Monday, September 06, 2004

Russia update

Logic and Sanity keeps the info flowing on the horror in Russia. He's been translating some stories from, including this account of a televised interview with one of the terrorists who was captured:

The only terrorist caught alive was shown on channel 1, today. His last name is Kulov -- a Chechen. He was born in the Nozhai-Urt region, Chechnya, but lately resided in Karabulak, Ingushetia.

Kulov told the investigators that the band was led by a Chechen, who went by the nickname "Polkovnik" (Colonel). Only Polkovnik and Hodov knew where the group was going. After the school was seized, the terrorists quarreled -- many were unhappy with the fact that the hostages were children. Polkovnik personally shot one of the terrorists and even blew up the two female suicide bombers (via a remote) to show that he meant business.

According to Kulov:

  • there were a total of 32 terrorists in the group. (30 bodies have been found. Kulov was caught, meaning that 1 got away)

  • He doesn't know any last names or ethnicities of the other members in the group. The terrorists called each by arab names to avoid using their real names.

  • There wasn't a black man amongst them -- authorities mistook one of the terrorists for one, because he was burned and his face got covered with soot, during the storm.

  • * Hodov (an Osetian), as I reported before was sought in connection with a bombing that took place on a train "Moscow-Vladivakavkz" on May 15th, 2004.

According to, the man shown on Channel 1 (Kulov) was of a dark complexion, unshaved and about 30 years of age. He spoke Russian with a heavy accent, and during the questioning repeated several times "I swear, I want to live. I swear to Allah, that I did not kill a single woman or a child."

Just a side note, as I posted prior, an ex hostage (a boy) told investigators that "When I asked him (one of the terrorists) if we'll be freed, he said: 'I don't know guys, I am not in the know.' " His account seems consistent with the terrorist's testimony that not everybody knew of the details of their "mission."


More info about the terrorists. At least four of them are from Nozha-Urt, Chechnya. The terrorist who was caught alive, 24 old, Nur-Pashi Kulaev (this source spells the last name a bit differently) and his brother, 31 year old Han-Pashi Kulaev (killed september 3rd), were Basayev's personal bodyguards. Kulaev also fought along side Basayev in Grozni, 2000 (where Basayev lost his leg).

This group of terrorists consisted of Chechens, Ingushi, Kazakhs, Arabs and Slavs.

Unlike the previous source, is claiming that Kulaev has identified some of his cohorts. In Chechnya, Kulaev is known as a ruthless kililer -- he has killed dozens of soldiers and civilians. Basayev was very close to brothers Kulaeav, so close that (according to sources) he even came to one of their relatives' funeral. Kulaev's were also tightly connected with Rustam Ganiev, who according to a Zerema Muzhahova (female suicide-bomber-to-be who was apprehended minutes before she was about to act), trained many female suicide bomers.

Two others names are known -- Arsen Merzhoev and Mairbek Shibihanov.

Magomed Evloev, was considered the leader of the group, has not been found yet.

According to intelligence:

The school siege was well planned. Terrorists brought explosives, weapons, and food (canned goods and chocolate) back in July, when school was going through renovations. According to hostages, within the first minutes of the siege, the terrorists made male hostages rip up the floor, from under which they extracted their contraband.

Several of the terrorists' bodies have now been identified as the "construction workers" who remodeled the school. Their intent explains the low price they've charged.