A stroke of luck allowed police to detain a rebel leader linked to the Domodedovo Airport bombing — which, a media report said, could have been revenge for a law enforcement raid on an Ingush village in August.
Bashir Khamkhoyev, an alleged liaison for Ingush rebels with insurgent supremo Doku Umarov — who has claimed responsibility for the bombing — was arrested after his car got in a road accident on the outskirts of Nazran, Itar-Tass reported.
Khamkhoyev resisted arrest by traffic policemen, who found firearms in his vehicle, but was injured in the scuffle and detained. The incident took place on Feb. 3, but was not reported earlier.
A court has sanctioned his arrest, a law enforcement source told Interfax on Thursday.
The suicide bomber who blew himself up in Domodedovo last month, killing 36, could have been seeking to avenge the death of his brother-in-law, alleged rebel leader Bekkhan Bogatyryov, Kommersant reported Thursday.
Bogatyryov was ambushed and killed by the Federal Security Service in Ingushetia in August, the report said.
His wife, Fatima Yevloyeva, 22, was detained in Ingushetia on Wednesday along with her brother Akhmed, 17, and fellow villager Akhmed Aushev.
Fatima's other brother, Magomed, 20, carried out the Domodedovo blast. Investigators think that his siblings and Aushev helped him to prepare the bomb and escorted him to a Moscow-bound bus some time ahead of the blast, Kommersant said.
The bomb used in Domodedovo could have been made at the house of Bogatyryov's brother, Boris, in the neighboring village of Ekazhevo, the report added. The house was blown up by FSB after more bombs were found in it earlier this month, and Boris Bogatyryov was put on a federal wanted list.
Presidential envoy Anatoly Safonov told Interfax on Thursday that Russia will ask the United States to add rebel leader Umarov, the self-claimed mastermind of the blast, to the country's list of terrorists.
Ingush President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov said Thursday that he had "no doubt" Umarov was "behind" the Domodedovo attack.
The rebel commander could be in the North Caucasus, possibly in Georgia, but probably not in Chechnya, Ziyad Sabsabi, a Chechnya representative in the Federation Council, said Thursday.
Meanwhile, Moscow police spokesman Sergei Gulyayev denied reports about the Danish Embassy's cars being wanted in connection with the attack, Nezavisimaya Gazeta said Thursday.
Tabloid Lifenews.ru said earlier this week that the terrorists were alleged to have used the embassy's cars with diplomatic license plates when in Moscow.
Police suspect that more suicide bombing attacks may be planned in the North Caucasus, Lifenews.ru reported Wednesday, citing an unidentified law enforcement source.
Two 16-year-old teenagers from Dagestan, Aygyul Abdullayeva and Asiyat Adzhiyeva, are wanted in connection with potential new blasts, the source said.
A spokesman for the National Anti-Terrorist Committee refused to comment on the report for Itar-Tass on Thursday.