Local residents attend a prayer at the cemetery in the village of Ikon-Khalk in Dagestan, Russia. REUTERS/Kazbek Basayev
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Instead, Bulgarov started going to the mosque with followers of a pious strain of Islam, and, according to a close relative and Egyptian security sources, went to Cairo last year to study Arabic.In the space of two years, Bulgarov changed from a shy young man who led a secular lifestyle to a suspected militant bomber, according to Reuters interviews with his teacher, an imam, a classmate and the close relative.His case shows the challenges that Russian security agencies face identifying potential security threats out of the thousands of young people in Russia who are turning to ultra-conservative forms of Islam.Three Egyptian security sources told Reuters Bulgarov spent seven months and 12 days in Cairo, leaving in January this year, and that he signed up for Arabic classes at Al-Azhar University, an Islamic center of learning.When Kurginyan met up with some of his ex-students about two years ago, he heard the unexpected news that Bulgarov had devoted his life to Islam.
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