Skip to comments.Backgrounder: Chechen Terrorism (Russia, Chechnya, Separatist)
Posted on 04/19/2013 8:18:08 AM PDT by markomalley
Chechens are an ethnic minority living primarily in Russia's North Caucasus region. For the past two hundred years, they have generally been governed by Moscow, though they have had varying degrees of de facto autonomy. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Chechen separatists launched a coordinated campaign for independence, which resulted in two devastating wars and an ongoing insurgency in Russia's republic of Chechnya. Militants in and around Chechnya continue to agitate for independence, though the death of separatist leader Shamil Basayev in July 2006 weakened the separatist movement. However, violence in the North Caucasus has escalated since 2008, and Moscow experienced its most serious attack in six years with the bombing of a metro station in March 2010.
The Chechens are a largely Muslim ethnic group that has lived for centuries in the mountainous North Caucasus region. For the past two hundred years, Chechens have resisted Russian rule. During World War II, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin accused the Chechens of cooperating with the Nazis and forcibly deported the entire population to Kazakhstan and Siberia. Tens of thousands of Chechens died, and the survivors were allowed to return home only after Stalin's death.
Chechnya has experienced several brief periods of de facto independence. In January 1921, four years after the Russian Revolution, Chechnya joined Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachay-Cherkessia, North Ossetia, and Ingushetia to form the Mountain Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. But the following year, the Soviet Union seized control of Chechnya and turned it into a Soviet province called the Chechen Autonomous Oblast. In January 1934, Soviet officials merged the Chechen Autonomous Oblast with the neighboring Ingush Autonomous Oblast, largely to dilute each region's ethnic identity.
During World War II, as German forces moved into the Soviet Union and toward the North Caucasus, many ethnic minority groups subject to Soviet and Russian rule for generations seized on the opportunity presented by the war to try and break free. German forces never reached Chechnya, but Chechen nationalist Khasan Israilov led a revolt against Soviet rule which lasted from 1940 to 1944. After Soviet troops crushed the rebellion, Stalin accused the Chechens of collaborating with Nazi invaders. In 1944, Stalin disbanded the Chechen-Ingush republic altogether and forcibly deported the entire Chechen population to Siberia and Kazakhstan. Chechens were not allowed to return to their homeland until 1957, when Stalin's successor, Nikita Khrushchev, restored the province amid de-Stalinization.
In the early 1990s, following the Soviet collapse, separatists in the newly formed Russian Federation Republic of Chechnya started an independence movement called the Chechen All-National Congress. Russian President Boris Yeltsin opposed Chechen independence, arguing that Chechnya was an integral part of Russia. From 1994 to 1996, Russia fought Chechen guerillas in a conflict that became known as the First Chechen War. Tens of thousands of civilians died, but Russia failed to win control of Chechnya's mountainous terrain, giving Chechnya de facto independence. In May 1996, Yeltsin signed a ceasefire with the separatists, and they agreed on a peace treaty the following year.
But violence flared again three years later. In August 1999, Chechen militants invaded the neighboring Russian republic of Dagestan to support a local separatist movement. The following month, five bombs exploded in Russia over a ten-day period, killing almost three hundred civilians. Moscow blamed Chechen rebels for the explosions, which comprised the largest coordinated terrorist attack in Russian history. The Dagestan invasion and the Russian bombings prompted Russian forces to launch the Second Chechen War, also known as the War in the North Caucasus. In February 2000, Russia recaptured the Chechen capital of Grozny, destroying a good part of the city center in the process, reasserting direct control over Chechnya. Tens of thousands of Chechens and Russians were killed or wounded in the two wars, and hundreds of thousands of civilians were displaced. Since the end of the second war, Chechen separatist activity has diminished, and the July 2006 death of separatist leader Shamil Basayev--in an explosion many see as the work of Russia's internal security services--seems to have stifled the movement. Since 2008, however, violence has markedly increased in the North Caucasus, according to a report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Incidents of violence rose from 795 in 2008 to 1,100 in 2009, and suicide bombings quadrupled in 2009, the majority of which occurred in Chechnya.
Information about groups linked to the conflict in Chechnya is hard to confirm, but experts say the struggle is between local separatists--a loosely organized group with semi-independent commanders--and the Russian army. According to the U.S. State Department, the Islamic International Peacekeeping Brigade (IIPB) is the primary channel for Islamic funding of the Chechen guerillas, in part through links to al-Qaeda-related financiers on the Arabian Peninsula. The United States also defined the Chechnya-based Special Purpose Islamic Regiment (SPIR) and the Riyadus-Salikhin Reconnaissance and Sabotage Battalion of Chechen Martyrs as terrorist entities in February 2003.
Chechnya's long and violent guerrilla war has attracted a small number of Islamist militants from outside of Chechnya--some of whom are Arab fighters with possible links to al-Qaeda. Among the Islamist militants, the most prominent was Basayev, Russia's most wanted man. Basayev fought for Chechen independence for more than a decade, and was the mastermind behind the worst terrorist attacks on Russian soil. On July 10, 2006, Basayev was killed in an explosion in neighboring Ingushetia. His death cast doubt on the future of the Chechen separatist movement, and allegedly led to the surrender of five hundred militants. Four months later, Russian security forces killed Abu Hafs al-Urdani, the Jordanian-born commander of foreign fighters in Chechnya. Since then, violence in Chechnya has ebbed, though terrorism in the areas of Dagestan and Ingushetia has increased.
The most notorious and devastating attack came in September 2004, when Basayev ordered an attack on a school in Beslan, a town in North Ossetia. More than three hundred people died in the three-day siege, most of them children. There were thirty-two militants, though only three or four were Chechens. All but one of the militants were reportedly killed during the siege. Since then, violence has generally targeted individual officials and government offices rather than large groups of civilians. Attacks include:
Experts say there are several ties between the al-Qaeda network and Chechen groups. A Chechen warlord known as Khattab is said to have met with Osama bin Laden while both men were fighting the 1979-89 Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Alexander Vershbow, a U.S. ambassador to Russia, said shortly after September 11, 2001, "We have long recognized that Osama bin Laden and other international networks have been fueling the flames in Chechnya, including the involvement of foreign commanders like Khattab." Khattab was killed in April 2002.
Zacarias Moussaoui, who was convicted for his involvement in the September 11 attacks, was reported by the Wall Street Journal to be formerly "a recruiter for al-Qaeda-backed rebels in Chechnya." Chechen militants reportedly fought alongside al-Qaeda and Taliban forces against the U.S.-backed Northern Alliance in late 2001. The Taliban regime in Afghanistan was one of the only governments to recognize Chechen independence.
Russian authorities, including Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, have repeatedly stressed the involvement of international terrorists and Bin Laden associates in Chechnya--in part, experts say, to generate Western sympathy for Russia's military campaign against the Chechen rebels. Russia's former defense minister, Sergei Ivanov, claimed that a videotape of Khattab meeting with bin Laden had been found in Afghanistan, but Russia has not aired the tape publicly.
and they’re debating the immigration bill!!
clear em out!!!!
The bigger question here is: Are there links between Chechen groups and U.S. "neo-conservative" lobbyists in Washington?
Sorry to inundate multiple threads with the same post, but I think this bears repeating and should be broadcast from one end of the U.S. to the other:
One of the dirty secrets of this whole situation that may or may not come out of these media reports is that the U.S. has been an active partner with Chechen separatists in Russia over the years. Do a search on the interesting history of a group called the American Committee for Peace in Chechnya (ACPC). They were established in Washington D.C. in 1999 but changed their name to the American Committee for Peace in the Caucasus in 2004 after the Beslan massacre in Russia. Their board of directors is filled with many of the same neo-con @ssholes from the Bush administration who were supposedly leading the U.S. "war on terror" back then.
And just in case anyone has any doubts about where the priorities of these @ssholes lie, just keep in mind that many of them were clamoring for the Clinton administration to launch military action against Serbia to help protect Islamic radicals in Kosovo, too.
If anyone out there still trusts his/her own government, you're deluded.
The dead younger brother is named Tamerlain. Check out Tamerlane. Google search shows he’s reminiscent of Genghis Khan. Can’t make this stuff up.
Two Dagestani brothers nembers of Chechen Wahhabi cell identified as responsible for Boston terror
The mainstream media will love saying that these guys are Caucasians.
These guys will attack just about anyone. They have been fighting governments in China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Georgia, been fighting our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, have perpetrated attacks in Iran, Pakistan and India, and have fought against Hezbollah and the Syrian government in Syria and Lebanon. And, the Chechyns have even fought against the Taliban and other Al Queda cells because they felt they did not go far enough.
Do you suppose Vladimir Putin pressured BO to stop these US groups who were supporting the Chechens????
Perhaps this explains BO advising Putin that he “could be more flexible after I am re-elected”.
Great. Another great big batch of world history I’m going to be expected to learn about The Religion of Peace.”
Hmmmm parallels and irony. The Serbian resistance to Nazis, with the notable exception of the Bosnian Muslims who formed two Waffen SS Divisions with their Nazi friends. They had a common enemy the orthodox Serbs principally and secondarily the Jews. The irony is the US's complicity in aiding and abettting the Bosnian Muslims in their so-called war of independence with the Serbs under Yugoslavian rule.
Media always says things like seperatist, rebel, guerilla, ethnic, dissenter, radical, freedom fighter, insurgent, reformer, etc.
Very good post! The ignorant press is complicit in the sick ties which have occurred and are continuing such as in Syria with the jihadists there.
TCA, once again.
I’ll leave it to any long-time freeper to translate...
Y’all can thank God the Gun control bill didn’t pass because it’s just going to get worse and now everyone with a brain (a good one that is) should prepare themselves.
Ah, CAUCASIANS! See, I told you it was angry white guys! < /lefty rant >
It’s been a long day. I kept hoping they would capture Dzhokhar alive, and glad they did. Hopefully they can get information out of him. I was surprised that so many were wanting him to be killed.
There is a picture showing him just a couple of feet away from the little boy who was killed.....