Chechen suicide bombings killing at least 75 people this week highlight a new pattern in rebel warfare that will be next to impossible for Moscow to prevent, terrorism and Chechnya analysts said Thursday. “Chechens live in such a violent and tense environment that many become obsessed with getting revenge against Russian troops and those who support them, even at the cost of their own lives,” said Oleg Nechiporenko, head of the National Anti-Crime and Anti-Terrorism Fund think tank. “It is like in the Middle East, where even little Arab children are obsessed with gaining revenge against the Jews.” Exasperation and desperation are prompting an increasing number of Chechens to become shahids, or holy suicide fighters, said Timur Muzayev, a Chechnya analyst at the Panorama think tank, and rebel leader Aslan Maskhadov’s representative in Moscow, Salambek Maigov. They said tensions are being fueled by the lack of any significant improvement in the protection of their rights and safety following the Kremlin-sponsored constitutional referendum in March, which Moscow and the pro-Moscow Chechen administration promised would bring stability. “There are plenty of shahids in Chechnya, especially women, who are psychologically prepared to sacrifice themselves in the fight with the Russians,” said Sergei Goncharov, former head of the KGB’s anti-terrorist squad. “Shamil Basayev or any other warlord could easily pick and organize hundreds of them for their attacks, be it in Chechnya or in Russia, like in the Dubrovka theater raid in Moscow.” Full Story
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