– ALEXANDER TICHOMIROV [SAID BURYATSKY]
* Alexander Tichomirov, also known as Said Buryatsky, was born in 1982, in the Buddhist republic of Buryatia and converted to Islam as a teenager. Said Buryatsky was an active religious commentator who studied Islam in different Madrassas in Moscow, Tatarstan and then in Egypt from 2002 to 2005 where he studied at Al-Azhar University, the main center of Islamic learning in the world.
The FSB said Alexander Tichomirov – Said Buryatsky joined the North Caucasus rebels in mid-2008, and within months a series of suicide bombings ended a four-year break in the rebel tactic, which had last been used at the Beslan school hostage-taking in 2004 (see – Beslan Horror). Among the largest attacks was a suicide car bombing of Ingush President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov’s motorcade that badly wounded Yevkurov in June (see – Nazran 06.22.09) and a suicide car bombing that killed 26 people at a Nazran police station a few days later (see – Nazran 08.17.09).
Alexander Tichomirov was an ally and associated of the Chechen separatist leader Doku Umarov. He claimed through the web responsibility on the Bologoye Attack, on 11/27/2009.
Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov said Alexander Tichomirov-Buryatsky was the “rebels’ No. 1 ideologist” and accused him of being a foreign agent. “Alexander Tikhomirov was an agent who was very well trained in religion by Western special services. He was also a psychologist, and his task was to influence not only a certain part of the North Caucasus youth but — with the help of the Internet — all of Russia,” Kadyrov said in 02/2010
Unlike most Muslim leaders in Russia, Said Buryatsky made his mark on the Internet, posting dozens of videos of his sermons online and thus surging in popularity among young Russian Muslims.
Alexander Tichomirov spent the last minutes of his life filming a farewell sermon on his cell phone and saying goodbye to his fellow rebels, according to the rebel web site Hunafa and RIA-Novosti, which cited an unidentified FSB official. The house where the rebels were holed up had been surrounded by the FSB commandos, and the rebels understood that they would not be able to escape, the FSB official said.
Alexander Tichomirov was killed in clashes with Russian forces in Ingushetia on 02/12/2010 (see – Ingush 02.12.10). Two passports — one national and the other for foreign travel — issued in the name of Alexander Tichomirov were found on his body.
The FSB said investigators retrieved equipment from the house where he was killed that was identical to that used in a bombing of the Nevsky Express train on 08/13/2007. No one died in that attack, and two Ingush natives have been convicted of delivering explosives to the Tver region, where the bombing took place (see also – Pavel Kosolapov ).