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Ex-Chechen Rebel Arrested in Russia After 24 Years

A video still of Magomed Ibragim's arrest. Russian Investigative Committee

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) on Tuesday said it arrested an ex-fighter of the slain Chechen guerilla leader Shamil Basayev, who was accused of launching attacks on Russian soldiers that precipitated the Second Chechen War in 1999. 

In recent years, Russian authorities have periodically reported on the arrests of former Basayev fighters in regions across the North Caucasus.  

Basayev, who was behind several high-profile rebel attacks in Russian cities throughout the 1990s, was killed in a truck explosion in 2006.

The FSB announced Tuesday it had detained a former rebel soldier named Magomed Ibragim, who was said to reside in the North Caucasus republic of Dagestan.

Law enforcement officials added that they had established “beyond doubt” that Ibragim was involved in a September 1999 attack that killed 99 people and wounded 238 others, including Russian soldiers, police officers and civilians.

Ibragim could face up to life in prison on charges of banditry, armed rebellion and attempted assassination of a law enforcement officer.

Moscow says the Second Chechen War, which ended in the Muslim-majority region’s reincorporation into Russia, began with Basayev’s attacks in Dagestan.

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