SHAKHID’S DAY

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ANOTHER TERRORIST ACT IN CHECHNYA: FOUR POLICE OFFICERS KILLED

Another terrorist act was organized in Chechnya. Separatists officially proclaimed Ahmed Zakayev their enemy.


Four police officers perished in an explosion in the settlement of Meskhen-Yurt, yesterday. It seems that the suicide bomber did not even have a particular target in mind. The young man approached the policemen just because he had happened to notice them and closed contacts on the device he was carrying.

Identity of the suicide bomber was established in short order. The young man was identified as one Shakhidov (the shakhids are martyrs for the faith, i.e. suicide bombers and everyone who perishes in the war with infidels). His family name was a coincidence of course, but another terrorist act in Chechnya involving a suicide bomber was not. It became the third explosion in Chechnya inside of a week. Shakhids had been used in the attempt to assassinate President of Ingushetia Yunus-Bek Yevkurov and in the explosion that demolished the Police Department building in Nazran.

Specialists believe that separatist leaders reverted to what they had practiced in the early 2000s and organized mass training of suicide bombers again. It means failure of the authorities, federal and local alike. It is clear after all that a man with a decent job and adequate living conditions (not to mention a man who trusts the powers-that-be to do right) will never become a shakhid. Also importantly, training of a suicide bomber is a process that takes time and involves a good deal of organization. Candidates ought to be recruited, brainwashed, and taught to handle high explosives. All of that requires at least one more or less permanent base and involvement of a lot of specialists. In a word, the latest developments show inefficiency of security structures and law enforcement agencies in the Caucasus.

Also importantly, the republican authorities abandoned their penchant for announcing that the situation was well in hand and that nobody would be permitted to disrupt peace and stability of Chechnya. Following the terrorist act yesterday, they talked of vindictiveness of terrorists. “They the perished police officers protected the people from criminals,” President Ramzan Kadyrov announced. “They were decent and gallant fellows. They were men of honor. A criminal took their lives and made their children orphans… I’m convinced, however, that even superbly equipped criminals are helpless in the face of the power and will of the Chechen people. We are building cities and villages that amaze visitors from foreign countries. We are building schools, hospitals, and kindergartens. Unfortunately, those who launched the bloody war against the Chechen people many years ago and those who dispatched foreign instructors and mercenaries here wouldn’t let go. They want blood. They are trying to bend us to their will.”

Separatists in the meantime posted a political statement on one of their web sites to the effect that they had sentenced ex-premier of self-proclaimed Ichkeria Ahmed Zakayev to death. Wanted by the Russian authorities for assorted crimes (armed rebellion, organization of illegal armed formations, hostage taking), Zakayev has been hiding in Great Britain whose authorities repeatedly refuse to extradite him to Russia.

Zakayev sided up with Kadyrov not long ago and began making statements in his support. Some Chechen politicians including Kadyrov himself even suggested that Zakayev’s return to Chechnya was possible and could be arranged because stabilization of the republic was impossible with him abroad. A month ago, Zakayev appealed to gunmen to put an end to attacks on representatives of the Chechen authorities as of August 1. Gunmen operating in Chechnya chose to ignore his calls from London. Their activeness in Chechnya and all over the Caucasus increased. They now made the next logical step and proclaimed Zakayev their enemy.

“The statements he Zakayev makes in public show that he has abandoned Islam,” separatist web site stated. “Killing this renegade is every Moslem’s holy duty. He promotes a democratic religion and secularism. He puts man’s law above the Shar’ah Law.”

The government of Chechnya announced yesterday that since Zakayev was in Great Britain, his security was a problem of British law enforcement agencies.

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