Chechen shot dead in broad daylight in Berlin, Russian spy services suspected

Zelimkhan KhangoshviliAuthorities in Germany suspect that Moscow may have been behind the assassination of a Chechen separatist who was shot in broad daylight in Berlin by a man wearing a wig and carrying a pistol fitted with a silencer. The victim of the attack was Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, 40, who was a leading figure in the so-called Second Chechen War. The conflict pitted the Russian military against groups of Muslim fighters in the North Caucasus between 1999 and 2009.

Khangoshvili, a Muslim who was born in Georgia, was a bodyguard of Aslan Maskhadov, the self-described leader of the Muslim separatists in the Northern Caucasus. Maskhadov was killed in 2005 in a raid by Russian Special Forces, and Khangoshvili fled to his native Georgia. In 2015, Khangoshvili sought political asylum in Germany after two men tried to kill him in Tbilisi. The German authorities initially placed him on a terrorism watch list, but removed him after he began to collaborate with German counterterrorism agencies and participate in programs designed to de-radicalize Muslim youth.

Khangoshvili was reportedly killed last Friday as he was walking to his local mosque. Witnesses said a man on a bicycle approached Khangoshvili from behind as he was walking in the middle of Kleiner Tiergarten, a small park in downtown Berlin. The cyclist shot Khangoshvili and then immediately fled the scene on his bicycle. Police later found a Glock 26 semi-automatic pistol fitted with a silencer, a wig and the assailants bicycle. All had been dumped in a nearby lake. Later that evening the police announced the arrest of a Russian citizen identified only as “Vadim S.”, who is alleged to have shot Khangoshvili.

German newsmagazine Der Spiegel quoted Martin Steltner, from the Berlin prosecutor’s office, who said that Vadim S. had arrived in Berlin from Moscow via Paris less than a week before Khangoshvili’s murder. Steltner added that there were “indications the deed was pre-planned and may have political motives behind it”. An anonymous source from German intelligence told Der Spiegel that “if it turns out that a state actor like Russia is behind this, we will have a second [Sergei] Skripal case on our hands, with all that this entails”.

Author: Joseph Fitsanakis | Date: 28 August 2019 | Permalink

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Video alleges Moscow policy of assassinating Chechen expats

Khadirov

Khadirov

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
Just days after the latest mysterious assassination of a former Chechen commander in Turkey, a video has surfaced on YouTube in which a Chechen man reveals how he was tasked by pro-Moscow authorities in Chechnya with killing a pro-independence Chechen leader in Norway. The two-minute video features Ruslan Khalidov, who claims he is a nephew of Shaa Turlayev, a prominent former bodyguard of the late Chechen separatist leader Aslan Maskhadov. Maskhadov was assassinated by Russian FSB agents in 2005. Khalidov states that he was repeatedly tortured by Chechen authorities operating under the instructions of pro-Moscow Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov. He was then blackmailed into agreeing to perform a series of covert tasks in Norway, including providing Norwegian authorities with disinformation on Chechen expats in Norway, and assassinating Magomed Ocherhadji, a vocal pro-independence Chechen community leader based in the Scandinavian country. Read more of this post