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V V 16A THE PALM BEACH POST WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 1999 Rebel leader in Dagestan man of secrets and terror 1 -I l -V ... J - t ' : 1 f - VV. -.:-,j,J S;J;. 'TJ i rX VvH-i .1$, , - r " , U ; V:: - - -' ' " " ' """"" " " " V ;' " ' ?" rr v 1 ' ' f , . f . . : . . y -i r j ft f r'. . V . 1 ' ' 1 - MIKHAIL METZELThe Associated Press 3 A police officer follows detainees Tuesday at a has ordered a massive security effort after the market in downtown Moscow. The government most recent terrorist bombings. Russia helpless to counteract wave of terrorist bombings y N r;v x Awi . j y:Jr The Associated Press MOSCOW A man known by the single name of Khattab, who is believed to be from either Jordan or Saudi Arabia, sports a flowing black beard, long frizzy hair, a nasty scar on his left forearm and a fast-growing reputation as the most dreaded man in Russia. Khattab is a mysterious figure who leads Islamic militants battling Russian troops in the southern territory of Dagestan. And some Russian officials now believe he's the key to ending the string of explosions that has killed more than 250 people in Russia during the past two weeks. The latest explosion, a blast Monday, left 1 18 people dead at a Moscow apartment building. "From now on, we will not only fight against Russian fighter jets (and) tanks," Khattab told The Associated Press in an interview in the breakaway territory of Chechnya, not far from the fighting in Dagestan. "From now on, they will get our bombs everywhere. Let Russia await our explosions blasting through their cities. I swear we will do it," he said. He made the remarks after a blast last week that killed 93 people at another apartment building in Moscow, but before the most recent explosion on Monday. On Tuesday, however, he struck a different tone, telling the Interfax news agency in the Chechen capital, Grozny, that he had nothing to do with the Moscow attacks. "We would not like to be akin to those who kill sleeping civilians with bombs and shells," Khattab was quoted as saying. Some Russian officials claim that Khattab works with Osama bin Laden, the multimillionaire Saudi accused of waging a terror campaign against Western targets. No link has been proven and some sources say the two are actually rivals although they do share much in common. Both come from wealthy families, belong to the fundamentalist Wahhabi Islamic sect and see their actions as part of an international holy war. The campaign began in the 1980s when Khattab, bin Laden and other militants went to Afghanistan to fight Soviet forces, and has since moved on to wars in Algeria, Egypt, Bosnia, Chechnya and now Dagestan. These Islamic militants have created a network that can supply fighters, money and weapons to causes they support. This possible international dimension has prompted Russia to appeal to the United States and other Western countries for anti-terrorism expertise. "This is the first time Russia has found itself in such a position," Interior Minister Vladimir Rushailo said. "That's why we are in contact with our overseas colleagues who have a great deal of experience in fighting terrorism." Rushailo has blamed Khattab for the bombings, though President Boris Yeltsin has refrained from naming suspects and the security services are still searching for evidence to link Khattab and the other militants to the blasts. The three big blasts in Russia do bear some resemblance to attacks bin Laden has been accused of carrying out. RUSLAN MUSAYEVThe Associated Press Khattab, known by this name alone, comes from a wealthy family, belongs to a fundamentalist Islamic sect and sees himself leading a holy war; Bin Laden is suspected in the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and the 1995-96 bomb blasts against U.S. military targets in his native Saudi Arabia. Hundreds were killed in the attacks. Those blasts appeared to be the work of Muslim extremists with a high degree of explosives exper-. tise, access to large amounts of money and the mobility to strike at different locations. ; . Khattab, who looks to be in his 30s, first arrived in Chechnya to fight in the 1994-96 war against Russia. After the war, he emerged as one of the powerful warlords who refuse to recognize the Chechen government, rendering the territory ungovernable. He set up a military training center, attracting fighters from a wide range of Muslim countries. Khattab allied himself with Chechnya's most notorious local-born warlord, Shamil Basayev, and the pair led last month's invasion into Dagestan.-. Basayev supplies many of the fighters arid tactical expertise for battling the Russians in the mountainous terrain. Khattab appears to be the link for attracting militants, weapons and money from sympathizers abroad. I. "Khattab and Basayev are partners," said Rushailo, the interior minister. "Their people are responsible for terrorist acts. Khattab and Basayev are behind the recent events in Moscow." ' Moscow was the fourth explosion in two weeks in Russia. In a huge operation Tuesday, thousands of police officers in Moscow and other large cities targeted people from the Caucasian republics and others with slightly darker complexions than the majority of Russians. Police inspected trucks and buildings, checked registration papers and detained people without proper documents. Under enormous pressure to show progress, Interior Minister Vladimir Rushailo met President Boris Yeltsin to discuss results of the investigation and announced that police had discovered a large cache of explosives and a fuse in another Moscow building. Addressing the Duma, the lower house of parliament, Putin described the separatist Chechen republic as "a huge terrorist camp" and announced a tougher border regime with Chechnya, economic sanctions against Chechnya and ruthless attacks against rebel fighters in Dagestan. Chechnya won de facto independence from Russia in a 1994-96 war. out a state of emergency but called for tough measures against Chechen rebels, whom Russian authorities blame for the bombings of two large apartment blocks only five days apart that have killed at least 210 people. Russian security officials have accused Shamil Basayev and another figure known as Khattab, both leaders of the mainly Chechen rebel force fighting in Dagestan, of masterminding the attacks. But both men, not shy about past attacks on Russia, have denied any part in the recent bombings. Security officials released composite pictures of Denis Saitakov, whom they named as the prime suspect in the bombings. Saitakov flew to the southern Russian city of Nalchik the day after the bombing of an apartment block in Moscow last week that killed 93 people. They claimed that Saitakov had spent time at a Chechen training base run by Khattab. Monday's bombing of an eight-story building in southern Officials say Chechen rebel leaders are suspects in the series of explosions. Los Angeles Times : MOSCOW As the death toll in Monday's bombing of a Moscow apartment building reached 118, making it the worst in a recent wave of terrorist attacks, police launched a massive security blitz in the capital Tuesday and named a prime suspect in the case. Authorities linked the suspect to one of the Islamic rebel leaders fighting Russian forces in the volatile southern republic of Dagestan, which neighbors separatist Chechnya. . But Russia's answers to the terrorist bombings checking identification papers in markets, airports, railway stations and other public places, tightening immigration and reinforcing the border with Chechnya underscored the helplessness of authorities in the face of the attacks. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Tuesday ruled FLEA FLEA MARKET sat a mm .OVERlOO VENDORS J CEPir n a a m SAT SUN bou a Privately owned ATM's; fully Managed and located into National Malls, Airports and Colleges. $19K per ATM. "State Registered (98-012) Biz Op." j For free info packet and prospectus call: 1-800-457-7545 ' ' 9am-4pm 1 0am-4pm tt Admission $2 at the Door Children 1 2 & Under Free. Air Conditioned Free Parking Info: 793-0333: 1 www.invastoam.com 0 Investeam f"T5 ' l Financial, Inc. .1 5 S3 Satellite views of Antarctica to help chart global change The Associated Press QUEENSTOWN, New Zealand President Clinton, stressing a need to protect the world's environment, is releasing previously classified satellite images of Antarctica to help scientists chart global climate change. The images include two sets of detailed pictures from the early 1970s and 1980s, and are intended to give scientists a baseline for environmental studies and a new source of information about the area's land, water and glaciers. On the final day of a five-day visit to New Zealand, the president was to announce his action today during a visit to Christ-church, the jumping off point for American expeditions to Antarctica. He was to be introduced by Sir Edmund Hillary, the first person to make a land crossing of Antarctica in 1958. Hillary and his sherpa guide, Tenzing Norgay, were the first men to reach the summit of Mount Everest in 1953. -Clinton was to make the announcement at the International Antarctic Center, the headquarters of the U.S., New Zealand and Italian Antarctic programs. The pristine areas of Antarctica are closely watched because scientists expect climate changes to be more significant in the polar regions. Moreover, the Antarctic ice sheet helps regulate the climate of the entire Earth, and preserves a climate history going back more than 400,000 years. The pictures released by Clinton, taken by military satellite, show a detailed view of the Dry Valleys region of the Tran-santarctic Mountains, a 1,900-foot-long range that splits the east and west regions of Antarctica. The region pictured is near the U.S. McMurdo Station, an observatory for the international global positioning system. 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