Newsru.com on May 17 linked to an item posted on the Ingushetiya.ru website back on November 4, 2005, two days after the murder of Zubeir Kostoev, Dhabrail Kostoev’s younger brother, providing a different – although not necessarily contradictory – explanation for the assassination of both men and the attempts on the lives of other members of the Kostoev clan.
“Inside the Kostoevs’ inner circle they speak of revenge by the underground of Ingush militants who declared war on Dzhabrail Kostoev and his brothers (who all work in the law enforcement organs) for extra-judicial executions, detentions, torture and other rough actions toward young lads [who] strictly observe the norms of Islam and, due to this, are declared ‘Wahabbis,’” Ingushetiya.ru wrote last November. “The group of Ingush militants supposedly vowed to destroy Dzhabrail Kostoev and all of his brothers for this. Be that as it may, the processes taking place in the republic are cause for alarm. The foundations of traditional Ingush society are being undermined, the adats [code of standards and rules], the mountain traditions, respect for the elders and obedience to parents are moving off to the sidelines. The republic’s incompetent leadership, wallowing in corruption, is doing nothing, and is incabable of influencing the situation. Also, the law enforcement organs’ often improper, excessively repressive actions stimulate the appearance of underground detachments and groups, some of which take revenge on the authorities for corruption and poverty; others for their murdered, abducted or maimed brothers, relatives and friends; still others close ranks with armed Chechen formations and carry out a war for ideas incomprehensible to the man in the street. Therefore the hunt for the Kostoevs, taken alone, is only one episode of a rapidly spreading disease in our republic, and will hardly stop with simply the Kostoevs, the Malsagovs or those with other last names. There has been too much blood, violence and injustice here lately, and those who have experienced this first hand often have no other choice but to act using such methods.”
It is worth noting that in a short item on the assassination of Dzhabrail Kostoev posted on May 17, the separatist Kavkazcenter website wrote: “We remind you that the liquidated ‘minister’ was one of the most murderous and cruel puppets in the history of Ingushetia, on whose conscience lies tens of tortured and cruelly murdered captive mujahideen and their relatives.”
Newsru.com, noting earlier reports that Magomed Chakhkiev, the father-in-law of Ingushetian President Murat Zyazikov who was kidnapped on February 27, was freed after a large ransom was paid to the militants who abducted him (Chechnya Weekly, May 4), reported on May 17 that the ransom money was used to finance Dzhabrail Kostoev’s assassination. Citing Ingushetiya.ru, Newsru.com reported that a $10 million ransom had been paid for Chakhkiev’s release, and that the money was handed over to the militants on May 1, but that the special services had hidden a micro-chip “radio beacon” in the bag in which the ransom money was transferred. “But having handed over the money, people from the entourage of the president of Ingushetia warned the militants that there was a radio beacon in the bag,” Newsru.com reported. “They [the militants] took the money, and the bag was hung on a tree somewhere in the woods. The following day, a massive rocket and bomb strike was carried out on a forest tract near the village of Ali-Yurt” (Chechnya Weekly, May 4).
Meanwhile, Kavkazky Uzel, citing the Nazran-based Council of Non-Governmental Organizations, reported on May 15 that the commandant of a refugee camp in the town of Karabulak was kidnapped on May 12. The website quoted his wife as saying that uniformed men entered the camp and identified themselves as “employees of a certain Chechen committee” interested in humanitarian aid issues and asked where her husband was, after which they seized him and took him off to points unknown. Two residents of the same refugee camp were reportedly abducted on May 11 by members of ORB-2, the federal Interior Ministry’s operational investigation bureau.