Accused Russian Taliban depicted in US court as assault mastermind

Accused Taliban fighter Irek Hamidullin, the first military prisoner from Afghanistan to be tried in US federal court, was portrayed by prosecutors and testimony Friday as the commander behind an attack on U.S. and Afghan forces six years ago near the Pakistan border. Hamidullin, a former Soviet army officer believed to be in his 50s, faces 15 criminal counts ranging from supporting terrorists to firearms

offenses stemming from the 2009 assault on Camp Leyza, an Afghan border police base in eastern Afghanistan’s Khost province. US Army Sergeant Sergio Silva, the prosecution’s third witness to take the stand, testified that he saw Hamidullin fire on him and other American and Afghan soldiers during a skirmish with insurgents after the initial assault. Silva added that two Afghan insurgents were killed in the firefight and that Hamidullin was wounded and surrendered.



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