Russian police say Moscow airport bomber identified


Police in Russia say they have identified the man behind the bombing of Moscow’s Domodedovo International Airport on Monday, although they will not yet name him. Police said the man who killed 35 was a twenty-year-old suicide bomber from the North Caucasus region.

An Investigative Committee statement delivered by spokesman Vladimir Markin said “We have established the identity of the terrorist suicide bomber who set off the explosive. He turned out to be a 20-year-old native from one of the North Caucasus republics,” and “Despite the investigation having established the name of the terrorist, we will not name him today,” because it may hamper ongoing efforts to detain people suspected of collaborating.

A woman pays her respects to the victims, with flowers laid out in the airport

Markin added “I would especially like to note that it was by no means an accident that the act of terror was committed in the international arrivals hall… According to investigators, the act of terror was first and foremost aimed against foreign citizens.” Eight of those killed were foreigners and several flights had just landed from European origins.

President Dmitry Medvedev sacked several transportations officials in the wake of the bombing. The nation’s transport infrastructure will deal with extra visitors when the country hosts the 2014 Winter Olympics and 2018 World Cup. Medvedev has targeted both security officials and airport management in the wake of the bombing.

Few official details have been released by the investigation and unofficial reports in the press have been contradictory; one report suggested a suicide bomber wearing a plastic explosive-based shrapnel bomb belt. Another said it could have been detonated remotely, while a third suggested a timer. Russian newspapers initially suggested a bag had exploded on the floor, while local TV has shown CCTV footage of the explosion. Unconfirmed reports also claim the Federal Security Service was searching for three people ahead of the attack and that the bomber was Vitaly Razdobudko of Stavropol.

Although nobody has claimed responsibility or been arrested for the airport attack, Markin told reporters several people have been brought in on suspicion of planning an attack on December 31, while others are being sought. He linked them to an explosion on the 31st in a Moscow hotel, in which a bomber died after the device he was building went off prematurely.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that the attack is not thought to be linked to Chechnyan insurgency. The attack is Moscow’s second within a year, with two women from Dagestan, North Caucuses blowing themselves up on the Metro and killing 39 in 2010.

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