People detained in Astrakhan before 9 May celebration of 2011 found guilty of terrorist attack plotting

Court has recognized the evidence collected by Astrakhan Region investigating bodies of the Russia’s Investigative Committee as sufficient to convict members of an extremist gang held on 7 May 2011. They were found guilty of committing and plotting a number of terrorist attacks and encroachment on lives of law enforcement officials both in Astrakhan Region and in other regions of the Russian Federation (part 1 of article 30, paragraph “a” of part 2 of article 205, part 2 of article 209, article 317, part 1 of article 30 and 317, part 1 of article 222 of RF Criminal Code).

Investigation and court have found that in January 2011 Antonovs brothers aged 20 and 32, 35-year-old Yasulov, 45-year-old Bagandov and 35-year-old Belkin-Yablukov set up a stable armed group (gang) to commit terrorist attacks and encroach on lives of law enforcement officials, intimidation of people in Astrakhan Region and neighborhood regions, to influence authority and law enforcement bodies of these regions, wishing to force them to create preferential social and economic living conditions for the individuals of radical Islam ideas and by this to demonstrate superiority of such individuals and their lifestyle over other members of Russian society.

At regularly meetings, the gang chose as a leader 20-year-old Antonov, who had adopted Islam and been nicknamed Umar. The gang members, sticking to radical religious ideas, had disdainful attitude to possible punishment for the crimes and were ready to give their lives to achieve the above mentioned common criminal objectives.

As a “test” act of intimidation the convicts went to the neighboring Volgograd Region, where on 26 April 2011 near the building of Volgograd MVD Academy and building of Volgograd Traffic Police Directorate they planted and set off two hand-made explosive devices stuffed with killing elements.

Having returned in Astrakhan the convicts started preparing a terrorist attack in places of mass gatherings of people, plotting an explosion on 9 May 2011 in entertainment complex Dair on Boyevaya street of Kirovsky district in Astrakhan, for what they prepared components for an explosive device.

The special operation held by Astrakhan Region FSB Directorate and MVD Directorate the day before the terrorist attack, during which the agents managed to hold 4 members of the gang and kill its leader who tried to resist and flee, made it possible to prevent the terrorist attack and other crimes of terrorist and extremist nature plotted by the said gang.

Astrakhan Region court has sentenced the members of the gang to between 3 and 19 years in prison.