign sponsors by making loud statements,” he said. The Chechen head assured that the militant is ceaselessly being tracked down and “if he only stirs somewhere, he will be found….”

Umarov stated earlier that he was behind the deadly blasts at Domodedovo International Airport as well as those in the Moscow Metro. In March of this year, Umarov was placed on the UN Security Council ‘terrorist’ list, which deals with sanctions against Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, as well as against people closely linked to these groups. US President Barack Obama pledged $5 million in return for information on Umarov's whereabouts.

Meanwhile, on Monday morning, the militant website which had earlier stated that the Riyadus-Salikhiyn carried out the attack on former colonel Budanov, wrote that Umarov made no statements regarding a link between the murder and the terrorist group, reports Russian on-line newspaper gazeta.ru.