KADYROV TOURS ARAB WORLD

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KADYROV TOURS ARAB WORLD

Nezavisimaya Gazeta, September 20, 2001, p. 1

Kremlin-appointed leader of Chechnya Akhmed Kadyrov is touring the Middle East on President Putin’s orders. He was in Egypt yesterday. Kadyrov is accompanied by muftis from the Caucasus region.

Kadyrov intends to inform the Arab states of events in southern Russia and explain that what has been happening in Chechnya has nothing to do with a jihad, but is a “commercial war which is Basayev’s and Maskhadov’s way of earning their living.”

RUSHAILO MEETS WITH PRESIDENT OF UZBEKISTAN

Nezavisimaya Gazeta, September 20, 2001, p. 1

Touring Central Asian states of the CIS on President Putin’s orders, Security Council Secretary Vladimir Rushailo met with President Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan in Tashkent yesterday. Rushailo and Karimov discussed more effective coordination in the battle against international terrorism, and in mutual and general security. After the talks, Rushailo said they had “reached an understanding” on combating “terrorists themselves and their sponsors.”

After Tashkent, Rushailo will visit Dushanbe, to hold talks with the leadership of Tajikistan.

RUSSIAN-AMERICAN TALKS RESUME

Nezavisimaya Gazeta, September 20, 2001, p. 1

The next round of Russian-American consultations has started in Moscow. Delegations are headed by Undersecretary of State Richard Armitage and Senior Deputy Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Trubnikov. The talks will last two days and focus on the problem of Afghanistan. The terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11 will be discussed as well.

IVANOV INVITED TO A MEETING OF NATO DEFENSE MINISTERS

Nezavisimaya Gazeta, September 20, 2001, p. 1

Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov will attend an informal meeting of NATO defense ministers in Naples between September 25 and 27. According to military-diplomatic sources, defense ministers will meet to discuss strategic stability in the wake of the recent terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington. The situation in the Balkans, especially in Macedonia, will be discussed as well.

Ivanov will also attend bilateral meetings with US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, NATO Secretary-General George Robertson, Defense Minister of Italy Antonio Martino, and some other European counterparts.

GUDERMES IS STILL CLOSED OFF

Nezavisimaya Gazeta, September 20, 2001, p. 7

Strong security measures remained in force in Chechnya throughout Wednesday, in the wake of the latest developments in Gudermes, Argun, and Grozny. Movement along the roads was restricted, and the capital of Chechnya is closed to vehicles from outside. Gudermes was also closed off.

The military and civilian authorities are still assessing the consequences of the attack by extremists against Gudermes. Life in the town has returned to normal, all schools and hospitals are open. Neither residents nor the authorities complain about comprehensive ID checks by the federal troops. Six residents of Gudermes were killed by the guerrillas during the fighting. Almost 20 homes, a health clinic, and the central marketplace are in ruins. The federal troops say the town was attacked by Aslan Maskhadov’s men. This assumption is confirmed by propaganda from sources close to Maskhadov.

Anatoly Yezhkov, Deputy Director of the Federal Security Service and head of the regional headquarters of the counter-terrorism operation, convened a conference with the federal troops command in Khankala. Yezhkov is determined to discover which officials, military or civilian, allowed Gudermes to be attacked. Prime Minister Stanislav Ilyasov advocates tighter security measures: he means a review of the operation of checkpoints on the roads and additional security measures at night. Ilyasov says that the checkpoints are no obstacle for the extremists, and that Chechen villages remain unprotected at night. The prime minister advocates more active recruitment of local residents into the police force.

Federal Minister for Chechnya Vladimir Yelagin admits the lack of coordination between the military command and the civilian authorities. He hopes to work out an effective mechanism of cooperation, together with the General Staff, in the near future.

CONFLICT IN CHECHNYA IS BECOMING TRULY INTERNATIONAL

Trud-7, September 20, 2001, p. 3

Fund-raising for the Chechen mujahedin was organized in the mosques of Peshawar, capital city of the province in the north-west of Afghanistan, where the Taliban movement began. According to Salim Safi, chief of the Peshawar bureau of the NNI Pakistani news agency, Kaza Hussein Ahmad alone raised the equivalent of $190,000 “for the Muslims of Chechnya, persecuted by the infidels”. Ahmad is the leader of the fundamentalist Jamaat i-Islami group. Other sponsors also paid money into the bank accounts specified by Chechen emissary Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev.

Such actions are organized openly and widely publicized. Abu Daud, a military instructor and an associate of Osama bin Laden (bin Laden himself is hiding in the mountains near Kandagar), even called a special news conference in the West in 2000. He announced that bin Laden had sponsored transportation of 400 specially trained mercenaries to Chechnya.

Intelligence of the Northern Alliance reports that a whole village for Chechen families has been built near the Afghan town of Mazari-Sharif, controlled by Islamic fundamentalists. A special training camp was established nearby, where young Chechens are taught military skills. Mercenaries from Central Asian states and some Arab countries are trained there as well. There are even some mercenaries from China. Sources say that graduates from the camp are taken away by Taliban officials.

Russian secret services also have evidence of the internationalization of what began as a local conflict in Chechnya. The Federal Security Service has obtained a copy of a speech in memory of Abu Bakar, an Arab mercenary and explosives instructor, killed in Chechnya not long ago. It states that “Allah told him to take the jihad beyond Afghanistan and Pakistan.” Here is another excerpt: “Emir Khattab left for Tajikistan. He drew up detailed plans of the operations there, in which our brothers played an active role. Special attention was given to training our Tajik brothers for the jihad.”

VENGEANCE FIRST, CATASTROPHE NEXT?

Trud-7, September 20, 2001, p. 2

Andrei Nikolayev, Chairman of the Defense Committee of the Duma: The retaliatory strikes will probably be based on US technical superiority. High-precision weapons systems will be used against locales where terrorists are gathered. I do not even rule out the possibility that the Americans will decide to use tactical nuclear weapons.

The consequences of America’s acts of vengeance are easily predictable. It will be a humanitarian catastrophe first, when hundreds of thousands – perhaps even millions – will cross borders into nearby states in an attempt to flee air-strikes. If Afghanistan is bombed, the refugees will flee to Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Iran… A strike against Algeria could send thousands of refugees to Europe, primarily to Italy and France. The next phase is predictable too: Muslims who lose relatives will try to even the score. Even if only one out of every thousand takes up arms, we will have a million guerrillas all over the world. There are a million Algerians in France alone…

FIGHTING IN AFGHANISTAN IS EXTREMELY DIFFICULT

Trud-7, September 20, 2001, p. 2

Boris Gromov, governor of the Moscow region, Hero of the Soviet Union, Colonel General: It’s not my business to give advice to the Americans, you understand. They are professionals. However, my personal experience of fighting in Afghanistan shows that fighting there is always extremely difficult – due to the terrain and the religious and ethnic make-up of the locals. Of course, not everyone in Afghanistan supports the Taliban, but there are many fanatical followers there.

That is why everything should be weighed and considered with utmost care before any operation is initiated. It is one thing if it is a short operation by the US Air Force alone. If something more serious is meant, like deployment of ground troops, then Washington should remember that for every soldier in the trenches it will need at least three or four to guard communications, carry munitions, fuel, food, for military hardware maintenance, and so on.

First and foremost, however, the United States must obtain proof that Osama bin Laden is really behind the terrorist attacks. What if it’s somebody else? The US should not project its wrath on the whole Islamic world. The terrorists who destroyed the World Trade Center and damaged the Pentagon are not true Muslims. One look in the Koran will show that Islam is a peace-loving religion. Those who commit crimes under the flag of Islam only discredit the true faith.

It is pointless now to try predicting the consequences of an American operation in Afghanistan, since we don’t know what form it is going to take. As for Russia, I categorically object to any involvement of the Russian Armed Forces.

Sure, we should cooperate with the US in the war on international terrorism. But we should emphasize diplomatic cooperation, and cooperation between secret services above all. This is essentially what Moscow is proposing, I believe.

RETIRED OFFICER HAD ICBM CODES

Izvestia, September 20, 2001, p. 3

Sources in the PR department of the Stavropol Territorial Directorate of the FSB say that the officer, aged 60, was arrested and released soon afterwards. No one is going to charge him with stealing state secrets. This officer chaird the commission for destruction of classified equipment in one of Russia’s regions after the disintegration of the Soviet Union; he committed a crime when he retained codes for encryption devices and a fragment of some equipment he once helped to design. The officer retired in 1997 and settled in Stavropol. The FSB is confident that the lieutenant colonel did not plan to sell anything.

Indeed, the officer never tried to find a buyer for what he kept at home. When questioned by detectives, he said that what he had could be sold for about $10,000. This is too modest a sum, of course. Experts say that by using the documents, foreign secret services could have figured out the key and algorithm of encryption used by the Strategic Missile Forces. The consequences would have been serious – from the ability to access information in classified channels to interference with missile control.

One question remains to be answered. If the officer was taken into custody in summer, why would the secret services delay reporting it? Were they intending to make a report “on fighting terrorism successfully in connection with the deterioration of the international situation?

OLD SUBMARINES WILL BE TRANSFORMED INTO CARGO SHIPS

Rossiiskaya Gazeta, September 20, 2001, p. 1

Governor Anatoly Yefremov of the Arkhangelsk region says the Rubin Design Bureau is continuing work on a project involving refitting nuclear submarines withdrawn from service to carry general cargo and fuel.

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