Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov announced yesterday eliminating Aslan Potukayev, the suspect of leading ISIS mercenaries in Chechnya, and the mastermind of the bloody attacks in Moscow.
In 2016, Potokayev, also known as "Prince Hamzah," was designated a "global terrorist" by the US State Department, which said he became a leader of ISIS mercenaries in the region in June 2015.
The ministry stated that Potokayev was responsible for suicide bombings in Russia, including the January 2011 attack on Moscow's Domodedovo airport that killed 35 people.
The Chechen president said, "The Chechen police killed Potukayev and 5 militants associated with him, who are on the Russian list of wanted people at the site of the clash."
He added that the militants evaded prosecution twice before they were killed, noting that he personally participated in planning the operation for a long time.
For his part, Putin congratulated the Chechen leader on the operation in a phone call, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters yesterday.
Previously, Kadyrov was personally involved in leading counterterrorism operations in the field, operations that often ended in the killing of suspects rather than their arrest.
In recent years, attacks on police officers in Chechnya, which is predominantly Muslim, have decreased, but they have not stopped.
Last October, at least 6 people, including two members of the security forces, were killed during an anti-terror operation in Grozny.