RealNews

Radical Islam Influencing Chechen Rebels

A Saudi-born warrior so zealously Muslim that he’s traumatized by even touching nonbelievers has risen to the top echelon of rebels in Chechnya, Russian officials and rebel sources say, a symbol of how a once-secular fight has come under the influence of radical Islam. To the Russian security services, the rebel commander known as Abu Walid embodies Chechnya’s place in the chain of international terrorism — a connection they stress to win Western support for their military campaign in the southern Russian region. He has surfaced as a suspect in myriad terrorist attacks in Russia, from the 1999 apartment house bombings that catapulted Russian forces back into Chechnya after they lost the 1994-1996 war to last week’s explosion on the Moscow subway. Full Story

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