August 28, 2003


In a fresh setback to Kremlin policy in the troubled Caucasus region, a top official in Dagestan known as an opponent of radical Islamic ideology was assassinated Wednesday, authorities said. . . .

Ali Temirbekov, a spokesman for the Dagestani prosecutor’s office, said in a telephone interview that Wahhabism was being actively exported to the region from Saudi Arabia.

“Unfortunately there are many rich people there with radical ideas and more money than they know what proper use to put it to,” he said. “So they try with their money to build a base for radical Islam in the Caucasus. Gusayev was their ideological enemy No. 1 in Dagestan, and they must have been waiting only for a suitable moment to settle their score with him.”

Aslambek Aslakhanov, an ethnic Chechen member of Russia’s lower house of parliament and a candidate in a Kremlin-sponsored Chechen presidential election in October, described the assassination as “apparently the vengeance of the Wahhabis.”

Iraq is just the first step in addressing the export of Islamic terror from Saudi Arabia.

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