"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." -- Theodore Roosevelt


One of Salem Oregon's Unofficial Top 1000 Conservative Political Bloggers!!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

35 Killed by Suicide Bomber in Moscow Airport




"A suicide bomber killed at least 35 people at Russia's busiest airport on Monday, state TV said, in an attack on the capital that bore the hallmarks of militants fighting for an Islamist state in the North Caucasus region.

"President Dmitry Medvedev vowed to track down and punish those behind the bombing, which also injured over 150 people, during the busy late afternoon at Moscow's Domodedovo airport. The dead included some foreigners.

"Islamist rebels have vowed to take their bombing campaign from the North Caucasus to the Russian heartland in the year before presidential elections, hitting transport and economic targets. They have also leveled threats at the 2014 Winter Olympics, scheduled for the Black Sea resort town of Sochi, a region some militants consider 'occupied.'

[...]

"The prosecutor's office said the bomb had been classified as a terrorist attack -- the largest since twin suicide bombings on the Moscow metro rocked the Russian heartland in March.

"'The blast was most likely carried out by a suicide bomber.'

"State television said the blast was the work of a 'smertnik,' or suicide bomber. State-run RIA, quoting Markin, said the bomber most likely had a belt laden with explosives.

[...]

"A decade after federal forces drove separatists from power in Chechnya in the second of two wars, the mainly Muslim North Caucasus is wracked by violence.

"Medvedev, who has called the Islamist insurgency in the North Caucasus the biggest threat to Russian security, wrote on Twitter: 'Security will be strengthened at large transport hubs.'

[...]

"No group has yet taken responsibility for the attack, but dozens of Internet surfers, writing in Russian, praised the suicide bomber on unofficial Islamist site kavkazcenter.com.

[...]

"Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who shares power in a 'tandem' arrangement with the less influential Medvedev, has staked his political reputation on quelling rebellion in the North Caucasus.

"He launched a war in late 1999 in Chechnya to topple a secessionist government. That campaign achieved its immediate aim and helped him to the presidency months later; but since then insurgency has spread to neighboring Ingushetia and Dagestan.

"'It does not ... bode well for Russian ties to the North Caucasus and is yet another sign that what Putin started in 1999 by invading the rebellious republic of Chechnya has come home to roost again in the Russian capital,' said Glen Howard, president of the U.S. Jamestown Foundation research institution.

"Tensions between ethnic Russians and Muslims -- at 20 million they make up one seventh of Russia's population -- flared dramatically last month in a string of clashes, which involved thousands of Russian nationalists who attacked passersby of non-Slavic appearance, many of whom were from the North Caucasus.

"Analysts say rebels are planning to increase violence in the run up to 2012 presidential elections, that may well see Putin returning to the presidency.

"'It is a clear jab at the FSB (Federal Security Services) and at the elections,' said Adil Mukashev, an independent expert on terrorism issues."

Quite a problem Russia has had for the past ten years or so. No clear end, and no real solution in sight.

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