Aslan Maskhadov, mastermind of Moscow terrorist attack

The hostage taking operation during the performance of the "Nord-Ost" musical was worked out by Aslan Maskhadov himself, a representative of the operational headquarters on releasing hostages said on Friday.

According to him, numerous evidence points it out.

In his latest televised address Maskhadov claimed that "soon there would be events which were to divert the course of events in Chechnya." Yesterday in the interview with a Sunday Times correspondent, the leader of the terrorists, Movsar Barayev, admitted keeping in touch with Maskhadov, the operational headquarters noted. Besides, the source reports that special devices have detected "numerous telephone calls made by the terrorists to their accomplices in Chechnya, Turkey and a number of Arab countries." According to the information from the operational headquarters, Maskhadov frequently said that "Chechen Mojaheddins never engage women and children into war." "Today he has a hundred per cent chance to prove it in practice," the source stressed.

The headquarters noted that the rebels were employing their favorite technique of attracting maximum attention to their actions on the eve of major international events, for instance, the APEC summit in Mexico and the so-called "World Chechen Congress" in Denmark.

The leaders of the headquarters stress that the negotiations are kept under control. However, the headquarters representative said, "terrorists are using all possible methods of dragging the situation, they do not come for the negotiations at the appointed time, and demand meetings with negotiators whom they regard "convenient", and who are, as a rule, not in Moscow, and not even in Russia at the moment."

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