Here is the amazing story of a young Muslim from Canada who died waging jihad in Chechnya. From Stewart Bell and Jane Kokan in the National Post, with thanks to Sr. Soph:
MOSCOW – Deep inside a Moscow building that was once home to the Soviet KGB, Surgey Nikolayevich Ignatchenko examines a colour photograph of the spoils of war.
The grainy 8 x 10 shows an impressive arsenal of weapons, laid out on a grassy clearing next to a pile of army fatigues and a map of Chechnya, Russia’s war- battered southern republic.
“You see a mortar there and RPG-launched missiles, anti-tank missiles, lots of plastic explosives and small arms,” says Mr. Ignatchenko, a spokesman for the Federal Security Bureau.
The weapons cache was seized from what Mr. Ignatchenko calls a “serious subversive terrorist group” on Oct. 7, 2004, about two kilometres north of a village called Niki-Kita in Chechnya, where Muslim rebels are at war for their own separate state.
According to two Russian officials, Mr. Ignatchenko, and Vladimir Pavlovich Ktavchenko, the acting prosecutor for the Chechen republic, this is how the weapons were found:
On Oct. 6, a group of Chechen guerrillas left their camp in the forested hills of Chechnya’s Kurchaloy district and descended to the village of Tsotsiyurt. The rebels stopped outside the home of a police officer named Batayev.
And then they opened fire.
It was typical of the tactics of Islamist guerrillas in Russia’s Muslim-dominated south, who target what they call the occupying forces — the pro-government police and soldiers who have the unenviable task of trying to maintain law and order amid the chaos of a long-standing civil war.
Following the shooting spree, the guerrillas fled into the hills. They failed at their mission; the policeman was not at home. But a few of his relatives were wounded and Russian troops soon arrived to hunt down those responsible.
During the night, near Niki-Kita, the Russian patrol found the rebel camp in the woods. It was empty but the soldiers kept it under watch.
At 10 a.m., the guerrillas walked into the trap. The Russians moved in. The guerrillas fought back and one of the Russian soldiers was injured.
Most of the guerrillas escaped. But not all of them. When the Russian soldiers advanced, they found the bodies of four men clad in bloody camouflage. Their bodies were riddled with bullets.
One of the dead was a local Chechen named Ayub Guchigov, who had been reported missing by his relatives in July. The others were unfamiliar, but then the soldiers found something.
Inside the uniform of one of the dead, a bearded, athletic young man with dark skin and curly hair, they found a driver’s licence issued by the Province of British Columbia and a blue passport that identified him as Rudwan Khalil, age 26, citizen of Canada.
Mr. Khalil’s family lives in East Vancouver in a simple green bungalow across the street from South Memorial Park, where the brothers once played soccer. Mail addressed to Mr. Khalil continues to arrive at the house.
Read it all.