Putin says Chechens not behind deadly Moscow airport bombing

Thursday, January 27, 2011

MOSCOW - Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has said Chechen terrorists were not behind the deadly suicide attack on a Moscow airport.

Putin said: “This terrorist act, according to preliminary data, has no relation to the Chechen Republic.”

Putin, who launched a war against Chechen rebels in 1999, refused to clarify his comment, which is likely to prompt speculation that the attackers came from another republic in Russia’s violence-plagued North Caucasus, such as Ingushetia or Dagestan, which is considered the heart of the insurgency.

The Kremlin says it has succeeded in subduing rebellion in Chechnya.

In signs implicating militants from the North Caucasus, one of Russia’s most popular newspapers yesterday said the group behind the airport bombing had planned an attack on Moscow on New Year’s Eve but were foiled.

Moskovsky Komsomolets reported that a woman planned to blow herself up amid the crowds ringing in the new year near Red Square, but her plot failed when the bomb was set off by accident, most probably via a mobile phone, killing her in her flat.

It added that the would-be suicide bomber had probably received a spam text message congratulating her on the New Year at around 8:30 p.m., setting off the bomb, which shattered her apartment.

Two other suspects, including the wife of a North Caucasus rebel, were detained as they fled Moscow on 5 January. However, others connected to them were able to plan the Domodedovo Airport bomb in a Moscow suburb, the paper wrote. (ANI)

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