A Latvian man has been placed under intense police watch after showing links with Ukrainian rebels that allegedly took down the Malaysian Airlines plane that killed all 298 people on board.
Beness Aijo, 29, from Rezekne, was arrested on Saturday over his links with separatists rebels in eastern Ukraine.
Aijo, who is half Latvian-Ugandan, was later released but is not allowed to leave the country and has to report to the police twice a week, Karlis Eihenbaums, a spokesperson for the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
"He had visited Ukraine ad he was involved in strange activity before," Eihenbaums told The Baltic Times.
Security sources say he is “a dangerous and influential individual”,, the UK's Daily Mirror reports.
Decked out in camouflage and standing proudly in front of a tank, Aijo can today be exposed as the student fanatic with “dangerous” links to the violent rebels who allegedly shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight MHI7.
Aijo is said to be a “major player” in the group and has close ties with pro-Russia commander Igor Girkin, who is widely blamed for the atrocity that killed 298 passengers and crew.
Aijo – who has numerous convictions for violent political extremism – studied microbiology at London’s prestigious Birkbeck College and worked on the reconstruction of Heathrow Terminal 2.
He left the UK in March after six years here to join the pro-Putin paramilitary forces that raided Crimea.
A security source in Latvia said: “Aijo has been a major player for the pro-Russia rebels for some time. He is extremely well-connected in the organization and very committed.
“He’s lived quietly in London for the last six years but has been secretly very active in separatist moves to take over Ukraine. He is a dangerous and influential individual.”
Hours after the downing of flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, Aijo attempted to deflect the blame away from the rebels and onto the Ukrainian authorities.
He ranted on Facebook: “Crazy Ukrainians! They haven’t got the guts to confess. Al Qaida always takes responsibility for its terrorist acts.
“Now there are no rules. Not the Red Cross or the white flag.”