Daesh-linked militants intended to stage two terrorist attacks in Moscow, the Russian newspaper Kommersant reports with reference to its own sources.
According to the media outlet, the rerrorists planned to blow up the military at the headquarters of the Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) on Khoroshevskoe Road as well as railway passengers. Tadjidin Nazarov aka Abu Osama Noraki, one of the leaders of the so-called Islamic State, was behind the preparations. The both attacks were averted by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) officers who detained suspects, the newspaper states. However, Russian officials have not confirmed information about the terror threat yet.
According to Kommersant sources, the attacks were developed by a group established by Musalim Babayev, a construction worker from Tajikistan. Its members, who were allegedly going to join the ranks of Daesh in Syria, wanted to ‘make a name for themselves’.
The FSB had been keeping watch over the group since its creation; but when in September, 2016 the militants began to assemble a bomb, they were detained. Later, they gave evidence and repented. In early February, the FSB reported that the court had sentenced the group members to prison terms of 14 to 19 years for mounting the terrorist attacks in Moscow. At the same time, they did not go into detail. One of the defendants in the case said that he had been tortured during the investigation.
After this failure, Abu Osama Noraki formed another IS brigade in Moscow; it consisted of natives of Tajikistan, the newspaper said. They received two AK-47 rifles, ammunition and grenades from him. The terrorists were to explode two bombs on December 12, 2016, the Day of the Constitution – one at the Moscow central ring, another in the Edelweiss shopping centre in the suburbs. But the FSB reportedly detained them the night before when the bombs were ready. The suspects will have to spend from 11 to 15 years in jail.
Having faced setbacks in Moscow, Abu Osama Noraki organized a terrorist attack in Sweden, Kommersant stressed. At his order, Rakhmat Akilov, a citizen of Uzbekistan, rammed a truck into the pedestrians at the very heart of Stockholm in April, 2017. He killed five people, another 15 were injured. Akilov was sentenced to life imprisonment.
Abu Osama Noraki is still beyond the reach of the Russian special services. According to some reports, he resides in Iraqi Mosul.