Thursday, November 6, 2014

Russian national indicted for 2009 terrorist attack on US forces in Afghanistan

Russian national indicted for 2009 terrorist attack on US forces in Afghanistan

On November 4, 2014, Irek Ilgiz Hamidullin, 55, a Russian national, made his first appearance in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on federal terrorism offenses, arising from his alleged participation in an attack on U.S. troops and Afghan Border Police in the Khost Province of Afghanistan in November 2009.

The charges stem from a Nov. 29, 2009 attack on Afghan police at Camp Leyza, in Khost province on Afghanistan's eastern border with Pakistan. According to the indictment, Hamidullin took part in the attack and commanded three groups of insurgents. The indictment states that Hamidullin also planned to shoot down U.S. military helicopters. During the assault, Hamidullin fired on U.S. and Afghan forces.

Hamidullin had been a Russian officer and tank commander in the early 1980s. In 2001, he became a follower of Mullah Omar, the leader of the Afghan Taliban, according to the indictment. Since October 2009, Hamidullin also took orders from Sirajuddin Haqqani, a Taliban leader and a commander in the Haqqani Network, a Taliban-linked Islamist group.