The Command Post
Global War on Terror
January 17, 2005
'Another Beslan' Foiled

Agence France Presse reports that Russian security forces foiled a mass hostage-taking by pro-Chechen rebels in southern Russia on the scale of the bloody Beslan school massacre.

AFP quoted Nikolai Gryaznov, head of the FSB security service in Dagestan:

“The bandits destroyed in Kaspiysk and Makhachkala were preparing a terrorist act similar to Beslan,” the Interfax news agency quoted Gryaznov as saying.

“We made use of intelligence information, carried out dozens of raids and searches. This allowed us to corner the criminal group preparing terrorist acts,” he said.

According to AFP a member of the Russian parliament from Dagestan told journalists that the militants had planned to seize a school:

“It was the same plan as Beslan, they were preparing to seize a school,” lawmaker Gadzhi Makachev told the NTV channel.

From California Yankee.

Posted by Dan Spencer at 08:23 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack
December 15, 2004
Zdravstvuite Russia! 2004-12-15

Winds of Change.NET Regional Briefings run on Tuesdays & Wednesdays, and sometimes Fridays too.

This Regional Briefing focuses on the enigma that is Russia, via Joel Gaines of No Pundit Intended. Joel is a veteran of the Gulf War with the 3rd Armor Division, where he worked in an intelligence capacity. He speaks Russian, and has worked in several of the former soviet satellites.

TOP TOPICS

  • Russia may now be in the midst of a new kind of cold war, as her heavy-handed influence is challenged by presidential elections being won by opposition candidates in Abkhazia, Belarus, and the Ukraine. The fact that Putin and fellow derzhavniki are incapable of pressing their colelctive agenda with any tact makes the pressure exerted on these other nations quite obvious. There are examples, which indicate Russia is prepetuating regional conflicts, while maintaining a death grip on an attempt to hold some semblance of post-Soviet empire together.
  • Russia is part of the “peacekeeping” apparatus in Georgian breakaway South Ossetia. In fact, Russian officials have denied any obligations to remove troops from Georgia or Moldava, as noted in the OSCE’s year end conference in Sofia, Bulgaria. In Kazakhstan, opposition leaders express concern over possible Russian meddling in their upcoming Presidential elections - as they realize the power which comes from being quite oil rich. Even in Armenia, it appears Russian influence is not flagged - with political jokes along the lines of the Armenian President needing to watch Russian state television to find out which Ukrainian presidential candidate to congratulate.
  • Vladimir Vladimiri’tch Putin will finish his second, and final, presidential term in 2008. In a government, where 60% of high offices are held by former “Kah Geh Beastniks” (securities services personnel), will Putin maneuver a mandate to extend his term? Will there be a peaceful, democratic transfer of power? Will a “special powers” act be invoked due to some national emergency? Has he learned what to do or what not to do in Ukraine and Belarus?

Other Topics Today Include: Economic boom or bane?; steps needed to reduce inflation; middle class emerging; incorporating autonomous states; direct election of governors eliminated; norilsk nickle cashing in; St. Pete gets a China Town; Chechen War 10 years later; Sino-Russia military exercises; Russia proliferates nuke missiles; Ex-FSB agent gets 10 years; A short history of Russia

Posted by Winds of Change at 04:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
November 10, 2004
Zdravstvuite Russia Briefing: Nov. 10/04

Winds of Change.NET Regional Briefings run on Tuesdays & Wednesdays, and sometimes Fridays too.

This Regional Briefing focuses on the enigma that is Russia, via Joel Gaines of No Pundit Intended. Joel is a veteran of the Gulf War with the 3rd Armor Division, where he worked in an intelligence capacity. He speaks Russian, and has worked in several of the former soviet satellites.

TOP TOPICS

  • A white cloud rose into the air above the Balakovskaya nuclear power plant near Saratov, causing some panic and a great deal of suspicion. Authorities say number 2 reactor was shut down after it malfunctioned, but that there has been no radiation leaked into the atmosphere and no health risk was posed to the public. The reactor has since been returned to an operational status
  • Russia signed the Kyoto Protocol in 1999, but has just this month ratified it in a deal which will likely allow Russia entrance to the World Trade Organization. Putin has already secured several important endorsements for Russia and will probably use an upcoming meeting with the new EU Commission to secure the EU’s agreement to a WTO seat.
  • The “on again - off again” discussions of an Iran/Russia nuclear fuel deal are - on again. Reports now indicate Russia and Iran may ink a deal in December 2004 in which Russia will provide nuclear fuel to Iran for use in their power generating reactors and Iran will return the spent fuel rods to Russia. Some see this as a means to ensure Iran is not enriching plutonium. However, there is nothing stopping Iran from weaponizing plutonium they may have secured from another source - perhaps in the form of unguarded material from an former soviet satellite.

Other Topics Today Include: computer market planned, selling dollars, energy is up, Yermolin criticizes Putin, public beer banned, YUKOS debt rises, Putin approval down 5%, Mashkhadov wants to surrender, Kadyrov Jr. worried about Wahhabism, Basayev justifies Beslan, Georgia and Russia duke it out at PACE, Russia and S. Korea building launch pad, Orthodox and Catholic cooperating, Vietnam and Russia celebrate 50 years, Russia mulls toll roads, Scientist un-acquited, Navy tests SU-27KUB

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October 15, 2004
Zdravstvuite Russia! Oct 15/04

Winds of Change.NET Regional Briefings run on Tuesdays & Wednesdays, and sometimes Fridays too.

This Regional Briefing focuses on the enigma that is Russia, via Joel Gaines of No Pundit Intended. Joel is a veteran of the Gulf War with the 3rd Armor Division, where he worked in an intelligence capacity. He speaks Russian, and has worked in several of the former soviet satellites.

TOP TOPICS

  • Shakhmati! The geopolitical chess game turns against Russia as they are forced to choose between being excluded from the WTO and signing the Kyoto agreement.
  • No sooner than an Ingush provincial leader has declared ‘no ethnic backlash’ from the Beslan attack, North Ossetians vow revenge when the 40 day mourning period is over. One Beslan resident states, “There will be violence. It won’t be noisy. It will be quiet - one person at a time.”
  • The “right” to conduct pre-emptive attacks has become part of the Russian anti-terror doctrine recently. However, many believe it is less about anti-terror operations and more about re-invigorating the Russian effort to maintain control over the Caucasus. Russian policy toward Chechnya especially, has been more political in the past couple of years, but the anti-terror initiative of preemption might tip policy back toward a more overt military prosecution of securing Chechnya. The other side of the coin is a Russia finally awakening to the global threat posed by pan-islamic nationalism. Which is the truth is only known in the Kremlin - for now.

Other Topics Today Include: arms sales and trade surplus; state run oil profits as YUKOS dies; inflation worries; political opposition uniting against Putin; first woman governor assesses first year; military draft excludes Chechens; Alkhanov inaugurated in secret location; Russia-Iran nuke fuel deal; Putin heads to China as two countries celebrate relations and joint ventures; secret uranium mission a success; introducing the Vodnik

Posted by Winds of Change at 12:39 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
October 05, 2004
Russian FM: PA stop attacks, Israel show restraint

JERUSALEM POST: Russian FM: PA stop attacks, Israel show restraint

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat must do more to prevent terrorist attacks and Israel must abstain from using disproportionate force in its operations in Palestinian areas, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made phone calls to both Arafat and Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom on Tuesday, the ministry said in a statement.

The telephone diplomacy comes as Israel’s raid in northern Gaza entered its sixth day Tuesday. As of Monday, at least 68 Palestinians had been killed.

(Someone remind me what Putin said after Beslan about pursuing and striking terrorists.)

Posted by Laurence Simon at 02:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
September 27, 2004
Russia, Israel discuss tighter anti-terror cooperation

While the Saudis announce an exclusionary conference to discuss antiterrorism efforts…

HAARETZ: Russia, Israel discuss tighter anti-terror cooperation

Russian and Israeli officials are planning joint training courses for anti-terror forces, Russian news agencies reported Monday after a meeting between Russia’s top police official and Israel’s National Security Council chairman.

Russia’s Interior Ministry and the Israeli police service also plan regular workshops and meetings on the fight against international terrorism, the Interfax news agency reported following a meeting between Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s security adviser Giora Eiland.

The Interior Ministry, which is responsible for police, is stepping up cooperation with Israeli police “in sharing theoretical and practical ideas that may help detect crimes of a terrorist nature,” Interfax quoted a ministry statement as saying. Ministry officials were not available for comment.

The statement also said Russia and Israel will seek to improve sharing of information on the activities of terrorist and extremist organizations and on their sources of financing, including by creating databases with information on international terrorist organizations and their leaders, Interfax reported.

The Russian ministry called for the creation of a joint working group to coordinate cooperation in air transport security, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported. It was not clear how the Israeli delegation responded to the suggestion.

Posted by Laurence Simon at 03:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
September 23, 2004
Russia proposes a terror suspect blacklist

JERUSALEM POST: Russia proposes a terror suspect blacklist

Russia, which argues that its war in Chechnya is part of the global fight against terrorism, proposed Thursday that the UN Security Council establish a new blacklist of terror suspects that calls for the extradition of anyone whose name appears on it.

The Russians circulated a draft Security Council resolution asking the committee monitoring what governments are doing to fight terrorism to consider how to create a new list of “individuals, groups and entities involved in or associated with terrorist activities,” according to a copy obtained by The Associated Press.

The resolution also asked the committee to consider punishments against people on the list, including an arms embargo, freezing financial assets, and imposing travel bans and “expedited extradition of anyone named in the list.”

Posted by Laurence Simon at 09:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
September 18, 2004
Russian police thwart terror attack in Moscow

JERUSALEM POST: Russian police thwart terror attack in Moscow

Russian security officials said police stopped a man driving a car wired with land mines and explosives in downtown Moscow early Saturday.

A duty officer at the Federal Security Service said the man was stopped by Moscow police around 1 a.m. Police questioned him and found two land mines in the car, along with 200 grams (7 ounces) of TNT under the driver’s seat. The mines were connected with wires and had an antenna attached to them.

The man, who appeared to be intoxicated, told police he had been paid US$1,000 to park two cars with explosives in them along a Moscow street frequently used by top government officials, said the duty officer, who refused to give his name.

The ITAR-Tass news agency identified the man as 38-year-old Alexander Pumane.

Police later located a second car in a residential neighborhood in central Moscow and used a water cannon to open it. No explosives were found but residents of nearby buildings were evacuated as a precaution, the officer said.

The duty officer confirmed that the man later suffered a heart attack and died while in police custody, but the officer refused to elaborate.

Posted by Laurence Simon at 09:38 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack
September 17, 2004
Chechen Warlord Threatens More Attacks After Beslan

REUTERS: Chechen Warlord Threatens More Attacks After Beslan

Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev claimed responsibility on Friday for the Russian school siege in which more than 320 hostages were killed, half of them children, and threatened more attacks by any means he saw fit.

Basayev, Russia’s most wanted man, expressed regret for the bloody outcome in Beslan, blaming it on the Kremlin. He made clear there would be no let-up in rebel attacks in the future in the campaign for an independent Chechnya.

“We are not bound by any circumstances, or to anybody, and we will continue to fight as is convenient and advantageous to us, and by our rules,” he said in a statement.

(Anyone think that the Russians will pull any punches when it comes to killing him, his spokesmen, and any reporters that might be hanging around his hideout?)

Posted by Laurence Simon at 09:41 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack
September 13, 2004
Zdravstvuite Russia Briefing: 2004-09-14

Winds of Change.NET Regional Briefings run on Tuesdays & Wednesdays, and sometimes Fridays too.

This Regional Briefing focuses on the enigma that is Russia, via Joel Gaines of No Pundit Intended. Joel is a veteran of the Gulf War with the 3rd Armor Division, where he worked in an intelligence capacity. He speaks Russian, and has worked in several of the former soviet satellites.

TOP TOPIC:

  • In North Ossetia, Beslan School #1 was the target of a brutal and senseless act of terror. Islamo-fascists from the Chechen region, augmented by terrorists from Ingushetia held more than 1200 in a state of siege in the school’s gymnasium. The siege ended when one of the improvised explosive devices detonated - killing and wounding hundreds.
  • The attack was a severe blow to Russia’s attempts to stay above the fray, known as the War on Terror, which impacts so many other nations. The Chechen separatist leaders, Aslan Maskhadov and Shamil Basayev, have been implicated by the FSB as having a direct involvement in the attack.

Other Topics Today Include: Three economic growth scenarios, YUKOS woe deepens, Putin’s controlled democracy, Russia’s dismay about Chechen attacks,Alu Alkhinov is new Chechen president, US/Russia relations hurt?, Georgia and S. Ossetia still at it, assassinated with a BB, Introducing the T-90 tank, terrorists targeting nuke sites.

Posted by Winds of Change at 10:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
September 09, 2004
Colt's Winds of War: Sept 9/04

Welcome! Our goal at Winds of Change.NET is to give you one power-packed briefing of insights, news and trends from the global War on Terror that leaves you stimulated, informed, and occasionally amused every Monday & Thursday. Thursday’s Winds of War briefings are given by me, Colt, of Eurabian Times.

TOP TOPICS

  • Beslan… The official death toll stands at 335, with a further 700-750 wounded. One unofficial source put the death toll at 394. The number of unidentified bodies is over 100 - a number that does not account for the ~200 reported missing. The terrorists recorded the events from inside School #1. The Russians claim that all of the terrorists are dead or in custody. Yesterday, the Russian chief of staff claimed the right to take action at terrorists all over the world - he ruled out nuclear strikes. Gregory of the Belgravia Dispatch has an interesting take on Putin’s speech. Stan at Logic and Sanity is still translating Russian media reports. There are reports of rape, the stabbing of children and babies and the execution of a terrorist by the leader of the group. Dan Darling has more.
  • Maariv International has a long piece about Iran’s ambitions in the war against Israel. Disturbingly, it claims that 10-15 al-Qaeda men have entered Gaza; Iran wants to turn Ein el-Hilweh in to an al-Qaeda/Hezbollah safe zone (note that Esbat al-Ansar have operated within the camp for years) ; Iran has increased co-operation with al-Qaeda in order to intimidate Europe, Turkey and Israel.

Other Topics Today Include: Iran Reports; new GSPC leader; al-Qaeda and the Blind Sheikh; Abu Sayyaf kidnapper caught; Israel hunts Hamas; Pakistan and terrorism; Khobar siege questions; weapons stash in Russian cinema.

Read the Rest…

Posted by Winds of Change at 10:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
September 04, 2004
Mother Regains Her Child

The Los Angeles Times reports that Zalina Dzandarova, the mother forced to make a Sophie’s choice in the Russian school siege found her daughter — covered with blood, and suffering from shock and dehydration. But alive.

Yesterday the Los Angeles Times reported that Dzandarova forced to make a horrible decision:

“They said, ‘Pack your things quickly, and take your babies with you,’ ” Dzandarova said.

Shortly after, she learned that she would have to choose between taking her son or her daughter.

Dzandarova had both Alan and Alana with her and made a snap decision to pass Alana to her 16-year-old sister-in-law. But the guerrillas saw through the ruse and refused to allow her to take the older child.

“Alana was clinging to me and holding my hand firmly. But they separated us, and said: ‘You go with the boy. Your sister can stay here with her.’ I cried. I begged them. Alana cried. The women around us wept. One of the Chechens said: ‘If you don’t go now, you don’t go at all. You stay here with your children … and we will shoot all of you.’ “

She couldn’t save both of them. She could only die with both of them — or save one of them and herself.

“I didn’t have time to think what I was doing,” she said. “I pressed Alan even stronger to myself, and I went out, and I heard all the time how my daughter was crying and calling for me behind my back. I thought my heart would break into pieces there and then.”

From California Yankee.

Posted by Dan Spencer at 10:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
August 26, 2004
More on the black boxes

Israeli Broadcasting authority radio quotes a “senior Russian official in Moscow” Vladimir Yakovlev as saying that the black boxes of the two crushed planes did not contain any information. (Same from Reuters). An Israeli aviation expert interviwed later on, said that the boxes not being functional to begin with could be consistent with the overall state of disrepair of the Russian aviation.

Posted by Alisa at 09:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
August 25, 2004
Report: Missing Plane sent Hijack Signal (UPDATED)

All previous coverage on the downed airliners was in the Global Recon section in this post. With this latest news, I’ve made this update in the Global War on Terror section.

Via Rusty Shackleford, ABC News quotes an Interfax report that government officials have said that the missing Tu-154 sent a panic signal indicating a hijacking at 11:04 p.m. Moscow time. This update and all the other news since the story of the downed Russian airlines originally broke can be found in my previous post.

1:25 EDT UPDATE
Channel News Asia confirms the hijacking signal report:

An alarm went off aboard a Russian airliner just before it went missing in southern Russia, signaling that the plane had been hijacked, a Russian official told the Interfax news agency Wednesday.

According to the source, the hijack alarm went off at 11:04 pm Tuesday (1904 GMT), as the Tupelov Tu-154 aircraft, which took off from Moscow, was flying over Millerovo near Rostov-on-Don, with the aircraft dropping off radar screens shortly after.

Blogs of War points to a story that the second plane’s wreckage has been found.

8:10 EDT UPDATE
Reuters:

“The main line of inquiry we are following is violation of the rules of operating civil aircraft,” FSB spokesman Sergei Ignatchenko said.

Ignatchenko said this meant pilot error, mechanical defects or problems with fuel quality — prime suspects in Russia, where pilots are poorly paid and planes often old.

“We are also examining the possibility of a terrorist act, but we have no evidence to support this.”

8:20 EDT
Interfax:

The investigators probing the crashes of a Siberia Airlines Tu-154 and a Volga-Aviaexpress Tu-134 have so far not discovered any evidence that would prove that terrorist attacks were behind the disasters, Federal Security Service spokesman Nikolai Zakharov told Interfax on Wednesday.
“It has been concluded at the present time that the most likely reason [behind the crash] was a breach of civil aviation aircraft operation regulations,” Zakharov said

8:25 A.M. EDT
Associated Press:

Officials made conflicting statements about whether the signal from the Sibir jet indicated a hijacking or another severe problem on the aircraft, and there was bad weather overnight in both areas….

…Witnesses said they heard what sounded like three explosions before the first plane crashed about 200 kilometers south of Moscow, and suspicions of terrorist involvement were compounded when officials said the Sibir jet that went missing in the Rostov region issued a signal indicating the plane was being seized.

Interfax and Itar-Tass later quoted an unnamed law enforcement source as saying that the signal was an SOS and that no other signals were sent.

But Oleg Yermolov, deputy director of the Interstate Aviation Committee, said that it is impossible to judge what is behind the signal, which merely indicates “a dangerous situation onboard” and can be triggered during a hijacking or a potentially catastrophic technical problem.

At the same time, Sibir said on its web site that it had received a message from the shift chief at the military department of a nationwide air traffic control network that said a signal of a seizure had been activated on one of the planes. The company “does not rule out the theory of a terrorist act,” it said.

Interfax said emergency workers spotted a fire in the Rostov region, where the Sibir jet went missing. But rainy weather hampered the search efforts and it took hours before any wreckage was found. A flight data recorder from the plane was recovered, Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu said, according to Interfax….

Quoting an unidentified air traffic official in Moscow, Itar-Tass said authorities were also not ruling out terrorism. Interfax quoted an unidentified Russian aviation security expert as saying the fact that the two planes disappeared around the same time raised suspicions of terrorism….

…Interfax quoted a Domodedovo airport spokesman as saying there were no foreigners on the passenger lists for either plane….

…When Russia’s UN Ambassador Andrei Denisov was told of the initial report of two near-simultaneous crashes, he said, “Now we have to see if there’s terrorism.”

In Washington, a U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity Tuesday evening, said it was the understanding of American officials that the two Russian planes disappeared within four minutes of each other, which “in and of itself is suspicious.”

Cross-posted: Backcountry Conservative.

Other Links:
Current Time in Moscow
Large list of Russian blogs (page has problems in some browsers - Firefox works best.)
Russian Blogs
Globe of Blogs: Russia
Aeroflot
Domodedovo Airport
Tupolev 134 (Tu-134)
Tupolev 154 (Tu-154)
The Moscow Times
Rusnet
MosNews
The Moscow News
Gazeta.ru
Interfax
ITAR-TASS
RIA Novosti
Pravda
Kavkaz Center (Chechnya News)
Other Chechnya News
Federal Security Service (in Russian)
FSB information (English)

Posted by Jeff Quinton at 12:51 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack
June 23, 2004
Eyewitnesses: Ingushetia Attacks Carried Out By Locals

The Eurasia Daily Monitor reports that eyewitnesses to the recent attacks in Ingushetia were carried out, at least in part, by locals:

An Ingushetian traffic policeman who was briefly detained by some of the fighters told the independent Ingushetiya.ru website that all of them spoke Ingush and that while their faces were covered by masks, he could tell by their voices that they were young. The traffic policeman said that after he was released, fighters who were also Ingush stopped him several times on the way into Nazran. “They said that they were getting revenge for murders and kidnappings of their friends,” the traffic policeman told the website. “And that they were killing employees of [the Ingushetian police’s] criminal investigation [department], spetsnaz and OMON [special police units] for helping the Russian special services”. (Ingushetiya.ru, June 22)

Likewise, Rossiiskaya Gazeta cited local residents as saying that the attackers were Ingush, “which partially refutes the version about the invasion from Chechnya,” and quoted a Russian special services source as denying that they had also crossed over from North Ossetia. “According to our source, most likely no one came from anywhere,” the government newspaper reported. “In the evening, people simply put on camouflage clothing, took weapons out of hiding places and went out to the streets to fight”. (Rossiiskaya Gazeta, June 23)

It is difficult to sort news from rumor in reports from this part of the world, but if locals were a large part of the attacking group, Russia appears to have a much bigger problem than Chechnya on its hands.

Posted by Nathan Hamm at 04:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
June 21, 2004
Fighting Breaks Out in Ingushetia

100-300 armed men seized Interior Ministry and police buildings and killed the acting Interior Minister of Ingushetia, a North Caucasian region bordering Chechnya.

In nearly simultaneous attacks, assailants armed with grenade- and rocket-launchers seized the Interior Ministry headquarters and police buildings in Ingushetia, a Russian region bordering warring Chechnya, local officials said Tuesday.

Ingushetia’s acting Interior Minister was killed, and witnesses reported at least six other people dead. Emergency and military officials estimated 100 to 300 armed assailants were involved in the attacks, which took place in the city of Nazran and at least one village, Karabulak.

An official from the Ingush Interior Ministry said it was not immediately clear who the attackers were, but said some of them were shouting “Allahu akhbar” - a frequent cry of Chechnya’s separatist rebels as their insurgency increasingly comes under the influence of radical Islam.

Fighting from the 4-year-old Chechen war has occasionally spilled into Ingushetia, highlighting the Russian military’s ineffectiveness against the rebels despite having heavier weapons and far superior manpower.

But the latest attack comes after recent statements by separatist leaders indicating plans to step up military actions outside of Chechnya.

Russian journalists report an encounter with the men.

A three-man crew from Russia’s NTV television said they came upon some of the attackers at a border crossing as the crew tried to reach Nazran from neighboring North Ossetia.

“Out of the dark, a voice says ‘Stop, put your hands on the hood,’ said NTV correspondent Maxim Berezin. “A man carrying an automatic weapon came up. ‘Who are you?’ ‘We’re from NTV.’ He took a few steps back, as if to shoot us.

“Then he said, ‘Say that we are the Martyr’s Brigade,’ I don’t remember of whom, Abu, Alyua, I don’t remember what he said. ‘We have shot everyone here. Go and announce that.’”

Posted by Nathan Hamm at 09:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
May 09, 2004
Reuters Photog Dead in Chechnya Blast

Associated Press reports indicate that:

A photographer for the Reuters news agency was killed Sunday by an explosion in the Chechen capital that also killed the province’s Kremlin-backed leader, the agency said.

Adlan Khasanov, 33, had worked for the agency in Chechnya as a photographer and television cameraman since the late 1990s.

More updates at Backcountry Conservative

Posted by Jeff Quinton at 12:27 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack
Chechnya Death Toll Upped to 6

Interfax reports:

GROZNY. May 9 (Interfax-South) - Six people were killed in the May 9 terrorist attack in Grozny, said Vladimir Yakovlev, presidential envoy to the South Federal District.

“Six people were killed. They are the president [Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov], the State Council chairman [Khusein Isayev], a journalist [Adlan Khasanov], a child and two of Kadyrov’s bodyguards,” Yakovlev told journalists after a session with senior law enforcement officials in Grozny.

More updates at Backcountry Conservative

Posted by Jeff Quinton at 12:01 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack
April 22, 2004
Special Analysis: Al-Qaeda in Chechnya

Earlier this week, unconfirmed reports surfaced claiming that Abu Walid al-Ghamdi, the leader of the International Islamic Peacekeeping Brigade, had been killed by Russian forces in Chechnya. Details of his demise are still sketchy, but according to this account by Kavkaz Center, the chief media outlet for the Chechen insurgents led by al-Qaeda leader Shamil Basayev, al-Ghamdi was shot in the back while preparing for prayer.

Who is this enigmatic Saudi commander? What is al-Qaeda’s history in Chechnya, and what are their goals in the region? And how does al-Ghamdi’s death affect the war on terrorism? This analysis will endeavor to answer these questions.

Read The Rest…

Posted by Winds of Change at 09:12 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
April 18, 2004
Leader of Chechen Arabs Killed

Al Arabiya: Top Arab Militant in Chechnya Killed

DUBAI: Arab television station Al Arabiya said on Sunday that the leader of Arab fighters in Chechnya, Saudi-born Abu al-Waleed al-Ghamdi, had been killed in the rebel Russian region.

An official at Dubai-based Al Arabiya said the channel received the news from sources close to Ghamdi’s family in Saudi Arabia who declined to give any details except that the family was receiving condolences.

Abu al-Waleed is said by the Kremlin to be among those behind February’s bombing in Moscow.

In March, Arab television channel Al Jazeera broadcast videotape it said was by Abu al-Waleed vowing to stage a new wave of attacks inside Russia.

The Kremlin blames Chechen rebels for a spate of attacks including a suicide bombing which killed close to 50 people on a train in southern Russia before last December’s parliamentary polls and the attack on the underground, which killed around 40.

The Kremlin believes Abu al-Waleed was also among those behind the 1999 apartment bombings across Russia that prompted President Vladimir Putin to send troops back into Chechnya.

Posted by Nathan Hamm at 11:57 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack
February 13, 2004
Qatar blast claims life of ex-Chechen leader

From Reuters:
DOHA (Reuters) - Former Chechen President Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev died on Friday from injuries sustained when his car was hit by a blast in the Gulf Arab state of Qatar, police said.

"He is dead," Qatari police official Haman Ali al-Misnad told Reuters after leaving the surgical intensive care unit at Hamad Hospital in the capital Doha where Yandarbiyev had been taken. The official gave no further details.

Qatar-based Al Jazeera television said earlier that Yandarbiyev was seriously injured and two people traveling with him were killed when their car was hit by a blast in the Qatari capital Doha.

A hospital spokesman told Reuters that Yandarbiyev was leaving a mosque after Friday prayers in north Doha's Dasma area when the blast occurred.
Posted by Willie Galang at 10:40 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack
February 06, 2004
Putin rules out talks with Chechen rebels

THE HINDU: Putin rules out talks with Chechen rebels

Blaming Chechen leaders for the Moscow metro train blast that left about 40 people dead and over 120 injured, Russian President Vladimir Putin, today ruled out talks with the “terrorists”.

“Russia does not hold talks with the terrorists, it destroys them,” Putin declared at a Kremlin news conference.

Posted by Laurence Simon at 03:23 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack
Moscow metro blast kills 30

CNN: Moscow metro blast kills 30

An explosion has ripped apart an underground Moscow metro train car during the morning rush hour, killing at least 30 people and wounding 70 others, according to the Ministry of Emergency Situations.

It is not clear if the explosion was the result of a terrorist attack, but a police source told Russia’s Interfax news agency they are not ruling out that possibility.

The blast destroyed the second car of the train, which was traveling from Paveletskaya station to Avtozavodskaya station, southwest of the city center, around 8:40 a.m. (12:40 a.m. ET), the ministry spokesman said.

UPDATE: Death toll reported to be 40. Still no word on whether it’s Chechen-Islamic terror or criminal gang pre-election terror.
UPDATE 2: The words suicide bomber are being passed around a lot.

Interfax quoted investigators as saying first information indicated a woman suicide bomber was behind the attack.

Has Dror Feiler asked for a photo of her yet?

Posted by Laurence Simon at 04:17 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack