Russian Special Forces kill ex-Guantanamo inmate



MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian special forces shot dead a former Guantanamo Bay inmate in southern Russia on Wednesday, the FSB security service said, describing him as an extremist.
The FSB said Ruslan Odizhev had been shot along with another man in Nalchik, the capital of the tiny North Caucasus republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, but gave no further details.
"Odizhev was an active member of a regional extremist operation," the FSB press office said.
Odizhev, born in 1973, was included in a report earlier this year by the New York-based Human Rights Watch on the alleged abuse in Russia of seven former inmates of the Guantanamo Bay prison after Washington handed them back to Moscow in 2004.
The FSB had placed Odizhev on its wanted listed in 2005 for allegedly helping to organize a raid by Islamic rebels on Nalchik when more than 100 people died.
Kabardino-Balkaria is in the largely Muslim Russian part of the Caucasus region, torn by overspills of violence from two wars in Chechnya fought by Russian soldiers and separatist rebels since 1994.
Odizhev was among seven Russians detained by the United States in Afghanistan in 2002 and sent to Guantanamo. All campaigned against going back to Russia, saying they would not be able to live normal lives there.
In a March report entitled: "The stamp of Guantanamo: The story of seven men betrayed by Russia's diplomatic assurances to the United States," the New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Odizhev and the others were harassed and constantly rearrested once they returned to Russia.
Odizhev is named in the report but the interviewers were only able to speak to his mother, who lives in Kabardino-Balkaria, as he had disappeared a few months after the Russian authorities initially released him.
Carroll Bogert, author of the HRW report, said Odizhev had experienced police brutality in Russia before heading to Afghanistan.
"Whatever the reasons he had for dropping out of sight after Guantanamo, fear of what the Russian authorities would have done to him if he had tried to start a normal life would have been a factor," she said.
Two of the Russian former Guantananmo inmates are now in prison, another has been in custody since 2005 and the other three have fled Russia, Bogert said.
Russian Special Forces Kill Ex-Guantanamo Prisoner in Shootout

By Michael Heath
June 28 (Bloomberg) -- Russian special forces killed a former Guantanamo Bay inmate in a shootout during a raid in the country's North Caucasus region, the intelligence agency said.
Ruslan Odizhev was shot dead in Kabardino-Balkaria, a republic that neighbors Chechnya, after he resisted arrest, the Federal Security Service, the main successor to the KGB, said in a statement yesterday. The service, known as the FSB, said Odizhev fought with the Taliban in Afghanistan and was sent to the U.S. detention center in Cuba after being captured by American troops.
Odizhev was wanted in Russia as a suspect in the September 1999 apartment bombings in Moscow and Volgodonsk that killed more than 300 people. He was also suspected of involvement in the 2005 attack on security and government buildings in Nalchik, capital of Kabardino-Balkaria that left more than 100 people dead.
Odizhev was one of seven Russian Muslims released by the U.S. from Guantanamo in 2004 into Russian custody. Three of the men were tortured or mistreated after returning to Russia, according to a March report by New York-based Human Rights Watch. It said Odizhev was released after three months. The FSB said he was the spiritual leader of Yarmuk, an Islamic extremist organization connected to numerous terrorist attacks.
Russia blamed Chechen separatists for the 1999 apartment bombings and sent forces to the republic a month later, its second invasion in five years. President Vladimir Putin, who was prime minister at the time, pledged then to bring peace to the region with an assault on bandits. The rebels fought back against Russia, with raids on neighboring regions including the assault on Nalchik.
The city is 120 kilometers (75 miles) west of the North Ossetian town of Beslan, where 331 people, most of them children, died in 2004 in the worst terrorist attack in Russia.
Militants calling for an independent Chechnya took about 1,200 hostages at a school in Beslan on Sept. 1, 2004. The assault, organized by Chechen rebel Shamil Basayev, ended when Russian special forces stormed the building.
If they're not extremists when they go into Guantanamo, they probably are when they come out. :2c: