Russian officials say Kuwaiti militant linked to al-Qaida killed near Chechnya

AP Worldstream
May 18, 2005

Russian authorities said Wednesday that a Kuwaiti militant who was
an al-Qaida emissary to Chechnya has been killed by security forces
in a neighboring region, the second statement in as many days linking
foreigners to Chechen rebels.

The alleged militant, who went by the single name Jarah, was killed
Tuesday evening along with another suspect during an operation near
the Chechen border in Dagestan, said Maj.-Gen. Ilya Shabalkin, the
spokesman for the Russian campaign against rebels in Chechnya and
surrounding areas.

In a statement, Shabalkin said Jarah was an al-Qaida emissary
in Chechnya and has close connections with members of the Muslim
Brotherhood, an outlawed Egyptian Islamic movement, and of Al-Haramain,
a Saudi Charity that the kingdom's government dissolved last year
amid U.S. suspicion that it was bankrolling al-Qaida.

He said Jarah had been a middleman for the funding of Chechen rebels
by foreign terror groups and had helped top rebel leaders _ Shamil
Basayev and Aslan Maskhadov, who was killed earlier this year _ to
organize "many large terrorist acts." He did not name any specific
attacks Jarah allegedly helped plan.

Russia authorities say Chechen rebels, fighting their second separatist
war in a decade, have been financed by Islamic terrorist groups abroad
and that many Arab mercenaries have fought alongside the rebels in the
mountainous southern region, in some cases leading groups of militants.

According to Shabalkin, whose claims could not be independently
confirmed, Jarah received training in Taliban terror camps and was
adept at preparing bombs and poisons. He said that Jarah had spent
"a long period of time" in the Pankisi Gorge, a region near Chechnya
in neighboring Georgia, and in Azerbaijan.

While in Georgia and Azerbaijan, he said the Kuwaiti citizen and
unidentified associates received large amounts of money from "foreign
terrorist centers" and sent it along to Russia's North Caucasus region,
which includes Chechnya.

Jarah also frequently entered Chechnya, where he moved with rebel
groups under Basayev and took part in terror and other attacks,
trained militants in explosives and taught them extremist Muslim
ideology, Shabalkin said. He was also involved in training female
suicide bombers, Shabalkin's statement said.