Metro Plot Foiled After Dubrovka
Monday, March 20, 2006. Issue 3374. Page 3.
By Simon Saradzhyan
Two suicide bombers were to have blown themselves up in the Moscow metro right after Chechen rebels seized the Dubrovka theater in late October 2002, but they backed out of the plan and left for the North Caucasus, Kommersant reported Friday.
The two women were part of a group led by Aslanbek Khasukhanov and formed to stage terrorist attacks before and right after the Dubrovka theater was seized, Alikhan Medzhiyev, a 22-year-old wrestler who agreed to find a place for the women to stay overnight, told prosecutors, Kommersant reported.
A spokeswoman for the Prosecutor General’s Office confirmed the report and identified one of the purported suicide bombers by her last name, Daurova. She would not elaborate.
Kommersant said Medzhiyev was also believed to be a member of the group, which has been blamed for a car bombing outside a McDonald’s restaurant on Oct. 19 that killed one person.
Medzhiyev has denied participating in the group and said he only agreed to assist the women as a favor to a friend, Ruslan Elmurzayev, one of the hostage-takers killed at Dubrovka. Forty-one attackers seized the theater on Oct. 23, 2002, and they all died after commandos pumped knockout gas into the theater to end the raid three days later, prosecutors said. A total of 129 hostages died, most from the gas.
Medzhiyev met the two women and was driving them to a friend’s apartment when they heard on the radio that Dubrovka had been seized, Kommersant said. He said the women revealed explosives under their coats and said they needed to go into the metro to detonate them. He said he managed to convince them to call off the plan and took them to Kursky Station, where he put them on a train to Nazran, Ingushetia.
Information about the two women, whose whereabouts are unknown, surfaced only after Igor Trunov, a lawyer representing the families of Dubrovka victims, learned earlier last week that authorities had extended the Dubrovka investigation until June 19 because they were searching for a woman named Daurova.