Turkish media recently announced two “Russian spies” were arrested on suspicion of killing a prominent international terrorist in 2015, the so-called “Foreign Minister” of Ichkeria (an entity which currently exists under ISIS umbrella).
This story resembles the famous killing of another international terrorist, Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev, carried out in Qatar by GRU operatives.
Russia’s General Consul in Turkey confirmed the arrest of two Russian citizens. He noted that Turkish authorities did not communicate to him what the charges were. The arrested individuals are totally denying the accusations.
Hurriyet named the “Russian spies”: they are 52-year-old Yuriy Anisimov and 54-year-old Aleksandr Smirnov. Turkish media state that both were captured “while preparing the next action.” They had in their possession “memory cards with photographs of several European capitals.” There were also hotels, hotel rooms, parking lots on the photos. “During the interrogation, the arrested killers of Edilgeriev said that they intended to spy for Russia’s on Turkish and European territory,” Hurriyet nonsensically assures its readers. In reality, it’s hard to imagine that the top Russian special agents would say such nonsense at an interrogation.
Turkish police’s other evidence against the Russian citizens was a combat knife supposedly found by the Turks which externally “resembles a sword from the FSB emblem.” This evidence really defies all logic, both among experts and ordinary citizens.
Turkish police tied Russian citizens to Edilgeriev’s killing through a car which, according to the media, they received from an accomplice who “lived at the Yalova resort near Istanbul while Anisimov and Smirnov were also there,” where, apparently, he gave them the car. In September of last year, Turkish special services supposedly recorded the three individuals’ meeting in Istanbul. “Uncovering” the Russian citizens required about six months of Turkish intelligence efforts.
According to Turkish media, Anisimov and Smirnov entered Turkey in 2015 on false documents. When arrested, they allegedly had fake passports and Interpol IDs, photos of Russian officials, five cell phones, and US dollars with sequential numbers. That list of items is likewise astonishing. Incidentally, Turkish media propaganda is trying to convince its readers that Russian agents can kill only after they pray to photos of Russian officials, and they really like dollars which are sequentially numbered by the US Federal Reserve.
Incidentally, Turkish and Western papers accused Russian intelligence of killing Edilgeriev shortly after his death.
Edilgeriev was one of the leaders of so-called Ichkeria’s terrorist underground in the 1990s. He was related to the infamous Movladi Udugov who is considered the main Islamist terror ideologue in Chechnya. Edilgeriev later became an administrator of a site which propagandized the Imarat Kavkaz terror organization. It was led by the well known Doku Umarov who organized the Domodedovo and Moscow metro attacks in 2010 and 2011.
After the terrorists’ death in Chechnya in the 1990s, Edilgeriev left Russia but did not abandon jihad. In 2013 he joined ISIS and went to fight in Syria. He fought alongside his relative, and well known ISIS terrorist Abu Umar al-Shishani. In 2014 he apparently decided that Syria is too dangerous and left to fight in Ukraine on the side of the Kiev regime. He fought there for several months in one of the Islamist “radical” battalions against DPR and LPR. He returned to Turkey after suffering a defeat in Ukraine.
Edilgeriev is not the first terrorist who was killed after fleeing Russia. The best known case is the killing of Zelimkhan Yanderbiyev carried out in Qatar in 2004. Yandarbiev was one of the main ideologue for the radical militants in Russia’s south.