Sergey Mikheev (Russia)
I believe that the recent terrorist attacks (in Moscow and Kizlyar) can be directly linked to the fact that over the last few months several prominent militant leaders have been killed in the Caucasus, namely Estemirov and Said Buryatskiy. Special forces and law-enforcement agencies acted in quite an active manner. It is not impossible, therefore, that the terrorists who organized the aforementioned attacks were both seeking revenge and trying to prove that insurgency is still strong and even possesses the capacity to carry out a series of attacks in central Moscow. It is also quite obvious that the roots of these attacks stem from the Caucasus. One of the blasts went off at “Lubyanka” metro station (where the former KGB and the current Federal Security Service headquarters are located) which is quite symbolic.
Over the last 20 years Russia has become immune from terrorism
Were the organizers of these attacks counting on destabilizing the situation in Russia? I think not. It might sound cynical, but despite the devastating and tragic nature of these attacks, Russia has become somewhat immune from such incidents over the last 20 years. So it is almost impossible to destabilize the situation in terms of the entire country with such acts of terror. That is why, in my opinion, the prevailing motive is that of vengeance.
I don’t think that after the two Chechen wars and a large number of terrorist acts in various Russian cities (including Moscow) militants can rely on this particular attack (as horrible as it was) to seriously destabilize the situation in Russia. Or to stimulate the growth of anti-government dissent, which would push the Kremlin to make decisions, favorable for the separatists in the Caucasus. This is an unfathomable chain of events and if anyone thought otherwise, I believe they are wrong.
A third motive might be present, that of working off the money. Because the people who are members of Caucasian insurgency groups have without a shade of doubt links to international terrorist organizations. And to many intelligence services. Money has to be worked off. You have to show that your organization is operational and its financial aid is justified. And that even the elimination of some of its leaders hasn’t influenced its capability.
All world leaders have offered their condolences to the Russian society regarding these horrible attacks. In my opinion, it is a sign of hypocrisy. Let’s be frank: the USA, which carries out its operation in Afghanistan through to its special services (especially the CIA), stimulates and promotes in one way or another a wide array of extremist movements, including those that have connections with Chechen separatists. This is one of CIA’s projects. They were doing this during the First and Second Chechen Wars and are continuing with it nowadays.
Drugs – a good source of income for terrorists
Take a look at the recently captured in Iran Abdulmalik Rigi’s case (he is one of the leaders of “Jundallah” – “Soldiers of Allah”). While testifying to Iranian special services, he openly said that the CIA supported militants in Iran, who had direct contact with “Taliban” and also with the ex-Soviet area (groups in Central Asia and Chechnya). This might sound like a conspiracy theory, but it is supported by facts. By the way, one of this terrorist’s meetings with American envoys was to be conducted in Bishkek. That is to say, someplace directly associated with the ex-Soviet space, including Chechnya.
Another example is the fact that Americans are persistently refusing to start a proper fight against drug production in Afghanistan. Drugs are, naturally, a great source of income for terrorists, including “The Taliban”, which the US is allegedly fighting against, and for many other terrorist organizations. Without such sources of income various terrorists and separatists wouldn’t have the necessary resources to carry out their “work”. What’s more, the CIA itself establishes “black funds” using this money, which are used to conduct special operations not funded by the government (i.e. not transparent).
This is a well-known method which was worked out back in the Seventies. The US did that in the “silver crescent” in South-East Asia. They are, among other things, responsible for stimulating drug production in Afghanistan. Because these drug money can be used to supply the aforementioned “black funds”, which are not officially registered and not supervised by anyone. Americans refuse to fight against drugs despite Russia’s direct request regarding this matter. The US talk profusely about a “reset” and demand that Russia apply pressure on Iran. Yet such a simple thing as fighting with drug production in Afghanistan, which seemingly logically stems from the very essence of the operation they are engaged in, is almost unfathomable to them.
Sergey Mikheev — Deputy Head of the Russian Center For Political Technologies.