And a convert to and Misunderstander of Islam, who characterized a barrel of explosives as “a small present for our apostates and infidels,” was apparently killed in a Russian raid last week. “Islamic militants blamed in deadly November attack on Russian train,” by Philip P. Pan for the Washington Post, March 6 (thanks to Davida):
MOSCOW — Russian authorities on Saturday blamed a group of Islamic militants killed and captured in an offensive last week for the November bombing of a luxury train to St. Petersburg, the deadliest terrorist attack on Russian soil outside the volatile North Caucasus in years.
Alexander Bortnikov, director of the Federal Security Service, said explosive components recovered in the raid in the troubled Ingushetia province, located west of Chechnya, and DNA taken from the alleged rebels matched those found after the attack on the Nevsky Express train, which left 28 people dead and more than 90 others injured….
Speaking in a televised meeting with President Dmitry Medvedev, Bortnikov said the group is also suspected in 15 other attacks, including bombings and the slaying of security officers.
Among those killed in the raid, he said, was Alexander Tikhomirov, a young preacher who had emerged as a major figure in the violent radical Muslim insurgency that has evolved from the Chechen separatist movement and spread across the mountains of Russia’s southwest frontier.
Tikhomirov’s death could represent an important victory for Russian forces in the North Caucasus, because he was considered an effective propagandist and seemed to play a key role in rallying the insurgency’s ethnic and local factions around the goal of establishing a fundamentalist Caucasus Emirate.
A convert to Islam from Siberia who studied in Egypt and was thought to be in his late 20s, he had appeared in Internet videos taking credit for suicide attacks on the Ingush governor’s motorcade and on a police station in Ingushetia’s largest city, Nazran. The latter showed him sitting with what appeared to be a barrel of explosives, which he described as “a small present for our apostates and infidels.”…