Islamism

Inside Out

In EDM, Mairbek Vatchagaev writes that “locating Tamerlan’s ideological trajectory in the North Caucasus may prove to be little more than a distraction.” He points out that, with impaired links to Chechen culture, Tsarnaev appears to have been relatively isolated from the Chechen world, and probably picked up his Islamist views in Boston, from local Salafists. This would account for his hostility to U.S. Middle East policy, and his choice of the U.S., rather than Russia, as the target for a terrorist attack.

The article also draws attention to the fact that it was only some time after the Boston attack that the potential North Caucasus link began to be mentioned, giving the Moscow authorities an opportunity to become involved in the investigation:

In all this tragedy, Moscow seems to consider itself a winner. President Vladimir Putin said at a press conference that Russia had long sought cooperation from the US in the field of international terrorism (www.golos-ameriki.ru/content/putins-live-show/1648501.html). There was more of a reprimand of the US in Putin’s words than an admission of Russia’s own guilt for the attack in Boston. Moscow interprets terrorism in quite broad terms and includes everyone who is dissatisfied with the Russian political system and seeks to secede from Russia.

It has been observed that one point not addressed in the piece – though raised obliquely in one passage – is the question of whether Tsarnaev might have been a Russian agent.

Meanwhile, an RFE/RL report considers the role social media may have played in interactions between Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his Kazakh college friends Dias Kadyrbaev and Azamat Tazhayakov:

The vKontakte post by Kadyrbaev is striking mostly because of its timing. When it was posted there had already been reports of a shoot-out that had left one suspect dead and another on the run, but at the time, most of the world — perhaps including police — would still not have been able to connect a name to the grainy image of suspect no. 2 being shown on television screens. Kadyrbaev though, had allegedly already known for up to nine hours.

 

Russian cleric demands Palestinian state

Via PressTV:

Russian and world Muslims demand the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, says Chief of the Council of Russian Muftis Sheikh Rawi Ayn al-Din.

The chief of Russia’s highest Islamic institution made the remarks during a Friday prayer sermon in Moscow also attended by Iran’s ambassador to Russia and an accompanying delegation.

British blinkers

Julie Burchill, on the curious but predictable attitude of British media to the flotilla crisis:

Not once did I hear a British interviewer ask any of the so-called secular radicals participating in the flotilla why they are allied with Islamic supremacists who subjugate women, persecute gays, oppress non-Islamic minorities and seek to impose Islam globally.

Shalev: Lebanese ships will be stopped

Israel’s UN Ambassador Gabriela Shalev has said in a letter to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council that the attempt by flotilla organizers to sail from Lebanon to Gaza could escalate tensions and affect peace and security in the region, the Lebanese portal Naharnet reports. The ambassador also said that Israel would exercise its right under international law to “use all necessary means” to prevent the ships from breaking the naval blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip.

New IHH flotilla to sail in late July

Via Ynetnews:

The next flotilla is due to sail in the second half of July, IHH said. The group invited the international media to inspect all goods on board before the convoy sails to "demonstrate their commitment to total transparency".

Israel says the IHH has links to Muslim militants, which the group denies.