29 March 2010, 21:00
Terror acts in Moscow are this year's second use of suicide bombers and the 16th in 2009-2010
So far, nobody has taken responsibility for today's explosions in Moscow metro; however, power agencies tend to believe that they were organized by Chechen militants, whose leader Dokku Umarov announced this February that the military action zone would expand over the whole Russia's territory. Umarov stated then that the war would return into Russians' houses; and they would see it not only on TV as reported from somewhere away in the Caucasus. The State Duma believes that it is already the case; and new, more efficient forms and methods of fighting terror should be searched for.
Let us remind you that the explosions at Moscow metro stations Lubyanka and Park Kultury were triggered today at 7:56 a.m. and 8:40 a.m. Moscow time respectively. Under the latest data, they killed 37 and injured 65 persons. Let us note here that last year the south of Russia was shaken by a range of explosions; and most of them were committed by suicide bombers.
Dokku Umarov defines the final goal of the Imarat Kavkaz, headed by him, as establishment of Shariat in the Caucasus, independence and establishment of independent Islam in the whole region. On February 8, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation recognized the international organization Imarat Kavkaz (Caucasian Emirate) to be a terrorist one and banned its activities in Russia.
Terror acts in south of Russia in 2009
Explosions in Moscow metro became the second case of using suicide bombers in Russia in 2010. The first incident took place on January 6 in Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan. Five militiamen and the suicide bomber were lost. In 2009, in the republics of Northern Caucasus, 892 persons perished from warfare, including from 172 terror acts.
In 2009, terror acts committed by suicide bombers again became reality for the Chechen Republic. During the year, 9 terror acts with use of 11 suicide bombers were committed there, and one such acts, according to power agents, was prevented: the terrorist who tried to drive in his mined car to the territory of the memorial complex in construction was killed before he could trigger the bomb. In total, in 2009, 280 persons were killed there as a result of 58 explosions.
In Ingushetia, last year, three terror acts with participation of terrorists-suicide bombers were committed, the most resonant and tragic of them by the death roll - 25 persons - was the terror act on August 17 at the building of Nazran GOVD (City Militia Department). Allegedly, the attempt on President of Ingushetia Yunus-Bek Evkurov in summer 2009 was also organized under Umarov's order. Then, the Ingush leader was heavily wounded, but fortunately survived. The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that a statement of the grouping "Riyadus Salikhiin", published on one of militants-supporting Internet websites, ran that the attempt on Evkurov was organized under the order of Dokku Umarov, head of the so-called "Imarat Kavkaz". In 2009, in this republic, 319 persons were lost as a result of 49 explosions.
In Dagestan, in 2009, there were several reports about prevention of large terror acts. One of such cases took place on September 1, in the northern militia post in the suburb of Makhachkala. When militiamen were approaching a car, the terrorist-suicide bomber blew the car and himself up. 13 persons were injured, and one more person later died in hospital. The power of explosion made about 50 kilos in trotyl equivalent. Then, Ali Magomedov, Interior Minister, said that a huge terror act had been prevented. On October 4, 2009, in the city of Derbent in Dagestan local FSB specialists neutralized an explosive installed in a car that was parked in the yard of three five-storey buildings. The bomb looked as a 10-litre canister with aluminium powder and ammonium nitrate with wires and a signal system. Moreover, sappers found about 15 kilos more of ammonium nitrate in the luggage compartment in packs for amplification of the explosion. Last year, 263 persons were lost in Dagestan in 60 explosions.
In Kabardino-Balkaria, a number of subversive acts were committed last November: a transformer substation in the Elborus District and the "Azau-Krugozor" ropeway were blow up. Earlier, the United Information Centre (UIC) of law enforcement bodies of the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic (KBR) had disseminated information about a prevented terror act at the Aushiger Hydroelectric Power Plant (HPP). In 2009, in the republic, at least three terror acts were committed, and in total as a result of 4 explosions 23 persons were lost in this republic.
In Karachai-Circassia, 4 persons were killed in one explosion.
Law enforcement bodies have grounds to believe that Umarov was also involved in terror acts in Sochi, Krasnodar Territory, committed in 2008 and 2009.
In September 2009, in the Predgorny District of the Stavropol Territory the largest ever in the Territory illegal storage of chemicals used in manufacture of explosives was found - 936 kg of explosive (aluminium powder), dispensed into 26 metal canisters.
Terror acts, responsibility for which was taken by militants of Imarat Kavkaz
Members of Imarat Kavkaz took responsibility for a number of resonant crimes committed in Russia.
It refers also to blowing up the "Neva-Express" train last November. Chechen separatists then asserted that the operation "was prepared and held within the series of pre-planned diversions on a number of strategically vital objects of Russia in execution of the order of Dokku Umarov, Amir of Imarat Kavkaz."
The underground movement also took responsibility for murdering Orthodox priest Daniil Sysoev in Moscow. Imarat Kavkaz announced that the murder had been committed by one of its activists because the churchman was "defaming Islam."
Dokku Umarov also stated earlier that militants took responsibility for the accident at the Sayan-Shusha Hydroelectric Power Plant (HPP) last August, which, under their version, was a terror act. However, the Kremlin found this version unreal and refused to comment it.
Terror war against Russia continues, State Duma believes
Mikhail Grishankov, first deputy chair of the committee of the State Duma on security, believes that the terrorist war unleashed against Russia is aimed to destruction of country's stability. He told the "Interfax" that the explosions in Moscow metro demonstrated again that the threat of terror acts in Russia remains rather high. He is convinced that the tragedy has shown that the war on terror should not only continue - new and more efficient forms and methods of this war should be looked for.
Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of the LDPR and vice-speaker of the State Duma, could not exclude, when speaking about possible reasons of the terror acts in the capital, that in this case both well-organized structures and small groups of militants could act. The politician believes that in any case "it is struggle against Russia and effect of external factors, which operate under instructions of our former compatriots nowadays living in London." Mr Zhirinovsky did not exclude that the Islamic factor could play its role, especially in view of the fact that Afghanistan and a number of other countries continue training terrorists-suicide bombers. The bandit formations still present in Northern Caucasus are also a serious destabilization factor, he has added. At the same time, he believes, the reasons connected with intra-Russian showdowns should not be excluded. In the opinion of the LDPR leader, "corruption schemes and fight between groupings" may operate here.
According to Gennady Gudkov, another deputy chair of the State Duma committee on security, a permanently acting operative department of the FSB should be created in Northern Caucasus. He said that the terror acts in Moscow metro revealed serious lacks of the agent-operative work in the Caucasus. He believes that the practice of sending to Northern Caucasus of power agents from other regions for several months is not reasonable. "The staff of the above department should be recruited, for two-three years at least, on a voluntary basis from top-qualification experts. Certainly, they should be paid very high salaries, and social bonuses for them and members of their families should guarantee that if something happens to such employee, his family would stay with the government's support," said the MP.
In the opinion of Vladimir Vasiliev, head of the State Duma committee for security, who linked the explosions with recent counterterrorist operations in Northern Caucasus, so far, it is too early to speak about setting up a special commission for investigating these crimes in the lower chamber of Russian parliament. "We'll consider this topic separately at the sitting of the committee, because it's too serious. But as to the parliamentary inquiry, I think, we need to understand and give people chance to do their work," Mr Vasiliev has noted. In his opinion, "nobody should be pulled up now by any commissions." Let professionals do their work.