Four other radicals allowed to leave Russia

NOVOSASITLI, Russia (Reuters) - Temur Djamalutdinov

An aerial view of the Dagestan capital of Makhachkala March 24, 2012. To match Special Report RUSSIA-MILITANTS/ REUTERS/Grigory Dukor/File Photo

From the village of Dzhemikent in Dagestan, Temur Djamalutdinov applied for an international passport in September 2014 but was rejected because he owed unpaid alimony to his ex-wife, said his brother, Arsen.

The following month, Djamalutdinov was put on a police list of Wahhabis. He was subject to regular police checks, his family said.

Yet two weeks later, he managed to leave the country with a freshly issued passport, his brother said. A local police officer said Djamalutdinov had crossed the border legally. Arsen Djamalutdinov said he still does not understand how his brother managed to leave.

In late December 2015, Arsen said, fellow radicals messaged him from Syria and told him that Djamalutdinov had been killed near Kobani, close to the Turkish border, around the same time another Russian militant, Magomed Rabadanov, died there.

Government officials had no comment on the case.

Uvais Sharapudinov and Akhmed Dengayev

Both men came from the village of Novosasitli in Dagestan and were part of the same militant group as Saadu Sharapudinov (see main story), according to a former local official who said he acted as a mediator in the case of Saadu Sharapudinov.

The former official said Dengayev and Uvais Sharapudinov (no relation to Saadu) agreed a deal with the local FSB to stop fighting in exchange for avoiding arrest and shortly afterwards decided to leave Russia. The former official said he helped them to get passports. Every Russian passport has to be approved by the FSB.

In the summer of 2013, the two men left Russia and traveled via Turkey to Syria, where they fought for armed Islamist groups, according to multiple sources in their home village and a person who was in Syria with them. Uvais Sharapudinov was injured during fighting over the border town of Kobani and died in a hospital on the Turkish side of the border, according to several acquaintances.

Dengayev left Syria before his rebel group joined Islamic State and returned to Russia, according to friends and relatives. He was sentenced to jail under a law that bans Russians from engaging in fighting abroad that is against Russia’s interests.

The security officer involved in the talks with militants from Novosasitli said: “I assumed they could leave for Syria. It was their legal right ... Even realizing someone could go to Syria, what could we do?”

Government officials had no comment on the case.

Akhmed Aligadjiev

A mugshot of Akhmed Aligadjiev can still be seen on old Dagestani billboards depicting wanted militants. His home village of Gimry is a hotspot for Islamist activity. In January this year, a heavily armed police unit was stopping all non-residents from entering the village.

Aligadjiev’s father, Magomed, said his son was put on a terrorist wanted list but in 2008 was offered a deal by the authorities. He said Aligadjiev and three other militants were allowed to get international passports and to fly out of Russia to wherever they wanted. They chose Syria. Aligadjiev senior explained his son’s choice by saying he had previously studied in Syria.

Aligadjiev senior said the authorities had been faced with a choice “to kill them, to jail them or to send them wherever they want.” He said he does not know whether his son later joined the fighting in Syria because he broke off contact with him due to his radical views.

The village head in Gimry, Aliashab Magomedov, confirmed Aligadjiev was sent abroad by authorities in exchange for surrendering.

Government officials had no comment on the case.


(Web version) How Russia allowed homegrown radicals to go and fight in Syria here


Edited by Richard Woods