People and organizations pay John Giduck (often with tax dollars) to talk about the Beslan school siege.  It turns out that John Giduck’s Terror At Beslan book, already shown to be rife with errors, apparently has erred in a key fact about a key player in the Beslan siege.  The person is one of the masterminds of the Beslan operation itself and the fact is that this person was not killed at Beslan as John Giduck claims.  That’s indicative of pretty poor research!


Marketing for John Giduck’s book, Terror at Beslan, generally focuses on the words, “complete” and “accurate”. Here is an example:

The complete and accurate story of the Beslan School Siege that occurred in Russia on September 1, 2004.

The book is anything but complete and accurate. My opinion is that it borders on fiction.  Even Russian Beslan experts have ripped the book’s factual detail (Russian Experts Claim Terror At Beslan Inaccuracies – Part 1). Now, we have evidence that the book is wrong about the death of one of the key planners of the Beslan siege itself.

Ali Musaevich Taziev

Let’s look at what John Giduck says happened to a one of the masterminds of the Beslan school siege. According to Wikipedia, and other sources,  Ali Musaevich Taziev goes by several AKAs (or “also known as”) Akhmed Yevloev, Magomet Yevloyev, and Emir Magas.  John Giduck references his under the name, Magomet Yevloyev, in Terror At Beslan.  Here is what John Giduck authoritatively states on page 197 of Terror At Beslan:


For clarity, the text says the following:

As it would turn out, the bodies of the three actual terrorist leaders would be identified in the aftermath.  Vladimir Hodov and Magomet Yevloyev were clearly recognized.

John Giduck also claims to have in Beslan on 5 September 2004 so he speaks with authority correct?

The problem is that Ali Musaevich Taziev AKA Magomet Yevloyev is still very much alive.  In fact, the same man is on trial in Russia as of the writing of this blog post in May 2013.

A former police officer who allegedly switched sides and joined North Caucasus militants to become one of their leaders went on trial in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don on Monday.

Ali Taziyev, also known by his alias Magas, is charged with setting up an armed militant group, illegal arms trafficking, terrorism, inciting a rebellion and attempted murder of a law enforcement officer. Charges against him also include 24 counts of terrorism. (dated 13 May 2013)

John Giduck who boasts about having a Ph.D. which gives one the impression that he is well versed in academic research. john Giduck also claims that months of research went into Terror At Beslan.  How could John Giduck miss this important detail?  It isn’t as if the detail hadn’t been covered by news outlets. Terror At Beslan didn’t even go to press until March 2005.  Here is a story from 12 September 2004 in the Telegraph for instance which was published a full week after the Beslan siege

His family believes that [Taziev] is dead, but the interior ministry claims that he joined the Chechen rebel movement and has taken part in several operations against Russian forces, under the codename Magas.

Officials now suspect that he was one of four commanders who masterminded the attack on School Number One in Beslan in which more than 330 people died, more than half of them children.

Musa Apiyev, Ingushetia’s deputy interior minister, told the Telegraph: “The fighter known as Magas, who is the former police officer Taziyev, is connected to a series of terrorist attacks and there is evidence that he participated in the Beslan incident.”

I’d bet that there are plenty of other articles in Russian between September 2004 and March 2005 surmising this guy was still alive but our “Chechyan Expert” and Kings College Ph.D. John Giduck didn’t seem to pursue any more leads or even provide a footnote as to his authoritative declaration of death.  That approach would not have met the bar for research at my local community college

The FSB arrested Taziev in 2010.  A 2010 article lists the following:

Ali Taziyev, known by his nom de guerre “Magas”, has been detained by special operations forces from the FSB, Russia’s security service. The FSB released video footage showing masked troops loading a bearded and dazed Taziyev into a helicopter. A website that acts as a mouthpiece for the rebels claimed he had been drugged. It said the arrest was a “serious loss to the mujahideen, but it would not alter the situation and stop the jihad”.

The list of errors in Terror At Beslan continues to grow. The FSB knew that this man wasn’t killed in Beslan and never shared that information with John Giduck no matter his boasts of being close with various FSB and Spetsnaz leaders.  These “contacts” were at the level of a military adventure camp attendee and not as a colleague as the FSB apparently provided no additional value to John Giduck’s research.  As far as I can tell, John Giduck never modified the false details in his book.  To me, this supports even more that this book has serious academic integrity issues that should be investigated.

Why do organizations pay John Giduck to speak about Beslan again?  Still think that this book is an accurate story of what occurred at Beslan? How could it be? John Giduck wasn’t there and his published facts were wrong even after months of so-called research on site.


John Giduck: Beslan Author, Speaker, Trainer, Liar

How John Giduck Misleads You: Spreading Lies Through Others

New Evidence Disputes John Giduck’s Beslan School Observations As Lies

Unmasked: Source Of John Giduck’s Beslan “Walking Among Bodies” Claim