Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 2 Issue: 38

The official Russian news agency Itar-Tass reported on October 15 that a source within the Combined Group of Federal Forces in Chechnya had stated that “according to operative data, the notorious warlord Khattab is planning to go to Afghanistan to fight against the U.S. troops there.” Khattab was also said to have indicated that he “would return to Chechnya in two or three years and carry on the fight against Russia, hoping that the situation will change by then and that his formation will have many fresh recruits.” The online daily, for its part, expressed doubt that Khattab actually intended to leave Chechnya. “The Russian military have already,” the publication noted, “been mistaken more than once, each time sending Khattab to Afghanistan after eavesdropping on his telephone calls” (, October 16).