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Amirov Suspected of Plotting Rocket Launcher Attack

Authorities have opened a new criminal investigation into former Makhachkala Mayor Said Amirov after searching the ex-official's home in connection with a 2011 murder case.

The former head of Dagestan's capital has been charged with plotting to commit a terrorist act and trafficking illegal weapons along with the city of Khasavyurt's former assistant prosecutor Mohammed Abdulgalimova and Kaspysk's Deputy Mayor Yusup Japarov, Interfax reported.

The three suspects are thought to have been planning to assassinate a government official with an illegally acquired rocket launcher, a Strela-2M.

Investigators said they found evidence of the plot while searching Amirov's home on Tuesday. The home of Amirov's son Mohammed was also raided.

Amirov, one of the most powerful men in North Caucasus, was taken into custody by Russian special forces on June 1 in connection to the December 2011 death of the acting head of Kaspysk's investigative department, Arsen Gadzhibekov.

Because Amirov exercises almost complete control over Dagestani law enforcement, he was moved to Moscow, where in August a district court ruled that he can be held until Nov. 11, RIA Novosti reported.

Amirov's lawyer Mark Kruter said the wheelchair-bound former mayor is too fragile to be held in detention. However, a medical examination concluded the political godfather of Dagestan can be kept in custody despite his disability, which was caused by a 1993 assassination attempt.

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