A Russian Muslim who was mistakenly mentioned as a possible bomber in the April 3 attack on the St. Petersburg metro has been facing discrimination since the incident.
Andrei Nikitin, a convert to Islam who calls himself Ilyas, is from the Siberian city of Nizhnevartovsk. Police in St. Petersburg showed photographs of him taken from security cameras after a bomb explosion killed 14 people and injured about 50, naming his as a possible suspect.
Nikitin went to police after his picture circulated on the Internet, and investigators officially excluded him from the list of possible suspects.
However, when Nikitin attempted to fly from St. Petersburg to Nizhnevartovsk via Moscow on April 4, he was not allowed to board his plane in Moscow after passengers recognized him and demanded that he leave the aircraft.
Nikitin was detained and held briefly in a Moscow police station.
The IslamNews website reported on April 6 that Nikitin, who worked as a truck driver, had been fired by his employer in Ufa.
Nikitin told IslamNews that his employer fired him at the request of the regional office of the Investigative Committee (IC).
IC officials in Nizhnevartovsk said the committee had nothing to do with Nikitin losing his job.