20 May 2018 21:55

Kadyrov doubts ISIL was behind Chechen church attack

MSOCOW/GROZNY. May 20 (Interfax) - The Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has denied that Islamic State (banned in Russia) has emissaries in his republic, and said that recent claims of the terrorist group's involvement in an attack on a church in Grozny were meant to deflect suspicion from the true masterminds of the crime.

"Of course the Iblis state [Kadyrov's name for ISIL], or whatever remains of it, is triumphant whenever it is ascribed anything and everything. I am not saying its supporters would not order such an inhumane act, but in this particular instance there was intelligence on where the instruction came from, which side the wind was blowing from," Kadyrov wrote on his Telegram channel on Sunday.

"Pointing fingers at the ISIL means diverting the investigation from the real protectors," he said.

Websites tracking information on ISIL activities "deliberately or blindly engage in information support for acts of terrorism," Kadyrov said.

"Now that the Iblis state is practically defeated, some foreign websites are reporting, with regular constancy, that it organized everything that happens in the world (. . .). The purpose is clear: to inculcate in the ordinary guy the world over that the Iblis state is still an omnipotent organization capable of plotting and carrying out terrorist attacks," Kadyrov said.

"There once was a Salman Raduyev who made the whole world laugh by claiming responsibility if told that an arsenal was blown up on a nonexistent military site in a nonexistent town," Kadyrov said.

The inquiry into the attack on the Grozny church is going successfully, and in time more details will be made public, he said.

"As for the Iblis state, its morons were capable of the most treacherous crimes. Thanks to the firm and resolution position taken on the fight against it by Russian President Vladimir Putin, it was effectively defeated, deprived of the single coordinating center. We made, and are making, a worthy contribution to this fight. There is no Iblis state or its emissaries in Chechnya, and never will be. And those who were behind the events at the Church of Archangel Michael, will face the most severe punishment in accordance with the law. No one should have doubt about that," the Chechen leader said.

Earlier SITE Intelligence Group, a website tracking information on terrorist activities, reported that Islamic State had claimed responsibility for the attack on the Orthodox church in Grozny

On Saturday Kadyrov told Interfax that four militants had been killed in Grozny after they tried to capture parishioners at the Archangel Michael's church. "Militants broke into St. Michael the Archangel's Church, their objective was to take parishioners hostage. All four militants were eliminated as a result of an immediately conducted special operation," he said.

Two law enforcement officers (they had been posted to Chechnya from Saratov region) were killed as the result of the attack and subsequent operation to eliminate the terrorists, a law enforcement officer told Interfax later. "According to the latest information, two police officers were killed and two more injured," the source said.

There was also one dead, who was not identified by the church's leader as one of the parishioners, could be one of the five attackers on the church, the source said.

One parishioner was injured, he also said.

Meanwhile, the Investigative Committee has confirmed the elimination of four militants and the killing of two policemen and a parishioner.