Turkish TV broadcasts footage it says shows Chechen fighter’s killers

A Turkish television channel has broadcast footage of what it said were members of an assassination team that killed Chechen fighter Abdulwahid Edelgiriev in Istanbul three years ago.

Edelgiriev arrived Turkey after being wounded in an explosion in Chechnya in 2008 and later joined other Islamist fighters in Jabhat al-Nusra, the local affiliate of al-Qaeda in Syria. Edelgiriev also fought with Georgian jihadist Abu Omar al-Shishani, a commander of Islamic State in Syria.

He returned form Syria to Turkey and was known to be a member of a group that had plotted to resume fighting on Russian territory.

In November 2015, while he was leaving his residence to go to a shopping mall in Istanbul, a man from another car that blocked Edelgiriev’s path shot him, but missed. The attackers pursuing Edelgiriev stabbed him in the neck and left him to bleed to death.

The Habertürk channel quoted a police report that said Russian nationals Andrei Sholkhov, Dimitri Bodrov and Vladimir Voronon were part of the assassination team that killed Edelgiriev.

Turkish news channel Haberturk questioned during the segment whether one of the suspects, Andrei Sholokhov, could be Colonel Anatoliy Chepiga who is working for the Defence Intelligence service of the Russian Federation. He is reported by Bellingcat to have served in the Second Chechen War and the annexation of Crimea to Russia.

Bellingcat claimed that Chepiga was one of the suspects in the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal and the killing of Dawn Sturgess, having travelled to the United Kingdom under the alias Ruslan Boshirov.

It said the footage showed Sholkov and Bodrov meeting two days before the assassination in the courtyard of a mosque to explore the area around Edelgiriev’s residence.


The footage also shows the team entering the building complex where Edelgiriev lived on the day of the attack and leaving almost two hours later, with a large dent in the back of their car.