MOSCOW (AFP) - Russia on Friday announced the killing of Al-Qaeda's top leader in the Caucasus in an operation analysts said marked one of the biggest successes by security forces in the region in years. Security officials identified the Saudi-born militant - known by the nom-de-guerre of Moganned - as a "religious authority" and top field commander responsible for the most recent bombings on Russian soil. "Almost all acts of terror using suicide bombers in the last years were prepared with his involvement," a spokesman for the National Anti-Terror Committee said in a televised statement. The rebel-linked website confirmed that the militant was killed on Thursday in a clash with security forces in Chechnya that also claimed the lives of at least two other militants. "The rats have started coming out of the woodwork," the war-torn republic's Kremlin-appointed leader Ramzan Kadyrov told news agencies after the death was confirmed. "Each one of them will be either arrested or destroyed." Russian officials said Moganned had been operating in the Northern Caucasus since 1999 and by 2005 had emerged as the main "coordinator" for handling money that was coming in from abroad to support the militant underground. He had also served under the notorious fellow Arab-born militant Khattab until his death in a clash with security forces in 2002. This "marks a tremendous success in the fight against the terrorist underground," Alexander Cherkasov of the Memorial rights group told Moscow Echo radio. "He has been the head of the Chechen Arab (militants) since 2006."