A message signed by someone named Khuzayf, who identified himself as deputy to the emir Saad, commander of an armed jamaat in North Ossetia, claimed responsibility for the February 2 bombings of gambling establishments in Vladikavkaz, North Ossetia’s capital. The Associated Press quoted Boris Dzgoev, North Ossetia’s emergency situations minister, as saying that five people were injured in the blasts, which went off around the same time in three separate locations in the center of the city, all housing slot machines and other gambling devices. RIA-Novosti and Interfax reported that at least one person was killed in the explosions.
The claim of responsibility, posted by the Kavkazcenter website on February 5, stated that “mujahideen of the first operations group of emir Saad’s jamaat have destroyed the dens of gambling and vice in Vladikavkaz. The time of the operation and the power of the explosions were chosen to destroy only these establishments and avoid victims among civilians if possible. Inshallah, devils’ houses, which fill the streets of Vladikavkaz, have been destroyed. The founders and owners of dens like this who will continue their business will be severely punished as accessories to moral decay. We will pay special attention to drug traffickers and dealers in Ossetia. As a result of the operative work of the mujahideen, many of these scum are known. We will come after them when they least expect it. Praise be to God, the Lord of the Worlds, who helps Muslims on His straight path.”