The deputy prosecutor general for Southern Federal District, Ivan Sydoruk, told the Federation Council’s committee for judicial-legal issues on November 19 that terrorists in the North Caucasus have received more than $1.5 million to finance attacks and that law-enforcement bodies, despite their best efforts, have been unable “to block a single channel of financing for the terrorists.” He did not indicate the source or sources of the alleged terrorist funding.
Sydoruk said that the situation on the eve of national parliamentary elections demands increased attention from the law-enforcement bodies and that among the regions of the Southern Federal District, Chechnya, Dagestan and Ingushetia continue to have the most difficult situation in terms of terrorism and extremism. He said that 34 terrorist acts and 550 crimes of a “terrorist character” have been committed in the Southern Federal District over the last year, although he claimed that the number of terrorist acts is decreasing.
The only specific name that Sydoruk mentioned was that of Anzor Astemirov, the Islamist insurgent leader in Kabardino-Balkaria. Remnants of Astemirov’s group continue to operate in Kabardino-Balkaria and are responsible for the murder of civilians and terrorist attacks on law-enforcement personnel, Sydoruk said. He said that 500 firearms and more than 170,000 rounds of ammunition were seized in the Southern Federal District recently but that this is only “a small bit of what is in the hands of the bandits and various criminal elements on the district’s territory.”