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Daghestani teens ‘found in forest and accused of preparing terrorist attack’

24 October 2018
Buynaksk (Russiantowns.livejournal.com)

Police in the Russian Republic of Daghestan have detained four teenagers on weapons charges near the town of Buynaksk. Parents of the detainees say the authorities intend to frame the boys for a fabricated terror plot.

According to a report from law enforcement agencies in Buynaksk District, during a search of a forest near the village of Manasaul on 20 October, four young people were discovered with revolvers, ammunition, grenades, a bag of food, three sleeping bags, and two loungers.

Their case is being handled by Daghestan’s Investigative Committee, as two of the four are under the age of 18. The other two, Samat Tatarkhanov and Daniyal Zagirov, are both 19.

The Investigative Committee told OC Media the four were being charged with ‘illegal acquisition and possession of weapons’.

The brother of one of the underage suspects, 23-year-old Isa Ramazanov, was also detained in his home in Buynaksk on 16 October. Daghestan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs told OC Media a weapon was found during a search of his house.

They said the case was being considered separately to that of the four teenagers.

The parents of Samat Tatarkhanov and one of the minors told OC Media they suspect the authorities will add more serious charges, such as ‘organising and preparing a terrorist act’.


The Investigative Committee declined to comment on this because ‘the case involves minors’.

According to the parents, investigators told them their children were suspected of preparing a terrorist attack from 2013. They said they were told the boys had been under surveillance by FSB agents in the forest for three days.

‘One doesn’t go to the forest dressed like that’

According to the parents, all four of the suspects began to disappear one after another from 18–19 October.

One of the 17-year-old boys was first to disappear. His mother, Zarema, told OC Media that he left home normally for college on 18 October but never reached the school.

‘We became alarmed after 4 pm, as [he] would come home at the same time every day and never lingered anywhere, because he knew he had a sick grandmother at home and had to look after her’, Zarema said.

The following day, the parents say his cousin, Samat Tatarkhanov, and friend, Daniyal Zagirov, set out to find him, but also did not return home.

The parents say they were spotted by local residents asking after him.

On the same day, another 17-year-old acquaintance also disappeared, the parents said.

According to the mother of one of the boys, they appealed to the Buynaksk Police Department but their application for a search was ignored.

On the morning of 20 October, the parents posted information about the disappearance of their children online.

Around midday, the mother received a call from a hidden number and was informed that her son was at the Buynaksk Police Station.

Relatives of the children then gathered at the police station but were assured that no one under the names of their children was being held there, and referred them to the the Sovetsky District Police Department, in Makhachkala.

One of the mothers told OC Media that on 21 October, police officers confirmed the presence of the four in the police station and said they had been detained in the forest in tents with weapons.

‘My boy […] put on a light sweater and went to the agricultural college. One doesn’t go to the forest dressed like that’, she said.

The parents said they were sure the security forces brought their children into the forest and photographed them with weapons.

One parent said investigators had ‘hinted that for some money they could remove a couple of the charges before it is too late, and their sentence would be less. I replied that I was sure of the innocence of my son and would not go with their deal’.

‘Beaten in detention’

A lawyer for the four, Zulfiya Isagadzhiyeva, told OC Media that neither she nor the suspects’ parents were immediately allowed to see the detainees. She said she was allowed into the police station only late in the evening.

According to, upon gaining access to the suspects, she witnessed them being forced to sign a documenting refusing the service of a lawyer, something she said she had never seen ‘in 11 years of practicing law’.

Isagadzhiyeva said the faces of the teenagers were yellow and showed signs of being beaten.

Dzhalal Dzhalalov, the uncle of suspect Samat Tatarkhanov, told OC Media that representatives of educational institutions where three of the four studied had refused to give a written statement on the characters of the students, despite confirming verbally that they did well, attended classes, and had had no behavioural problems.

He said his nephew had been expelled from his third year at the Agrarian University following the arrest.

A spokesperson for Makhachkala’s Sovetsky District Court told OC Media that a two-month bail hearing for the four would be held on 25 October.

[Read on OC Media: The disappeared men in Daghestan’s ‘fake war on terror’]

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