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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

3 Attacks Are Linked to Wahhabis

Federal investigators believe that a group of Wahhabi rebels from the North Caucasus republic of Karachayevo-Cherkessia organized the bombings of two airplanes and the Rizhskaya metro station last month.

Investigators believe that the group's leader, Achemez Gochiyayev, who is wanted by authorities on suspicion of organizing the 1999 apartment bombings in Moscow, is the mastermind behind the August attacks, Kommersant reported Monday.

Deputy Moscow Prosecutor Vladimir Yudin told Rossia television on Sunday that one of the 10 people killed in the Aug. 31 Rizhskaya metro blast has been identified as ethnic Karachai Nikolai Kitkeyev.

Kitkeyev has been convicted twice and was on a Karachayevo-Cherkessia police wanted list in 2001 for belonging to an "illegal armed group." The group, purportedly called Karachai Jamaat and led by Gochiyayev, is alleged to have carried out the August 2004 and September 1999 bombings in Moscow. It may have also have been behind the Moscow metro bombing in February that killed more than 40 people, Kommersant reported.

Kitkeyev was carrying a fake passport identifying him as Nikolai Samygin, and was to have taken the female suicide bomber to a market near the Rizhskaya metro station and then escape after she blew herself up, Kommersant quoted detectives involved in the investigation as saying. But something went wrong and the bomb went off earlier than planned, killing Kitkeyev, the paper reported.

Kitkeyev's cellphone was recovered at the scene of the blast and detectives traced calls made to the phone immediately after the blast from Georgia's Pankisi gorge, Nazran in Ingushetia and Kabardino-Balkaria. The call from the Nazran area was made by Gochiyayev, who was trying to check with Kitkeyev how the attack went, Kommersant quoted Federal Security Service officials as saying.