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FSB: Alleged Al-Qaeda Leader Killed In North Caucasus

16 December 2005 -- The head of Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) confirmed today that an alleged Al-Qaeda leader in southern Russia has been killed.

Nikolai Patrushev told reporters that Saudi-born Abu Omar al-Seif was killed in the Northern Caucasus republic of Daghestan last month.

Al-Seif's death had earlier been reported by Russian media but had not been officially confirmed.

The FSB says al-Seif arrived in the Northern Caucasus 10 years ago on the orders of Osama bin Laden. It says he ran the Al-Haramein Islamic Foundation as a cover for setting up a terrorist network in Chechnya, Ingushetia, and Daghestan. Al-Seif also allegedly acted as a counsellor to Chechen separatist rebels.

Patrushev today said security forces killed more than 300 suspected militants in sweep operations in the Northern Caucasus this year.


Copyright (c) 2005. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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