ISIS terrorist group member planned murder of a Donbass leader on behalf of Ukraine
The Russian security service, the FSB, says it has arrested an Islamic State operative who was planning to murder one of the leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) on behalf of the Ukrainian authorities.
The suspected terrorist was identified as Mejid Magomedov, who was born in 1988 in Russia’s southern Dagestan republic. He was arrested on Sunday in Russia’s Smolensk region in the west of the country.
The suspect said he was involved in a plot to assassinate a senior Ukrainian rebel commander Ukraine living in Russia. He said the mission was given to him by Ukraine’s SBU security service in coordination with right-wing extremists from the Right Sector movement, the FSB stated.
The man further claimed that “the national special services of Ukraine provide on its territory active support to fighters of the international terrorist organization Islamic State, offering them security, funding, weapons and explosives to organize terrorist attacks on the territory of Russia,” the FSB statement added.
Magomedov is said to have visited Ukraine in early 2018, seeking assistance for an IS-affiliated group operating in southern Russia.
The FSB says he was subsequently ordered by the Ukrainian intelligence agency to assassinate a military commander of a rebel militia unit in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR), who was living in Smolensk Region in Russia.
After arriving in Russia, Magomedov retrieved items for use in the planned crime from a cache, including information and weapons with which to kill the target. During his arrest, law enforcement seized an improvised explosive device estimated to be the equivalent of 1.5kg of TNT, along with a handgun, a silencer, and rounds for ammunition.
Responding to the Russian accusations, the SBU called it the “latest fake by the FSB, which is too laughable to comment on,” Ukrainian news agency UNN reported.
The DNR, an entity in eastern Ukraine that rebelled against Kiev after an armed coup resulted in a change of the country’s central government, entered the media spotlight in late August, when its elected leader Aleksandr Zakharchenko was assassinated by an explosion.