apartment bombings

Discovering why Russia backs al-Qaeda

At LGF, a further report on a prolonged dispute between U.S. web sites throws light on the Internet activity of pro-Putin and pro-Serb nationalist lobbyists who seek to exploit the Western public’s fears of terrorism in order to gain credibility for their views.

As an LGF commenters points out, perhaps one of the most succinct analyses of this phenomenon was given by a former lieutenant colonel in the Soviet KGB, who in 2007 wrote, among other things:

Americans generally believe that Russia is afraid of Islamic terrorism as much as the U.S.A. They are reminded of the war in Chechnya, the hostage crisis at the Beslan School in 2004 and at the Moscow Theater in 2002, and of the apartment house blasts in Moscow in 1999, where over 200 people were killed. It is clear that Russians are also targets of terrorism today.

But in all these events, the participation of the FSB, Federal Security Service, inheritor to the KGB, is also clear. Their involvement in the Moscow blasts has been proven by lawyer Mikhail Trepashkin, a former FSB Colonel. For this he was illegally imprisoned, and is now suffering torture and deprivation of medical assistance, from which he is not likely to survive.

A key distinction between Russian and American attitudes towards Islamic terrorism is that while for America terrorism is largely seen as an exterior menace, Russia uses terrorism as an object as a tool of the state for manipulation in and outside the home country. Islamic terrorism is only part of the world of terrorism. Long before Islamic terrorism became a global threat, the KGB had used terrorism to facilitate the victory of world Communism.


FSB stokes the tension

In a sign that Russia’s special services may be planning acts of violence on Russian soil which can then be conveniently blamed on Georgians, Lenta.ru reports the head of Russia’s FSB as warning that “Georgian special services” are planning “terrorist acts” [terakty] in Russia’s Southern Federal District. This method of incrimination was used quite widely by the FSB during the first and second Chechen wars – the Moscow apartment bombings being the most notable example –  and it’s no surprise to see it being resurrected in the Georgian context. For good measure, the announcement was coupled with warnings on an imminent reactivation of guerrilla activity in Dagestan, and the discovery of a “Georgian spy network” in the North Caucasus.