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Russia: Ex-Guantanamo detainee killed [in Russia]

Posted by Atilla89 on June 28, 2007

This is interesting, someone who went through Gitmo but still turned back to terrorism. Can’t say I blame him, if I was caught by the people I hated most and then released after X amount of time, I would still want to kill them or their allies. Anyway at least this guy is dead and good riddance.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070627/ap_on_re_eu/russia_guantanamo_3

By JIM HEINTZ, Associated Press Writer Wed Jun 27, 3:06 PM ET

MOSCOW – A man formerly held in the U.S. facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was killed Wednesday in a shootout with security agents in a restive North Caucasus republic, Russia’s top security agency said.

Ruslan Odizhev was killed amid gunfire that erupted when agents tried to arrest him and another man in Kabardino-Balkariya, a region near Chechnya that is plagued by violence linked both to crime and to religious tensions, the Federal Security Service said in a statement.

The service, known by its Russian acronym FSB, said Odizhev had been held at Guantanamo Bay and was believed to have been a supporter of the Taliban. Odizhev was one of seven Russians released from the detention facility in 2004; his whereabouts recently had been unknown.

The FSB did not specify why agents were trying to detain him, but said he was a suspect in the 1999 bombings of apartment buildings in Moscow and Volgodonsk and that he took part in a 2005 insurgent attack on police and government facilities in Nalchik, the capital of Kabardino-Balkariya.

That attack left 139 people dead, including 94 militants. Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev, who was killed in 2006, claimed credit for planning the attack.

The FSB said Odizhev was the “spiritual leader” of Yarmuk, an Islamic extremist organization connected to an array of violence in the region.

The office of the republic’s top prosecutor, Oleg Zharikov, said Odizhev was killed in Nalchik and that three homemade explosive devices were found on his body. It said he and a rebel named Anzor Tengizov were cornered by agents in the courtyard of an apartment building across the street from a mosque in the city.

Odizhev and six other Russians who had been detained in Afghanistan were released from Guantanamo in 2004 after investigators said they found no evidence of their involvement with the Taliban. Several, including Odizhev, were briefly jailed after returning to Russia.

It was not clear why the men were released then, especially if Odizhev had been considered a suspect in the 1999 bombings.

U.S.-based Human Rights Watch said in a statement that Odizhev’s mother had said her son had been kidnapped and tortured by security agents in 2000 in connection with the bombings. He fled the country thereafter, she said, according to the statement.

The bombings were blamed by Russian authorities on Chechen separatists and cited as justification for resuming the fight against insurgents in Chechnya.

However, some critics, including ex-KGB operative Alexander Litvinenko, claimed the agency carried out the bombings in order to create a pretense for resuming the war. Litvinenko was fatally poisoned in London last year.

In March, Human Rights Watch charged that the seven former Guantanamo detainees had been tortured or harassed and abused by Russian law enforcement agents since their return.

Another of the detainees, Rasul Kudayev, is in custody in Nalchik on charges of participating in the 2005 attack. His mother told The Associated Press this spring that he had been repeatedly beaten.

Two others, Ravil Gumarov and Timur Ishmuratov, were sentenced last year to prison terms of 13 and 11 years for blowing up a natural gas pipeline even though they had been acquitted of the charges in an earlier trial.

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