Head of IS Branch in N. Caucasus Killed

Head of IS Branch in N. Caucasus Killed Head of IS Branch in N. Caucasus Killed

A Dagestan-based militant leader who swore allegiance to the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group was picked as “emir” by IS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and was linked to terrorist acts in Russia’s Volgograd, has been eliminated, Federal Security Service said.

“Rustan Magomedovich Aselderov (Abu Muhammad), born in 1981, the leader of the Vilayat Kavkaz section of the terrorist group, was among the militants eliminated alongside four of his close associates,” FSB said in a statement.

The terrorist cell was neutralized near the southern Russian city of Makhachkala, the capital of the Republic of Dagestan, Russia Today reported on Saturday.

Aselderov and four other terrorists were found hiding out in a house in the village. After the hideout was surrounded, the police started negotiations and asked the militants to surrender. In response, the terrorists fired automatic weapons and were killed by return fire. None of the officers taking part in the operation were injured.

A large cache of weapons was then discovered in the hideout, including automatic rifles, munitions and explosives.

FSB said Aselderov was one of the organizers of the terrorist attack on Volgograd’s train station on December 29, 2013, which killed 18 people and left dozens injured after a suicide bomber blew herself up at the station’s entrance. Another suicide bomber targeted civilians in a Volgograd trolleybus on December 30, killing 16 people and injuring 25 others.

The terrorist was also involved in the planning of a foiled attack on Moscow’s Red Square, in which two female suicide bombers were supposed to detonate on December 31, 2010. The plot was uncovered by FSB.

Aselderov has been known to Russian law enforcement as an active member of Dagestan terrorist cells since 2007. In 2012, he became in charge of Dagestan’s unit of the internationally recognized terrorist organization “Imarat Kavkaz”. In 2014, he was “one of the first” to pledge allegiance to IS.

In late June 2015, Aselderov was appointed the head of the so-called Vilayat Kavkaz, established on the Russian territory by IS. Among his “duties” as an emir were the planning of terrorist acts in Russia’s Northern Caucasus and in central Russia, FSB said.

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