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Russia’s most recent “success” in its war on terrorism was the liquidation of the combatant Ruslan Odizhev on 27 June, near the mosque in Nalchik. The security services vaunt this as their biggest achievement this year. In their press releases they made the following claims:

1. The deceased participated in blowing up apartment blocks in Moscow and Volgodonsk in 1999.
2. The deceased was a member of the Afghani “Taliban”.
3. The deceased organised a failed uprising in Kabardino-Balkaria in 2001.
4. The deceased was detained in Afghanistan and held for two years in the American prison at Guantanamo.
5. The deceased was the spiritual leader of the terrorist jamaat “Yarmuk”.
6. The deceased took part in an attack on the power structures of Kabardino-Balkaria on 13 October 2005, and lead a group storming the building where the republic’s OMON [Special Police Force] are based.

In reality:

Odizhev came to the authorities’ attention because he attended a madrassah, had visited Saudi Arabia, and happened to fly out of Moscow to the Caucasus immediately after the Moscow apartment explosions. Odizhev was kidnapped by the FSB, and for a time he “disappeared”. When he was released because of unwanted publicity surrounding the case, his nails had been torn out, his nipples had cigarette burn marks on them, and he had been subjected to mock executions in the forest.

To escape further persecution, he left for Afghanistan. There he continued studying at a madrassah. Until the Americans invaded. Escaping the American bombs and the summary executions of the US allied Afghan warlords, he ended up in US captivity. He was taken to Guantanamo as an “al Qaeda” suspect. Seven other Russian captives accompanied him there. Two years later, they were released without charge. Yet, back home, they faced prosecution attempts in the Russian Federation. Odizhev was detained for six months, then released without charge.

Another enemy cynically liquidated…

Insha Allah, a shahid.

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