RealNews

In Russia, Terrorism Becomes a Fact of Life

The woman showed up at the Parisienne restaurant with the miniature Eiffel Tower out front around 8:30 p.m. and asked for a table. A suspicious security guard asked her to open her coat and bag, but the woman refused and stalked off. The encounter Tuesday night set off a rapid police blitz. Twenty officers descended on the restaurant on the chance that there had just been a sighting of “Black Fatima,” a Chechen woman supposedly behind a wave of terrorist bombings in Russia over the last year. In the end, police said it was probably just a miffed patron. But the incident offered a glimpse into the skittishness that reigns in this city, where each day police receive 15 to 75 calls from panicked Muscovites reporting possible terrorist threats. The Parisienne scare, said Moscow police spokesman Kirill Mazurin, was “a completely ordinary event for us.” Russians are growing increasingly accustomed to the random vagaries of terrorism, outraged yet also resigned to its inevitability. Last week a female suicide bomber killed five other people just hundreds of yards from the Kremlin. Over the past 14 months, about 470 people have died in terrorist attacks in Moscow, Chechnya and other parts of southern Russia — more than in practically any other country in the world. Full Story

OODA Analyst

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