Media: Chechnya church attackers tied to ISIS

Media: Chechnya church attackers tied to ISIS
Photo: Elena Afonina / TASS

One of the participants in the attack on the church in Grozny was a member of a gang led by a terrorist who swore to Islamic State. Earlier this organization claimed responsibility for the incident.

According to Kommersant, citing a source close to law enforcement agencies, a group of militants who attacked the Archangel Michael Orthodox Church in Grozny on May 19, was led by a resident of Ingushetia, Ahmed Tsechoev. It is alleged that a few years ago he was a member of the so-called Malgobek Jamaat, whose leader Artur Gatagazhev swore to the Islamic State (a terrorist organization banned in Russia).

The Gatagazhev's gang committed several high-profile crimes, including the assassination of the security council of Ingushetia secretary Ahmed Kotiev, attacks on the Interior Ministry. Gatagazhev was killed in May 2014 during a special operation, along with six accomplices. At the same time, it is not indicated whether the survivors kept contact with international terrorists.

In total, four militants participated in the attack on the church in Grozny. Other attackers were brothers Amir and Ali Yunusov, as well as Mikail Elisultanov.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack on May 20. The report, which was distributed by SITE Intelligence Group, indicated that the attack was arranged by the Caucasian branch of the organization.

Head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov doubted the ISIS's words. On his official page in Telegram, he stated that the ISIS was "virtually smashed," and the published statement was an attempt to take the investigation "away from real patrons."

Investigators initiated a criminal case under Art. 317 of the Criminal Code (Encroachment on the Life of a law enforcement officer).

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