US imposes sanctions on Russian terror group leader
The State Department on Wednesday branded Aliaskhab Kebekov as a specially designated global terrorist, a move that entailed sanctions that freeze all his assets in the US and prohibit Americans from doing business with him, Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday.
The department described the man as the current leader of the Caucasus Emirate, a group already blacklisted by the US as a global terrorist entity for its operations in the region.
Last year, Kebekov issued a video statement proclaiming his group's "structural subordination" to Al Qaeda and expressing its readiness to "execute orders and instructions from the group's leaders", the department said in a statement.
It noted that Kebekov had reportedly ordered the killing of Sheikh Said-Afandi Chirkeyskiy, a prominent moderate religious leader in the Russian Republic of Dagestan.
Kebekov is also blacklisted by the UN Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee, a move that requires all member states to implement an assets freeze, a travel ban and an arms embargo against him.