PRAVDA.Ru dossier: review of Khattab’s life

On April 30 Al Hayat, an international Arab newspaper published information that Khattab, Jordanian killed in Chechnya, was buried in Saudi’s east. Khattab’s brother Mansur told the newspaper about it. In his words, Khattab was poisoned (as according to the version earlier circulated by Chechen militants) and died as soon as he opened a letter addressed to him. The man did not see his brother for several years, other members of the family – for 14 years. At that the Arab newspaper published no information as concerning details of the interview with Khattab’s brother, it is not clear when and where it was taken.

Russia’s Federal Security Service believes, Khattab was buried in the Chechen mountains, active searches for the burial place are being held now.

At the same time information was circulated that one more Chechen field commander Shamil Basayev was killed as well. According to Anatoly Kvashnin, the head of the Russian Armed Forces’ joint staff, Basayev was killed being in Grozny, the same way as Khattab himself. The Joint Staff reports, no information about Shamil Basayev was available for about a year already. Military men are sure, he never left the Chechen territory within this period.

In 1999 PRAVDA.Ru published a detailed dossier of Khattab. Now, as proven facts of his death appear, let us take it up once again and consider most interesting facts of Khattab’s life.

Sergey Stefanov PRAVDA.Ru

Dossier: Emir Ibn Al Khattab Emir Ibn Al Khattab (according to different versions, Khottab, Khettab or “one-armed Ahmed”, or “Black Arab”) was born in Jordan in 1963 approx., height 176 – 178 cm, citizen of Jordan. Of thick figure, had long curly hair and a beard, of swarthy complexion. 1-2 phalanges were absent on all fingers of the right hand (according other sources, there were only two fingers on the right hand). By the moment of the report was living in the Chechen settlement of Vedeno.

Khattab originated from a well-to-do family, had seven brothers and great number of relatives. One of his sister lives in New Jersey (the USA), she is allegedly said to be owner of an armament store.

In an interview to the Grozny Worker Chechen newspaper he said, he came from Arabia, his parents were still alive at that time, he had seven brothers and lots of relatives. It had been his dream to study in the USA to become a physician or mathematician. At the beginning of the 90s he left for the Afghan war, then he moved to Tajikistan and later to Chechnya. Intrusion of Russian giaours in the Caucasus and subsequent jihad are the reasons why Khattab came to the Caucasus.

Khattab had several wives. Basic data and addresses of his relatives are unknown. The militant himself was reported as permanently living in the Chechen settlement of Vedeno, 2-3 foreign mercenaries guarded the house. Khattab had the rank of Armed Forces Major of the Chechen republic of Ichkeria. Had been very active in the Afghan operation against the Soviet army since 1988, then joined the opposition in the Tajikistan war. Arrived in Chechnya in 1994 with a group of Mideast natives.

According to some sources Khattab was at the side of Mojaheds in the Afghan war, in the Persian Gulf countries (as supposed, in Iraq) and against Israel. He trained Afghan Mojaheds on Pakistan’s territory. Khattab was an experienced and well-trained terrorist, wielded all kinds of shooting armament. Reported as a subversion specialist. Personally trained militants subordinated to him.

Khattab was said to be extremely religious, believed that Chechnya was “Allah’s land” and was ready to fight “to oust all unfaithful from the land”. Passed himself off as a Pakistani; talked to people in bad Russian. He was really so much respected by the subordinates, who obediently carried out his instructions. Khattab was unpretentious; militants considered him to be a fair and attentive commander.

Khattab was remarkable for his excessive cruelty as concerning captives, even wounded ones. Used cold steel to deal with captives. Videotaped insulting performed on Russian captives to demonstrate his activity and further obtain money from international Muslim organizations of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Jordan, Turkey.

It was known perfectly well, Khattab addressed Saudi Arabia sheikh for money allotment to purchase ammunition and build camps for training of militants. Was said to be the organizer of the attack on the federal block-post in the settlement of Kharachoy in October 1995 and other large-scale diversions. Besides, he was believed to be the organizer of an explosion on the way of a column with the Chechen delegation in order to exert pressure on Aslan Maskhadov, who had agreed to sign an amicable treaty with Moscow.

Some sources reported, Khattab planned an extremist action against head of the Chechen Republic Doku Zavgayev in the summer of 1996.

Khattab’s gang, consisting of experienced mercenaries mostly, took part in several terrorist actions on the Chechen territory and neighboring regions of Russia. Those were Khattab’s militants who organized an act of terrorism against doctors, members of the Red Cross humanitarian mission in the settlement of Novy Atagi on December 18, 1996.

Khattab’s main base was situated on the territory of a former pioneer camp on the left bank of the Khukhulau river. Seven training camps of Khattab were located there. There were five more camps of Khattab located close to each other.

Khattab was in a direct subordination to Zelemkhan Yandarbiyev, had regular and close contacts with Shamil Basayev, who was a close friend to Khattab.

Translated by Maria Gousseva

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