- The Washington Times - Friday, April 19, 2013

Riyadus-Salikhin Reconnaissance and Sabotage Battalion of Chechen Martyrs:

On Oct. 23, 2002, members of the battalion, along with two other Chechen groups seized more than 800 hostages at Moscow’s Dubrovka Theater in a dramatic debut for the previously unknown group.

The attackers wired the theater with explosives, threatening to blow it up, killing themselves along with the hostages.

One hundred and twenty-nine hostages died when Russian Spetsnaz special forces flooded the building with narcotic gas during a rescue operation.

The group was listed as a terrorist organization linked to al Qaeda by the U.S. government and the United Nations less than four months later.

The group also has used female suicide bombers known as “Black Widows” to carry out attacks, such as the August 2004 airline and subway bombings in Russia.

According to the United Nations, the battalion was founded and led by Shamil Salmanovich Basayev, a long-time Chechen extremist leader killed in 2006.

Islamic International Brigade:

The brigade was the second of the three groups that seized the Dubrovka Theater. It also was led by Shamil Salmanovich Basayev and Saudi jihadist Ibn al-Khattab. Its members include fighters from several Arab states as well as Chechnya, according to the UN listing.

Two months after the theater siege’s bloody end, two days after Christmas 2002, suicide bombers sent by Basayev got into the well‑fortified headquarters of the Russian-backed Chechen Administration in the center of the capital, Grozny, killing more than 80 people and wounding another 150.

Basayev later claimed in an interview that he had not only been behind the attack, but that he had personally pressed the button of the remote control detonator. The brigade, along with the martyrs' battalion and Basayev himself, were listed as terrorists by the United Nations and the U.S. government in March 2003.

Special Purpose Islamic Regiment:

The third group involved in the Dubrovka Theater hostage-taking, the regiment was led by Movsar Barayev, who personally led — and was killed in — the theater attack. Prior to him, the regiment had been led by his uncle, Arbi Barayev. The group was linked to al Qaeda and identified as terrorists by the UN in March 2003.

Links to Al Qaeda:

“Numerous ties link the leadership of these [three] entities with al Qaeda, the Taliban and Osama bin Laden” going back to the 1990’s, according to the U.N. listing.

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