Russia: October 3, 2001



Hunting Mujihadeen Leaders- After two years of fighting in the Caucasian mountains of Chechnya, Russian special operations groups have had some notable successes hunting mujihadeen leaders. Federal police and the military commandant's office were conducting a special operation in the village of Starye Atagi (south of Grozny) on 30 September. The Russians came under fire from mujihadeen concealed in a well-camouflaged cache arranged in a Starye Atagi street. There were casualties among the Federal troops, while three mujihadeen were killed and one wounded.

One of those dead was later identified as Abu Yakub, alleged chief of intelligence for Khattab and responsible for distributing money to mujihadeen groups. Khattab is a Jordanian mujihadeen and one of the principal field commanders waging the war in Chechnya against the Russians. Yakub's groups have also acted in direct support of Khattab's, the last time in late June 2001 when one of Khattab's units was trapped 7km south-west from Sharoy. Yakub dispatched a 40-man breakthrough group with small arms, mortars and automatic grenade launchers to help Daud Akhmad's blocked group, but they failed three times to establish communication. 

One of Abu Yakub's lieutenants is Musa Sadayev (Sedayev), leader of a 30-man group who the Federals consider one of the most-active cells operating in Grozny. Sadayev's fighters recruited Grozny residents for training in mountainous camps. About 20 residents of the Grozny's Katayama suburb left for training in the first half of September. 

A cache of weapons was also discovered, including a home-made mortar with combat load, two grenade-launchers, seven Kalashnikov assault rifles with clips, two underbarrel GP-25 grenade-launcher rounds, 18 hand grenades, three artillery shells (typically used for making Command Detonated Mines) and 400 rifle cartridges. - Adam Geibel