Authorities Identify Group Responsible for Ingushetian Security Chief’s Murder

(Artur Getagazhev, Ingushetian Interior Ministry website, captured 28 Aug 13)
(Artur Getagazhev, Ingushetian Interior Ministry website, captured 28 Aug 13)

Russian authorities claim they have identified the group that attacked a car belonging to Akhmed Kotiyev, head of Ingushetia’s Security Council, in Nizhniye Achaluki on 27 August.  According to a statement posted to the Investigative Committee’s website, a group led by Artur Getagazhev and operating in Malgobekskiy Rayon carried out the attack, which left Kotiyev and his police driver dead. The Investigative Committee also claimed that the weapons used in the attack had been used to perpetrate other crimes in the republic, including attacks on police officers (Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, 28 August 2013)

Artur Getagazhev (aka Vati) was the target of a major special operation in Malgobekskiy Rayon in August 2012 after he was suspected of organizing the 19 August 2012 on the funeral of a local policeman. The security services killed four and arrested two of Getagazhev’s alleged bodyguards in that operation, but failed to capture Getagazhev himself, whom police suspected had escaped to Sunzhenskiy Rayon (Kommersant, 29 August 2012). Hunafa, the “official” website of Ingushetian rebels, offered an apology of sorts for the funeral attack, claiming that it had been directed at a local police chief and not at rank-and-file police officers (Hunafa, 24 August 2012).

According to the website of the Ingushetian Interior Ministry, Getagazhev (listed as Gatagazhev) is a resident of Sagopshi, Malgobeksiy Rayon who was born in 1975 and is wanted under Article 317 (Encroachment on the Life of an Officer of a Law Enforcement Agency) and Article 222 (Illegal Acquisition, Transfer, Sale, Storage, Transportation, or Bearing of Firearms, Its Basic Parts, Ammunition, Explosives, and Explosive Devices) of the Russian Criminal Code (Interior Ministry for the Republic of Ingushetia, as of 28 August 2013).

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