Friday, April 19, 2013

Could Chechnya Get Democracy Soon?

The overwhelming development this morning was how a Chechnyan duo, allegedly the Boston marathon bombers, exchanged gunfire with police in a suburb of MA leading to the death of an officer and one of these "bombers". The city is literally under lock down and Friday is shrouded in fear and anxiety.

Perhaps the terrorists won.

While a huge search from door to door goes on in Watertown MA for an individual named Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (check out his social webpage), AP reported that the men were ID'd as originating from a place south of Chechnya called Dagestan. I hopelessly wondered, if not in bad taste, whether this meant Democracy will be brought to Chechnya soon. (Of course, until now, there is no hard evidence that links the Boston bombings to any particular extremist group). 

History has it that muslim geurilla fighters inflitrated into Chechnya , a region of predominantly Sufi background and disseminated the idea that a fight against their Russian overlords was also one of Muslim Jihadi concern. A poor nation with no strategic chance of defeating the Russians were bought through money, arms and training. 

During the first and second Chechnen wars, the Jihadi movement there, dominated by Ibn al-Khattab's IIB, was a dangerous security threat to the Russians. In September 1999, Chechnen rebels managed to get into Moscow and blow up several apartment buildings, killing almost 220 people. During the next several years, the Russians responded by an organized terror of sorts themselves, taking out many rebels and their leaders. The cycle of violence is pretty horrific. Neither civilian schoolchildren nor metro goers have been spared. 

One must be very interested to note that the leaders of these Jihadist movements are primarily of Arab descent, originating from places like Saudi Arabia and Jordan. They received training in Al-Qaeda camps, very likely in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and were then made to migrate to other nations to support Jihadi movements.

The following pictures show the leaders of the militant movement in Chechnya, most of them already dead. The few alive should seriously be considering new options to move operations to and new places they could hide. What the American military might be thinking is anyone's guess.

Ibn al Khattab (dead) : More Info 

Abu al Walid (dead) : More Info

Abu Hafs (dead) : More Info

Shamil Basayev (dead) : More Info

Dokka Usman (alive) : "Bin Laden" of Russia More Info

One wonders what the real motive for these Chechnen brothers were in bombing marathon runners and killing police offers in Boston. Is it because Americans have sided with Moscow in perpetrating violence against Jihadists in Chechna? Or are these two just some disgruntled kids with no ties to international terrorism who had intent to cause massive harm for something that happened to them? If it is, let's hope Chechans are not wrongly targeted and hate crimes are not committed.

We live in a world of two dangerous and polarizing movements. On one extreme is Western capitalistic  onslaught into dangerous territory to capture business interests in the name of democracy. We know for a fact that oil and natural resources are central to this viewpoint.  On the other hand is religious fundamentalists, increasingly upset with pro-western actions, seeking independence and revenge. 

I think and hope that most of us will continue to earn our livelihoods safely in the midst of these extremes. I seriously hope that open spectator international events such as running and cycling will take a serious look at the events in Boston and re-think their security strategy going forward. Who knows if the Tour de France is next?

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