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Homeland Security

FACTBOX: Assassination Plots Against Vladimir Putin

RIA Novosti

12:57 27/02/2012 MOSCOW, February 27 (RIA Novosti) - Russian and Ukrainian special services have arrested a group of suspects over a plot to assassinate Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Russia's state television said Monday.

The suspects were acting on the orders of Chechen warlord Doku Umarov, Channel One said. They were allegedly plotting to kill Putin in Moscow immediately after presidential polls on March 4, which the 59-year-old is widely expected to win. The group, the subject of an international arrest warrant, was arrested in Ukraine's Black Sea port city of Odessa.

Putin has previously been targeted by assassins.

In February 2000, Russian media quoted security sources as saying Chechen militants were plotting to kill Putin, then acting president, during his upcoming trip to St. Petersburg for the funeral of his mentor Anatoly Sobchak . The Federal Security Service (FSB) neither confirmed nor denied the information.

In September 2000, the head of Ukraine's secret service SBU said it arrested four Chechens and several Middle Eastern citizens plotting to kill the Russian leader during a summit of the former Soviet states held in the Black Sea resort town of Yalta in August that year. SBU head Leonid Derkach said Ukraine had been tipped off by Russian intelligence.

In October 2001, Azerbaijan's special services said they had foiled a plot to kill Putin during a planned visit to the capital Baku in January of the following year. The suspect, Iraqi citizen Kianan Rostam, underwent training in Afghanistan and was linked "with people who were at Osama bin Laden's training camps," a spokesman for Azerbaijan's National Security Ministry said. Rostam was tried on terrorism charges and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

On October 19, 2003, British newpsaper The Sunday Times said two Russian nationals had been arrested in London over a suspected plot to assassinate Putin. The unnamed men, said to be renegade KGB officers, were planning to have him assassinated while on a foreign trip. They were later released without charge. Police officers from SO13, the anti-terrorist branch, acted on a tip-off from Alexander Litvinenko, a former officer in the FSB, the successor to the KGB. Litvinenko, an outspoken Kremlin critic, was murdered by radioactive poisoning in London in 2006.

On June 25, 2007, Turkish security services said they had held five men suspected of attempting to kill Putin during a summit of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation in Instanbul. The men were reportedly linked with al Qaeda.

In October 2007, Russian media cited unnamed security sources as saying suicide bombers were plotting to kill Putin during a visit to Tehran later that month. In January 2008, Iran said it had detained a man accused of spreading rumors of a possible assassination attempt against Putin during the Tehran visit.

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