The recent book by Professor John B Dunlop, a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, entitled “The 2002 Dubrovka and 2004 Beslan Hostage Crises: A Critique of Russian Counter-Terrorism", contains much interesting information.
In particular there is a reference (on page 149) to Mikhail Trepashkin in connection with the 2002 Dubrovka theatre siege.
A number of questions have been asked by analysts and journalists about whether or not the de facto leader of the terrorists, Abubakar, had in fact been killed. In June 2003, Moscow Prosecutor Avdyukov insisted that Ruslan Abu-Khasanovich Elmurzaev’s [Abubakar’s real name] body had been found and identified. In March 2003, however, retired FSB Lieutenant Colonel Mikhail Trepashkin had written that, following the events at Dubrovka, “I proposed to the investigators that they try to identify ‘Abubakar’ in the first days after the event. However, later an investigator telephoned and said that he could not find the corpses of a number of people, including that of ‘Abubakar,’ and therefore there would be no identification.” And journalist Aleksandr Khinshtein has reported: “At first there existed a version that Abubakar died during the storming of the House of Culture [i.e. the theatre] …. But a series of examinations showed that there was no Abubakar in the hall.” Despite Prosecutor Avdyukov’s statement, it appears thus to be an open question as to whether or not Abubakar was killed.
In fact, Ruslan Elmurzaev alias Abubakar, who was the FSB’s “plant” among the terrorists and who, in his role as double agent, was in complete command of the events at the Dubrovka theatre from beginning to end, is almost certainly still alive and living in Chechnya. In 2003 this was confirmed to film director Sergei Govoroukhin (“one of the volunteer negotiators who had spoken at length with Abubakar at Dubrovka”) by intelligence officers of the Combined Group of Forces of the Northern Caucasus.
Thus it appears that Mikhail Trepashkin is in a position to testify to the effect that Abubakar’s body was reported as not being present following the Moscow theatre siege in October 2002.
Friday, March 24, 2006
I'm reposting this comment by Jeremy Putley from the comments box of Release Mikhail Trepashkin: