A Jihadist group, possibly linked to Al-Qa’ida, has assumed credit for the downing of two Russian passenger jets on August 24 which killed 90 passengers and crew members.
The group, calling itself Al-Islambouli Brigades, posted a message on an Islamic website claiming it had placed five suicide bombers on each of the aircraft.
The message said the attacks on the Russian planes were because “the slaughter of the Muslims by Russia is still ongoing and will not stop until the start of an open, bloody war.” It said they hope to continue carrying out such attacks to support “our Muslims brothers in Chechnya and other enslaved regions that suffer from Russian disbelief,” according to Global Terror Alert.
The authenticity of the claims has not yet been confirmed, although Russian authorities found traces of explosives in both downed aircraft, confirming that it was an act of terror.
The Al-Islambouli Brigades are thought to be behind the attempted assassination of Pakistani Prime Minister Pervez Musharraf in August. An earlier attempt on his life was carried out in December 2003 and Al-Qa’ida have been implicated in that incident.
Suspicion in Russia continues to focus on Chechens though combatant leaders of the latter have denied any involvement.