Did the Russian secret service liquidate a political adversary in the middle of the street and on a clear day in Germany? Good memories of the Cold War are awakening in Berlin after a close-range gunman fired a 9 mm-thick Glock 26 silencer gun last Friday. The suspect, who was caught red-handed by Berlin police, has since been detained.
Since this suspect had arrived shortly before his departure from Moscow and apparently already had a ticket for a return flight, the Enlightenment involved not only a criminal investigation, but also the counterintelligence service of the German agencies for the protection of the constitution.
A good year after the poison attack on Russian intelligence defender Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, England, the policy was alarmed. No one wants to make the mistake of fixing Moscow's guilt prematurely. Also because other explanations have been taken into account so far.
Since 2015 in Germany
The victim, 41-year-old Zelimkhan K., has overcome her past; so much seems clear. It wasn’t until 2015 that he arrived in Germany. He came from a village in the Pankissi Valley, Georgia, and belonged to an ethnic boxing group, the Muslim Chechens living in Georgia. In the Chechen wars from 1999 to 2009, he is said to have fought on the side of Chechen separatists against the Russian army, as a follower of the Caucasian Emirate rebel group, according to German security agencies.
The man was seemingly an important figure, so he played the role of a mediator between the Georgian anti-terrorist units and the Islamist hostage in the Lopot Gorge. Even after fleeing to Germany, it is rumored that he was keeping an eye on the FSB's Russian secret service. According to information from the Süddeutscher Zeitung, the NDR and the WDR, the FSB has repeatedly advised the Germans that the Chechen party is still in contact with terrorists in the Caucasus.
The murdered Zelimkhan K. came from Georgia. Photo: PD
However, Zelimkhan K.'s past also includes evidence of involvement in organized crime. After being denied asylum on March 1, 2017, he lived in Berlin with his wife and five children, ages 2-17. For a good year, from March 2017 to 2018, the Berlin State Bureau of Criminal Investigation viewed a man as a so-called "threat" who could be trusted to carry out attacks for Chechen nationalist or Islamist reasons. Thereafter, the man believed less in this danger but kept it in mind because of its connection to the criminal milieu. Who could claim his life? According to security circles, there are "a thousand possibilities".
The alleged assailant, who denies the crime in custody and is otherwise silent, has not yet revealed who may have sent him. His journey path is noticeable. He allegedly applied for a Schengen visa in Moscow in late July. The flight went to Paris, from there it was to take the train to Berlin – a few days before the act. It is also striking how he routinely treated two witnesses as the culprit approached his victim on Friday afternoon at Kleiner Tiergarten Park on his bicycle, knocked him down with two shots, then quickly drove his bike and threw a gun at Spree.
A haircut was found
According to the passport with which the man entered, it is rumored that she is Russian, 49 years old. So far, the name in the passport says little to the security authorities. There were no hits in the databases to protect the Constitution. Maybe it's all false. Authorities are now checking that they are indeed Georgians. And also details like the question of how the man managed to change his hairstyle within minutes of the fact. Police were looking for a wig in Spree. Divers instead pulled hair clippers out of the water.