RT: A Chechen national suspected of being the mastermind behind the deadly Istanbul airport terrorist attack, earlier received refugee status in Austria, which helped him to repeatedly avoid extradition to Russia on terror charges.
The fatal attack on the Istanbul airport that took lives of 44 people and left more than 230 injured was allegedly organized by Ahmed Chataev, a Russian citizen of Chechen origin, who joined Islamic State (IS, former ISIS/ISIL) in 2015 and now fights in Syria, Turkish media report, citing police sources.
Chataev was assigned a leading role in training extremists that would then commit terrorist attacks in both Russia and Western Europe, the Deputy Chairman of the Russian Investigative Committee Andrey Przhezdomsky said, adding that, in Syria, Chataev also commands a unit consisting “primarily of immigrants from the North Caucasus,” Russia's Kommersant newspaper reported earlier this year.
Chataev turned out to be long wanted by the Russian authorities for terrorism-related offenses but he fled to Europe, where he was granted asylum, and successfully managed to escape extradition to Russia.
Chataev joined Islamist secessionist militants that fought against Russia in the Second Chechen War between 1999 and 2000, where he lost an arm. Later, he was considered to be a representative of Dokka Umarov, once a “terrorist №1” in Russia, in the Western Europe.