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Thread: Russia's Involvement With Terrorism

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    Default Russia's Involvement With Terrorism

    A thread for posts relating to Russia's involvement with terrorism.

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    Default Re: Russia's Involvement With Terrorism

    Is Al Qaeda a Kremlin Proxy?
    By J.R. Nyquist

    Last month a journalist friend in Poland sent me a translation of an interview with FSB [KGB] defector Alexander Litvinenko. The following testimony, offered by Litvinenko, was published by FAKT. Alexander Valterovich Litvinenko (b. Voreonezh, 1962) served in the counterintelligence agencies of the Soviet KGB, and after 1991, as a counter-terrorism expert in the Central Staff of the MB-FSK-FSB (KGB successor organizations). In 1997 Litvinenko served in one of the most secretive departments of the Russian KGB -- the Department for the Analysis of Criminal Organizations. He was a senior operations officer and deputy head of the Seventh Section. Litvinenko defected from Russia and was granted political asylum by the United Kingdom in May 2001.

    In a July 2002 article titled Ayman al-Zawahiri's Russian Adventure, I offered the following analysis: "Given Zawahiri's travels to Russia and China, given the full context of Russia's double game in Chechnya (described in last week’s column), we ought to entertain the possibility that China and Russia secretly supported the terrorists who attacked America on 9/11."

    Poland's FAKT contacted Litvinenko after the London bombings last month and the following conversation was reported:

    FAKT: Alexander, who, in your opinion, is the originator of this [London] terrorist attack?

    A. Litvinenko: You know, I have spoken about it earlier and I shall say now, that I know only one organization that has made terrorism the main tool of solving political problems. It is the Russian special services. The KGB was engaged in terrorism for many years, and mass terrorism. At the special department of the KGB they trained terrorists from practically every country in the world. These courses lasted, as a rule, for a half-year.

    Specially trained and prepared agents of the KGB organized murders and explosions, including explosions of tankers, the hijacking of passenger airliners, strikes on diplomatic, state and commercial organizations worldwide.

    FAKT: Could you name ... some of the terrorists prepared at the "special courses" of the KGB-FSB?

    A. Litvinenko: The bloodiest terrorists in the world were or are agents of the KGB-FSB. These are well-known, like Carlos Ilyich Ramiros, nicknamed "the Jackal," the late Yassir Arafat, Saddam Hussein, Adjalan (he is condemned in Turkey), Wadi Haddad, the head of the service of external operations of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Hauyi, the head of the communist party of Lebanon, Mr. Papaionnu from the Cyprus, Sean Garland from Ireland and many others. All of them were trained by the KGB, received money from there, weapons and explosives, counterfeit documents and a communication equipment for carrying out of acts of terrorism worldwide.

    FAKT: Some may object that each of the listed figures, and the forces supporting them, were engaged in solving their own political problems.

    A. Litvinenko: Certainly, all these figures and movements operated under their own slogans; however, none of them especially hid their "intimate" ... relationship with the Kremlin and Lubyanka. There is a simple question: whether the Russian special services would train and finance people and groups that were not supervised by Lubyanka and did not serve to the interests of the Kremlin? You understand perfectly, they would not. Each act of terrorism made by these people was carried out as an assignment and under the rigid control of the KGB of the USSR. And [the terrorism] ... is not casual after the disintegration of the USSR and [reform of the KGB]....

    FAKT: Every terrorist you have named is from 'the old staff' of the KGB. Could you name someone from recent history?

    A. Litvinenko: Certainly, here it is. The number two person in the terrorist organization al Qaeda, who they are crediting with the series of explosions in London, Ayman al-Zawahiri, is an old agent of the FSB. Being sentenced to death in Egypt for terrorism and hunted by Interpol, Ayman al-Zawahiri, in 1998, was in the territory of Dagestan, where for half a year he received special training at one of the educational bases of the FSB. After this training he was transferred to Afghanistan, where he had never been before and where, following the recommendation of his Lubyanka chiefs, he at once ... penetrated the milieu of bin Laden and soon became his assistant in al Qaeda.

    FAKT: Could you hint at least, where from do you have such data?

    A. Litvinenko: I can. During my service in one of the most secret departments of the FSB, top officials from the UFSB of Dagestan, who had directly worked with Ayman al-Zawahiri ... were called to Moscow and received high posts.

    FAKT: What can you say concerning the acts of terrorism in London ? From what region and with what forces was this strike directed?

    A. Litvinenko: In reply to this question I can definitely say that the center of global terrorism is not in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan or the Chechen Republic. The terrorist infection is spread worldwide from Lubyanka Square and the Kremlin cabinet. And until the Russian special services are outlawed, dispersed and condemned, the terrorism will never stop: bombs will blow up and blood will be shed. Terrorism has no expiration date.... I would like to repeat, that all the terrorists, whom I have named, were supported by the heads of the Soviet and Russian special services - Yuri Andropov, Vladimir Putin, Nikolay Patrushev and others. These people are the main terrorists.... And until we condemn them ... global terrorism will continue.

    Such was the FAKT interview with former FSB-KGB officer Alexander Litvinenko. Related to this, in 1998 I asked a former Russian intelligence official how Moscow might successfully pull off a surprise nuclear attack against the United States without suffering a devastating retaliation. He replied without hesitation, saying: "If you ever hear that Arab terrorists have attacked an American city with nuclear weapons don't believe it." The attack, he said, would be from Russia.

    Even now I don't fully understand how a proxy WMD terrorist attack on the United States would be exploited. Exactly what is Moscow trying to achieve? What is the strategic follow-up? I was told that a mass missile strike on America would follow. I am reminded of San Renxing's recent commentary on a secret Communist Party speech about China's plans to kill 100 to 200 million Americans: "Unable to believe in the existence of such wickedness ... people would rather think the [war] 'speech' cannot be true or it's not to be believed."

    I will end this commentary with a quote from the text of Viktor Suvorov's Spetsnaz.

    [Widespread terrorist and sabotage operations in advance of World War III] are known officially in the GRU as the "preparatory period," and unofficially as the "overture." The overture is a series of large and small operations the purpose of which is, before actual military operations begin, to weaken the enemy's morale, create an atmosphere of suspicion, fear and uncertainty, and divert the attention of the enemy's armies and police forces to a huge number of different targets, each of which may be the object of the next attack.

    The overture is carried out by agents of the secret services of the Soviet satellite countries and by mercenaries recruited by intermediaries. The principal method employed at this stage is "gray terror," that is, a kind of terror which is not conducted in the name of the Soviet Union. The Soviet secret services do not at this stage leave their visiting cards, or leave other people's cards. The terror is carried out in the name of already existing extremist groups not connected in any way with the Soviet Union, or in the name of fictitious organizations.

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    Default Re: Russia's Involvement With Terrorism

    Dangerous Liaisons: Covert ''Love Affair" Between Russia And Hezbollah – Part 1

    Since the tragedy of 9/11, the President of the Russian Federation has never missed an opportunity to remind the Western world that his country was the first one to stage a war against global terrorism. Translated from the "Kremlin language" it meant fighting against the Chechens, who refuse to disarm themselves. Putin is definitely right in claiming that Russia's battle against them had started much earlier than the 9/11-terror attack took place. Revolt of the nations of North Caucasus opposing foreign occupation dates back to the end of the 18th century, even before Tsarist Russia finished conquering the region. Since then each and every uprising was quelled brutally accompanied by genocide and deportation of the local population. Every new generation of the North Caucasian people tried, in vain, to regain its freedom.

    The same repeated itself during the nineties of the previous century. But then, the new players – Islamic extremist organizations from abroad, entered the scene. They decided to transform Chechnya, which managed to gain its independence, into their main bridgehead inside the collapsed Soviet Union. Putin, who rose to power against the background of the infiltration of Islamic militants to Dagestan, used the situation to declare that the Chechen liberation movement is an indivisible part of the global terrorist network. Foreign Islamic elements, which supported Chechnya, were put on the Russian terror list. But there was "not enough room" on this list for the rest of the terrorist organizations, which were not suspected of hostile activity against the Kremlin.

    Furthermore, several of them earned Russian sympathy and were "honored" with Moscow's courting. This was Putin's revival of the traditional Soviet policy. During the USSR era its leadership used to divide the international terrorists into categories; "freedom fighters" and "radical elements". The first served Moscow's geopolitical interests and received its support. The others, acting against the USSR, or declining to accept its sponsorship, were labeled "terrorists". Today Moscow's policies and methods are identical.

    The pro-Iranian Hezbollah stands out among those who benefit from the Kremlin's support. Its fighters are guilty of murdering hundreds of American and French citizens in the eighties. During the previous decade its emissaries committed two huge terrorist acts in Argentina, killing almost 120 people. Today Hezbollah's terrorists are fighting coalition forces in Iraq. Putin's declarations about "Russia's uncompromising battle against international terrorism" are taking place simultaneously with the contacts of the Russian Ministry of foreign Affairs with the leaders of Hezbollah.

    Their emissaries in Russia recruit potential suicide bombers without restraint or opposition on behalf of the local authorities. They purchase arms in the areas of the ex-USSR, which are now under Russian control. Russian ex-military experts train militants of Hezbollah before they infiltrate Iraq.

    The Imam asks for Russian help

    The relations between Russia and the Shiite's religious leadership in Lebanon started to develop in the beginning of the seventies. The spiritual leader of the Lebanese Shia community, Imam Moussa Al-Sadr, visited Moscow in 1972 and asked Soviet authorities to issue humanitarian aid to his people.

    At the same time cooperation between the Marxist factions of the PLO that were active in Lebanon and Soviet military intelligence – GRU, intensified greatly. Several soviet officers (speaking fluent Arabic) even visited Palestinian terrorist training camps in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon between 1972-1975. Using their connections in PLO they managed to establish contact with Iranian opposition members and radical Lebanese Shiite groups, which also were training in Palestinian camps at that time.

    Later, these contacts between Shiite extremists and GRU officers, allowed access of the Soviet intelligence to the AMAL and the Hezbollah leaders. In the beginning of the eighties, after Al- Sadr's disappearance (1978) Moscow established tight relations with Nabih Berri, following the strengthening of his position as AMAL's leader. The head of the KGB branch in Beirut, Yuri Perfiliev, and GRU officers acting in Syria and Lebanon, conducted links with Berri. On the contrary, Hezbollah in the beginning tried to avoid any direct contact with Moscow representatives at that time. Its spiritual leaders even expressed hostility towards the USSR because of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan and oppression of the Muslim nations in the Soviet Union.

    In September 1985 Imad Mughnieh's (the head of the special operations unit of Hezbollah) militants abducted four employees of the Russian Embassy in Beirut. In exchange for setting them free the abductors demanded to cease all Syrian Army actions against Hezbollah, FATAH, Sunni radicals and left wing militia bases in Beirut and Tripoli. Moscow accepted these terms and put pressure on Syria, stopping the fighting.

    Concurrently, the head of the KGB in Beirut Perfiliev, using the sources of Walid Jumblatt's intelligence services made a direct contact with Hezbollah's spiritual leader Sheikh Muhammad Fadlallah. A day after they have met for the second time, three of the kidnapped employees of the Russian embassy were set free. The fourth one – a senior officer of the KGB, was murdered, but the main reason of his death was more in the power rivalry between the KGB and Soviet military intelligence in Lebanon and less in Hezbollah's intentions to harm Soviet representatives. After that incident there was no substantial data on contacts between Moscow and Hezbollah for at least a decade. But, according to the testimony of GRU agent in Sweden Stig Berling, Soviet military intelligence continued to cooperate with terrorist organizations in Lebanon until 1993.

    Azerbaijani Defense Minister's deputy and the head of the Azerbaijani secret service Department of operations (until April 2005) Taufik Babayev, claims that in 1994 the Russian intelligence SVR (ex-Foreign Department of the KGB in the Soviet era) tried to renew contacts with Hezbollah. Babayev was responsible for keeping an eye on Iranian activities directed against his country and Tehran's connections with Islamic extremist organizations.

    According to Israeli sources Babayev discovered that at the end of 1994 the head of SVR, Evgeny Primakov, using his close relations with Syria and Iran, found a channel to contact Hezbollah.

    By the way, the same Yuri Perfiliev, who managed relations with Fadlallah during the eighties, worked for the SVR in 1994.

    Diplomats on a Secret Service

    Primakov's appointment to the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry in January, 1996, brought drastic changes in Moscow's foreign policy. The pro-western orientation of his predecessor gave way to the revival of traditional Soviet diplomacy. The main manifestation of the change was the process of rapprochement between Russia and the Arab world, India and Iran. Concurrently, Primakov continued to define the goals of the Russian intelligence services. His close confidant, Vyacheslav Trubnikov, was appointed to lead the SVR (Sluzhba Vnesnei Razvedki), and coordinated all actions with his patron throughout his tenure in the office. Primakov has continued nurturing all of the initiatives and projects that he started as head of the SVR. Several months after he had replaced the previous Foreign Minister, he started to seek contacts with Hezbollah. In December, 1997, the Russian ambassador to Israel, Michail Bogdanov, admitted during an interview that Moscow constantly keeps in touch with Sheikh Nasralla's subordinates. According to him, the contacts are kept primarily through the Russian embassy in Beirut. Bogdanov noted: "our cooperation with the organization is meant to encourage restraint. Less then a month before this interview, Primakov had visited Beirut. While he was conducting official meetings with Lebanese government figures, his attendant, Viktor Posovaluk, secretly met with the leaders of Hezbollah, including its General Secretary's deputy, Naim Kassem. Later in Moscow, during his meeting with journalists, Posovaluk called Hezbollah a "national liberation organization".

    He came back to Lebanon in May, 1998, and again unofficially met with Naim Kassem., Posovaluk was conducting the contacts with Hezbollah on behalf of the Russian Foreign Office until he died in the summer of 1999. All this time he was the Russian President's special envoy to the Middle East and a deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. Incidentally, he also managed contacts with representatives of the Taliban.

    After his death, several meetings between representatives of the Russian Foreign Office and Hezbollah took place in 2000-2001. During his conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Sharon in November, 2003, President Putin admitted the existence of such contacts, but claimed that they were conducted solely for the sake of receiving information on three abducted Israeli soldiers.
    Dangerous Liaisons: Covert ''Love Affair" Between Russia And Hezbollah – Part 2

    Envoys of the Ummah or…

    Russian communication with Hezbollah is not reserved for diplomats only. Official Islamic leaders of Russia also take part in these liaisons. The majority of Muslims in Russia belong to the Sunni branch of Islam. After the USSR collapsed, they were marked by extremist Sunni preachers from Arab counties as a preferable objective for the expansion of their influence. Following the war in Chechnya, their activity was forbidden, and most of the foreign charity organizations and institutes for the propagation of Islam were declared to be supporters of terrorism. But such a harsh attitude is not applied to Shia fundamentalist organizations, such as Hezbollah. They do not constitute a threat to the Russian regime, they are not forbidden, and there are no laws against contacting their representatives abroad. The first official delegation of high ranking Russian Muslim leaders came to Beirut to meet with the representatives of Hezbollah in January, 2002. Mufti Nafigulla Ashirov, the leader of the Muslims living in Russia's Asian regions, led the delegation. To describe Nafigulla's status and level of influence in Russia, it is enough to note that during the elections of 1999 his main assistant, Abed Al- Vahked Niyazov, led the party list of the Unity block in voting districts located in the Urals regions, accumulating more than 20 million Muslim votes to support Putin.

    During the visit to Lebanon, Nafigulla, together with representatives of Hezbollah, took part in the summit of Islamic religious leaders. In the farewell speeches Russian Muslims- called for strengthening Moscow's relations with Sheikh Nasrallah's organization.

    Since then, the interactions between the Russian Muslim leadership and the leaders of Hezbollah have become regular.

    The Institute of Oriental Studies` expert, Vladimir Akhmadov, has written a lengthy article devoted to the importance of contacts with Hezbollah for the promotion of the Russian interests in the Middle East. He claims that relations with the Shia organization strengthen Russia's position in the region, particularly regarding the issue of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

    If this is really so, Putin's ambitions to rehabilitate Russian influence in the area expressed through tightening of relations with Syria, Iran and Turkey will lead to the strengthening of relations with Hezbollah. The current occurrences in Lebanon encourage this tendency.

    Legitimizing Terrorism

    Before the Israeli army's departure from Lebanon in Spring, 2000, Russia accepted, to a certain extent, the legitimacy of Hezbollah's terrorist actions against Israel. The most blunt expression this attitude came during Evgeny Primakov's visit as a Minister of Foreign Affairs to the countries of the region in April, 1996. Before visiting Israel, he said that "all the tension in Southern Lebanon may not be blamed on Hezbollah, while Israel is still occupying part of this country". Simultaneously with this statement, Moscow offered to mediate the negotiations between Israel, Syria and Iran regarding the issue of Hezbollah. Primakov also claimed that Israel is not striving sufficiently to find - political solution for the problem of South Lebanon. One can ascertain the Russian attitude towards Hezbollah after the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon by looking at the way in which the Russian state news agency, RIAN, covered accidents on the Lebanese border since May, 2000. Most of the reports are based on information from the Hezbollah-owned Al-Manar channel. RIAN's reporters are fond of reminding their audience that all the terrorist actions of Hezbollah on the border are efforts to "regain the Shaaba Farms – Lebanese territory, occupied by the Israeli forces".

    "The Hezbollah must receive proper representation in Lebanese governmental institutions," announced the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov one month after Rafik Hariri's assassination. The official speaker of the Russian Foreign Ministry added that this Shia organization plays an important role in the country's political, economic and social life. He pointed out that Hezbollah is represented in the Parliament and acts within the limits of the Lebanese Constitution.

    Fadlallah Calls for Russian Involvement

    In the beginning of Hezbollah's rise, its leaders expressed hostility towards Moscow. At that time, such a position was backed by Hezbollah's external policy, well explained by one of its leaders, Hussein Al-Musaui (who established AMAL al-Islami, which later merged with Hezbollah). "We are fighting against East and West as one – against the USSR and against the USA" he said in his interview to the Arabic paper "Al-Kifah Al-Arabi" in January, 1984. His words closely corresponded to the Iranian policy at that time. But since the end of the eighties and particularly after the USSR's collapse, ayatollahs' attitudes towards Moscow have changed. Russia and Iran have abandoned mutual suspicions and tension, and moved towards strategic cooperation. Iranian influence and the new world order affected Hezbollah, driving its official leaders to alter their policy towards Russia. Not, however, the spiritual leaders – they occasionally criticized Moscow's policies as harshly as their Iranian colleagues did. For example, in February, 1995, Sheikh Fadlallah condemned the Russian authority for unleashing war in Chechnya. Moscow's struggle to return to its traditional policy in the Middle East and to become again an opponent of American hegemony in the region was realized noted by Sheikh Nasrallah and his environs during the second half of the nineties. These Russian intentions serve Hezbollah's interest, and its leadership plans to use Moscow to strengthen their organization's regional and international position. This is why representatives of Hezbollah, since the second half of the nineties, have called for tightening relations with Russia and assisting in the growth of its involvement in the area. Russian sources reported that in May, 1998, the General Secretary of the organization, Sheikh Nasrallah, talked about cooperation between Moscow and Hezbollah on regional issues during his meeting with Victor Posovaluk. A year and a half before that, Sheikh Fadlallah had even agreed to give an interview to the Russian conservative newspaper, "Zavtra". The spiritual leader of Shia terrorists suddenly proved to be a supporter of increasing interaction with Moscow. Fadlallah stated that "Russia has to give priority to the relations with Eastern countries, especially Arab and Muslim ones. This is the area where Russia can play an important role and fully exercise its potential, including the economical sphere, to be the counterbalancing power to the West". With the expansion of Russian involvement in the Middle East, the growing role of Hezbollah in Lebanese internal policy and the exacerbation of the contradictions on the issue of its military wing, the interest of Hezbollah's leadership in promoting connections with Russia undoubtedly will grow.
    Dangerous Liaisons: Covert ''Love Affair" Between Russia And Hezbollah – Part 3

    Moscow Base for Recruiting "Shahids'"

    With the collapse of Soviet rule, hundreds of Islamic extremists from all over the Muslim world spread across Russia. Emissaries of the different Sunni organizations started to compete for influence among the ex-Soviet Muslims. They also encouraged a religious "renaissance" in the North Caucasus, accompanied by separatist ambitions with an Islamic tint.

    Hezbollah's agents were also among the extremists flooding the country, yet in the beginning the Shia emissaries did not show any special interest in local population. They strived to expand their influence and "guardianship" among thousands of students, immigrants and merchants who came to Russia from the UAE, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestinian authority. Hezbollah's humanitarian aid and preaching of Islam was meant mostly for Palestinians and Arabs – Shiites that constituted a pool of potential terrorists after their return to the Middle East. Hezbollah's agents had one more interest. The military plants, which were unable to pay their workers, poverty and corruption at all levels of the local authorities and army, had turned Russia into the source of cheap modern weaponry for the Shia terrorist organization.

    The first reports in the Russian media of Hezbollah's presence in the country started in September, 1993. One of the stories noted that Russia had become a bridgehead for militant Shiite agents' infiltration into Western and Central Europe. Several years later, Hezbollah's branches appeared in major cities, such as Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Voronezh. The central branch – in Moscow – controlled the other branches in Russia, additional ex-Soviet states (Kazakhstan, Ukraine Belorussia and Moldova) and in several countries of Eastern Europe. The Russian infrastructure of the Shia organization finally formed in the late nineties and was headed by Dr. Hassan Allek. He resided in Moscow, keeping in constant touch with high-ranking representatives of the Iranian and Lebanese embassies. Hadj Hassan Salame was second in command of the local organization's hierarchy, as he was a representative of its special operations unit ("Muntamat al-Jihad al-Islami" - MJI or "Islamic Jihad Organization"). His responsibilities were as follows: recruiting of activists to the military wing, purchasing of weaponry and its transfer to Lebanon. Dr. Muhammad Haidar headed the second branch in size in Saint Petersburg.

    To cover up the dealings in Russia, the "Ahl al-Beit" ("The Prophet's Family") association for open cultural and religious activities was created by Hezbollah's representatives. Through its first phase, it worked with Lebanese students only. Later it became open to Shiites from Iraq, UAE, Yemen, and African countries (and not just students). Today it unites thousands of the local Muslims, migrants and immigrants from Middle Eastern countries, Azerbaijan and Central Asia. The association also initiated several years ago an intensive campaign of conversion to Islam, directed at the Russian atheist population of Christian-orthodox origin. As a result of this campaign, the number of converts to Islam is rising progressively, and many of the recent converts became prominent activists in Russian Shia community. "The Prophet's Family" maintain close relations with the Shia leaders of Iran and Lebanon. Delegations on behalf of the association visit Kum and Tehran every year.

    The major centers of the association's activities are Moscow and Saint Petersburg (there are 600 thousand Shiites in this city alone).

    In the end of November, 1999, the head of the Israeli Security Service (SHABAQ) at the time, Ami Ayalon, announced that he had incontrovertible evidence of military activity of Hezbollah in the territory of Russia. He claimed that this organization recruited Palestinian students who were being sent to training camps in the North Caucasus, where they acquire "knowledge" which they use to commit terrorist acts after returning to the Palestinian Authority. Ayalon added that Hezbollah in Russia conducted meetings with representatives of Palestinian Islamic Jihad's different branches and Islamic extremists from Hizb Ut-Tahrir. The announcement of the head of SHABAQ was substantiated by testimonies of captured Islamic Jihad activists, who had been trained in Russia and were arrested by Israeli security forces upon their return to the Palestinian Authority. In their reply, representatives of the Russian embassy in Israel denied having any information on Hezbollah's actions in Russia. However, in April, 2002, the heads of FSB in Moscow admitted that the Shia organization was acting in the Russian capital and its outskirts.

    The Kremlin Prefers to Ignore

    Before the Israeli army's departure from Lebanon in Spring, 2000, Russia accepted, to a certain extent, the legitimacy of Hezbollah's terrorist actions against Israel. The most blunt expression this attitude came during Evgeny Primakov's visit as a Minister of Foreign Affairs to the countries of the region in April, 1996. Before visiting Israel, he said that "all the tension in Southern Lebanon may not be blamed on Hezbollah, while Israel is still occupying part of this country". Simultaneously with this statement, Moscow offered to mediate the negotiations between Israel, Syria and Iran regarding the issue of Hezbollah. Primakov also claimed that Israel is not striving sufficiently to find - political solution for the problem of South Lebanon. One can ascertain the Russian attitude towards Hezbollah after the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon by looking at the way in which the Russian state news agency, RIAN, covered accidents on the Lebanese border since May, 2000. Most of the reports are based on information from the Hezbollah-owned Al-Manar channel. RIAN's reporters are fond of reminding their audience that all the terrorist actions of Hezbollah on the border are efforts to "regain the Shaaba Farms – Lebanese territory, occupied by the Israeli forces".

    "The Hezbollah must receive proper representation in Lebanese governmental institutions," announced the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov one month after Rafik Hariri's assassination. The official speaker of the Russian Foreign Ministry added that this Shia organization plays an important role in the country's political, economic and social life. He pointed out that Hezbollah is represented in the Parliament and acts within the limits of the Lebanese Constitution.

    Fadlallah Calls for Russian Involvement

    FSB has conducted surveillance on Hezbollah's activities in Russia since the middle of the nineties. From the very beginning, Russian security officers met with representatives of the organization and explained the "rules of play" to them. Similar meetings took place at the outset of each visit of Israeli officials (Minister or Prime Minister) to Moscow, and the Russians have warned Hezbollah to "stay cool". However, the Russian authorities never have banned the activity of the organization in the country. In 2003, the Russian Supreme Court published a list of 15 terrorist organizations whose activities in the country were forbidden, based on the data provided by FSB. Hezbollah was not among them. At the end of November, 2003, Israeli Prime Minister Sharon visited Moscow and personally asked Putin to include the Shia terrorists on the abovementioned list. The Russian President promised to "find a legal way to this problem". But nothing changed. On April 14, 2005, deputy of the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alexander Saltanov, even claimed during his visit to Israel that he knew nothing about Putin promising something to Sharon. Saltanov added that if any legal proof of Hezbollah's involvement in terrorist acts in Russia would be found, the organization would appear on the black list.
    Dangerous Liaisons: Covert ''Love Affair" Between Russia And Hezbollah – Part 4

    Russian Weapons to "Free Jerusalem"

    Hezbollah's special operations unit ("Muntamat al-Jihad al-Islami" - MJI or "Islamic Jihad Organization") emissaries have been active in Russia since the middle of the nineties. Residing in Moscow, Imad Hadj Hassan Salame heads this special operations unit. His men were an integral part of Hezbollah's international network for smuggling weapons to Lebanon. Salame, coordinating these activities in Russia, was also responsible for assisting the emissaries of MJI in Ukraine, Belorussia, Moldova, Kazakhstan and Georgia. Sometimes he even provided the logistic support to his colleagues in Eastern European countries, such as Bulgaria, Romania, Czech Republic and Slovakia. In his turn, Salame was backed up by certain arms and diamonds dealers of Lebanese origin working in Africa, who had close relations with Russian arms dealers. Imad Kabir (also known as Imad Bakri), Talal ad-Din and Muhammad Darbakh were among them. As key figures in Hezbollah's weapons smuggling network in Western and Central Africa, these three play an important role in equipping and financing the organization. Imad Bakri, for example, started his career as a diamond merchant. In 1995, with the assistance of Iranian intelligence, he managed to establish good personal relations with the President of Zaire (Mobutu Sese Seko) and his ally – the leader of UNITA - Angola rebel movement (Jonas Savimbi). The same year, Bakri started smuggling to Angolan rebels large quantities of weaponry from the countries of the former Warsaw Pact. His major partner in this business was an ex-GRU officer, arms trafficker Viktor Bout. His responsibility was to purchase the weapons throughout the CIS countries and Eastern Europe, and to deliver them by planes to Africa. Angolan militants were paying for guns with diamonds. Precious stones were sold to Lebanese merchants residing in Belgium, who cooperated with MJI (Aziz Naser was the head of the Belgian diamond dealers network).

    Immense profits allowed Bakri to expand his activity into additional African countries. In 1997, he and his Russian partner started to sell not only light arms but also heavy weaponry, such as APC's and surface-to-air missile systems. From each deal, Hezbollah received its share of revenues. Later Bakri started also to transfer part of the Russian and Eastern European weaponry to Lebanon via several routes. The shortest route was through Armenia – the weapons arrived there by planes and by trucks traveled over Iranian and Syrian territory to Lebanon. The other way was more tangled. Weapons were flown from Europe to one of the West African states, and from there transported via Sudanese ports on board merchant ships to Lebanon. The Iranian intelligence and African MJI backed up transfers of arms. Ali Akhbar Mohtashemi, ex- ambassador of Iran to Damascus and Khartoum and one of the initiators of Hezbollah, played a major role in the beginning of these arms deliveries. Additionally, the Moscow-based MJI branch was authorized to seek new "sources of weapons" in Russia to be purchased for the Shia terrorists and the Iranian intelligence service. One of its most daring operations was the attempt in the summer of 1995 to purchase, for the paltry sum of $600 thousand, elements for the construction of atomic warheads. Abu-Harif and Abu-Madjid – two MJI agents – were involved in this mission, which included smuggling of the components out of the Russian military plant in the city of Elektrostal, situated not far from Moscow.

    The Hezbollah's Honorary Consul

    The Russian MJI branch was also responsible for providing assistance to Hezbollah's infrastructure in CIS and Eastern European countries. Depending on geographic size and "military resources", one or several emissaries of the organization were sent to reside in some of these states. They worked undercover as Lebanese, Iranian or French "merchants", conducting legal trading activity. In some states, the agents of Hezbollah even married local women to acquire citizenship. This helped them to carry out their main role – provide assistance in logistics and in mediating the contacts between local dealers, authorities, etc. and Hezbollah's envoys arriving in the country to purchase specific equipment or for other purposes.

    Lebanese businessman Mahmud Hamoud stands out among such agents residing in CIS. He came to Rumania in 1992 and for five years conducted trading activity successfully. Assisted by his business contacts, he even became the Lebanese consul in Bucharest. Due to this official status and his wealth, he gained access to the highest officials, high ranking officers and, of course, leading businessmen – not only in Rumania, but also in Moldova, which he used to visit frequently. Over the course of the years, information about his secret mission on behalf of the Shia terrorist organization started to pile up in Bucharest. The Rumanian intelligence SRI initiated surveillance, observing and acuminating data on his travels and meetings. In the beginning of 1997, he was forced to leave Bucharest for Kishinev. He quickly became the Lebanese consul to Moldova. A year later, the President of the country even appoints him Moldova's official representative in some Arab states. Hamoud became an exclusive economic mediator on cooperation between this ex-Soviet republic and the Arab world. In the beginning of 2000, he received citizenship in Moldova. A year later, he married Olesya Diakova - daughter of the ex-chairman of the state Parliament. Yet again, at the end of 2001, Moldavian intelligence received proof of his involvement with Hezbollah and activities on behalf of this organization in the region. This led to Hamoud's expulsion from Moldova, shortly after his wedding. However, his job was already done – while he was staying in Kishinev, undercover cells of Hezbollah were organizing among the Arab students studying in the city. The ULIM University was the center of this activity. In 2001 (shortly before Hamoud's expulsion), 2245 students, mostly from Muslim countries, studied in Moldova (427 from Jordan, 569 from Syria, 107 from Sudan and 31 from the Palestinian Authority). More then 600 of them were involved in the activities of different Islamic cells, mainly in Hezbollah's.

    Bazaar in Pridnestrovie

    Shortly after Hamoud's arrival in Moldova, commercial relations were established between the Shia agents and arms traffickers in the area of the conflict in Pridnestrovie. Following the collapse of the USSR, the local Russian leaders declared the independence of the republic, counting on becoming a part of Russia. Moscow's covert support of the separatists led to the armed confrontation with the Moldavians. When the war ended, Russia's position and influence on local leaders remained, as did the deployed Russian forces in the region. Yet as a result of the battles, all the economic infrastructure in the Republic of Pridnestrovie was demolished, except the military industry built in the Soviet era, which became the main source of profit for this separatist district.

    A high-ranking MJI delegation came to Pridnestrovie in 1997 in the guise of "Lebanese merchants". They visited the "Elektromash" plant in Tiraspol and the "Pribor" factory, being accompanied by the representatives of the "Sheriff" – the exclusive local arms company, which belongs to the son of Vladimir Smirnov - the President of Pridnestrovie at that time. He personally authorized the deal selling light arms, machine guns, ammunition, anti-tank missiles and portable anti-aircraft rockets to Hezbollah's emissaries. The MJI network provided logistical support for transfers of this weaponry via Bulgaria, Armenia and Abkhazia (another Moscow- backed separatist region in Caucasus).

    The Iranian Trail

    Besides the transfers of weapons purchased by MJI operatives in Russia, there was another way to arm Hezbollah with Russian weapons – by means of the military cooperation between Moscow and Tehran. In several cases, the data substantiating these transfers has became known to the Western media and was published as part of an effort to stop the transaction. For example, on April 16,s 1997, Bill Gertz wrote in The Washington Times: "Russia is selling advanced air- defense systems to Iran, including the latest version of a hand-held anti-aircraft missile that Tehran intends to provide to Hezbollah terrorists. Such transactions would violate a pledge Russian President Boris Yeltsin made during the 1994 summit with President Clinton to block all new conventional arms sales to Iran. The missile sales talks took place in February and last month between Iranian intelligence agents and Russian arms brokers in Moscow, who offered two S-300 series anti-aircraft missiles launchers (SA-10 and SA-12) for sale at discount prices, Pentagon intelligence officials said." The newspaper also learned that this deal worth $180 million includes, besides 96 missiles for SA-10 and SA-12, 500 shoulder launched "Igla" missiles, part of which Iran planned to hand over to Hezbollah.

    History repeated itself three and a half years later. On October 24, 2000, American sources reported, "Since yesterday 325 Russian missiles are being loaded into freight train and a ship to be transferred to Iran. The deal between Moscow and Tehran on purchasing of 700 "Igla" missiles and other weapons worth $1.75 billion was signed three weeks ago." The deal came about, even despite President Clinton's personal appeal to President Putin to cancel it. Israeli sources reported that part of the missile shipment later fell to Hezbollah's lot. In January, 2005, Israeli security sources expressed anxiety following the upcoming deal between Russia and Syria on delivery of "Igla" missiles to Damascus. The Israelis fear that the missiles will be transferred from Syria to Hezbollah and may even fall into the hands of the Palestinian terrorist organizations.

    Russian Instructors Return to Lebanon

    In the second half of the nineties, agents of MJI started to recruit Russian ex-officers from elite and special units for training missions in Lebanese bases of Hezbollah. Initially, several dozen ex-"military advisers" who had trained the Syrian Army in the eighties in Lebanon were hired. As mercenaries they came back and taught Hezbollah's terrorists in the Bekaa Valley how to plant mines, sharp shoot and collect intelligence. An interview with one of them was published in the Russian newspaper "Evreyskii Mir" (Saint-Petersburg) in June, 2000.

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    Russian Secret Services' Links With Al-Qaeda
    Michel Elbaz, AIA general coordinator

    The right hand of bin Laden, the Number Two in "Al-Qaeda" was trained at the secret base of the Russian secret services on Caucasus, the former Lieutenant Colonel of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) Alexander Litvinenko told the Polish Rzeczpospolita newspaper. Until the end of 1998, Litvinenko had served in several top-secret units that specialized in struggle against the terrorist and the mafia organizations.

    Litvinenko claims that Ayman al-Zawahiri, who headed at that time the terrorist organization "Al-Jihad al-jadid" (it was formed from the Egyptian emigrants - activists of "Al-Jihad" and "Al-Jamaah al-Islamiyah"), in 1998 secretly stayed on the territory of Russia.

    Alexander Litvinenko
    Up to the beginning of 1998, the process of merging of the two most radical Islamic organizations – "Al-Jihad al-jadid" and "Al-Qaeda" was completed. Al-Zawahiri became the second person in the hierarchy of the Osama bin Laden's "Al-Qaeda". In February 1998, being together in Afghanistan, they have created the World Islamic Front for Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders. However, at that time the Western secret services yet did not pay any special attention to al-Zawahiri's activity (several years prior to that, he freely visited the USA, and several countries of the Western Europe). The hunt for him, as well as for his fellows in arms began only after the explosions in the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, in August, 1998.

    Only then the CIA analysts with the help of the Egyptian and Israeli colleagues managed to restore retrospectively a part al-Zawahiri's "activity schedule" for seven months prior to the attacks in East Africa. As it was discovered, since January till the end of July, 1998, he personally supervised the preparation for the terrorist attacks in Kenya and Tanzania.

    Communiqué of the Islamic Front for Liberation of Sacred Places concerning the attack against the American embassy in Nairobi. August, 11, 1998.
    For this purpose al-Zawahiri had left the territory of Afghanistan several times, in particular traveling to Sudan (in the middle of May, 1998). In parallel, he paid a lot of attention to strengthening "Al-Qaeda's" ties with secret services of Khartoum and Tehran.

    Strange links

    Although our American and Israeli sources do not know about al-Zawahiri staying in Russia, they have supplied us with some other interesting details. According to this information, in the first half of 1998, leaders of "Al-Qaeda" tried in every possible way to increase the level of coordination with terrorist groups worldwide. For this purpose the leaders of many such groups and cells of "Al-Qaeda" were invited to Afghanistan. Getting close to the large-scale attack on the USA, Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri have organized a "congress" of the adherents from all over the world. It took place on June, 24, at the capital of the talibs - Kandahar, in southern Afghanistan. Among the visitors were the representatives of the Balkan countries, the Middle East and Africa, and even of the radical Islamic groups from the republics of the former USSR. The Uzbeks and the Chechens were especially outstanding. Besides them, the Kazakhs, the Kyrgyz, the Dargins, the Lakks, and the Tatars had also secretly arrived to Kandahar. All of them came here separately, using sideways. A week prior to the beginning of the conference, a group of well-armed al-Zawahiri's assistants had left by jeeps in the direction of Herat. Following the instructions of their patron, in the town of Koh-i-Doshakh they met three unknown men that arrived from Russia via Iran. The latter called themselves by Muslim names, despite the fact that the two of them had a clearly Slavic appearance. After their arrival in Kandahar, the 'guests' split up. One of the "Russians" was directly escorted to al-Zawahiri, and he did not participate in the conference.

    Later on, this 'Russian guest', for almost six years disappeared out of the secret services' sight. He reappeared only in 2004. On February, 13, in the capital of Qatar the car of the ex-president of the Chechen Republic Zelimhan Yandarbiev was blown up.

    Yandarbiev's car after the explosion
    Couple of days after his death, the authorities of the United Arab Emirates detained two Russian citizens. They turned to be the officers of the secret services. For the last three months they had been working in the embassy of Russia in Doha. After Yandarbiev's assassination these two Russians together with several other of their fellow citizens have hastily left Qatar. Having found out all this, investigators have carefully studied video and photo materials made by the counterspies during the last months on a course of supervision over the Russian diplomatic mission. The results were surprising not only for the Qatar's secret services, but also for their Western colleagues. It appeared that at the end of November, 2003, the embassy was visited by the above-mentioned "Russian", who met al-Zawahiri in the summer of 1998 in Kandahar. Although he had changed his appearance, the special computer software precisely established that he was the one, who had met bin Laden's right hand…

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    Russian Secrets of Al-Qaeda's Number Two
    Michel Elbaz, AIA general coordinator

    Previous article

    Ayman al-Zawahiri – number two in ”Al-Qaeda" - at least in the 1990s, had connections with the Russian secret services. Not only do the former Lieutenant Colonel of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) Alexander Litvinenko, and our confidential sources provide evidence to this. Some additional data was acquired by the Americans in autumn, 2001, after the overthrow of the talibs' regime in Afghanistan. All available information allows drawing a certain picture, though not a complete one, of the mysterious liaisons between the architect of the September, 11th attacks and the successor of the almighty KGB.

    Azeri route

    A mysterious guest from Russia visited Ayman al-Zawahiri at the end of June, a little more than a month before the bombing of the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. According to Alexander Litvinenko, the same year al-Zawahiri visited Russia. Such voyage could have stayed unnoticed by the Western secret services only if it had taken place during the first seven months of 1998. It is known that at this period al-Zawahiri had been leaving Afghanistan several times, without drawing much attention of the Americans and the Israelis.

    Litvinenko points out that, once in Russia, al-Zawahiri had undergone a 'stage' at a secret FSB base located in the North Caucasian republic of Daghestan. In mentioned period of time, there existed several routes through which the "Afghani Arabs" arrived from Afghanistan to Daghestan. Iranian and Turkmen routes were considered the most convenient ones. Both of them led to Azerbaijan, the North of which borders with Daghestan. After the beginning of the warfare in Afghanistan, in autumn, 2001, the CIA got hold of al-Zawahiri's portable computer. It contained information about the first trip of Al-Jihad al-jadid leader to Azerbaijan, and then – to Russia, in 1996. In December that same year, he arrived in Daghestan under the legend of a Sudanese businessman, accompanied by two assistants. All three were detained by the Russian Border Guard for violating the local passport regime, and were then delivered to the FSB officers.

    Al-Zawahiri in jail
    Al-Zawahiri's and his men's laptop, electronic agendas, and various documents were confiscated. The electronic devices and the papers contained encoded messages in Arabic as to the activity of Al-Jihad al-jadid in the Caucasus.

    Suspected of links with the Chechen separatists, the three detainees found themselves in jail. They spent there about half a year. Their trial took place in April, 1997. FSB representatives then assumed an air of not understanding who the Sudanese businessman really was. This appears to be rather strange, taking in account the fact that by then al-Zawahiri was already for several years leading one of the world's most dangerous terrorist groups. Moreover, in the first half of the 1990s, his emissaries on several occasions were in Tajikistan, where the Russian special services till today have rather strong positions. Besides that, until al-Zawahiri's arrest, articles about him, as well as his photos, had been already published in the Arabic and the French mass media. One can hardly believe that the successor of the almighty KGB – the Federal Security Service – knew nothing about all this. Even more impossible seems to be the fact that in the period of six months, the Russian experts were unable to decipher the writings that were confiscated from al-Zawahiri and his 'assistants'.

    Tablet in the entrance of Makhachkala court
    In may, all the three went free. Then al-Zawahiri leaved his companions for about two weeks. It is unclear, where he was in this period of time, and what his activity was. Only afterwards did al-Zawahiri leave Russia.

    Mosaics fragments

    After summing up all the available information, an interesting picture becomes visible. In the end of 1996, al-Zawahiri comes to Russia for the first time. He is detained for violating the passport regime. He is put under arrest, being suspected of links with the Chechen separatists. During the trial, representatives of the FSB acquit him of all the suspicions. Once free, he "disappears" for almost two weeks. Only then does al-Zawahiri leave Russia.

    In the first half of 1998, al-Zawahiri is totally occupied by the preparation of the terrorist bombings against the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. In the same period, using the same route as previously, he secretly visits Russia. After crossing the border, al-Zawahiri disappears once again, but this time his destination is known – it is a secret FSB base in Daghestan.

    By all appearances, already after his return to Afghanistan, al-Zawahiri receives a strange envoy from Russia. This happens a little more than a month prior to the terrorist blasts in the East Africa. In consequence, there appear most serious suspicions that the man, who visited al-Zawahiri in June, 1998, is directly connected to the Russian secret services…

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    Unknown History of Jihad
    Michel Elbaz, AIA general coordinator

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    Messages about the links of one of the main ideologists and leaders of jihad with the Russian secret services sound a bit strange. Could it be so that the pathways of the Kremlin's clandestine battel and the fanatic adherent of the most radical current in the Islamic fundamentalism intersected in some way? And it is not at all clear what sense does it makes for the Russian secret services to deal with one of the most odious personage in modern times. To get answers to these, and many other questions, one must attentively examine some of the pages in the history of the 20th century…

    Shadow of the Great Game

    Incidentally or not, but the Russian adventures of Ayman al-Zawahiri amazingly coincide in their timing with the activization of the USA in Central Asia. Few days before the date, when al-Zawahiri left Daghestani jail due to the mercy of FSB, Turkmen President Saparmurad Niiazov

    Portrait of Saparmurad Niiazov, Ashkhabad,
    Sept, 1997
    (photo: Corbis)

    put his signature under the protocol on "concluding creation of a consortium for laying the gas pipeline via Afghanistan, till the 1st of October, this year". Thus, the chances grew considerably for the realization of a grandiose project for transportation of the Central Asian energy carriers via Afghanistan to the Pakistani Indian Ocean ports. At the first stage, the pipeline was supposed to deliver gas from Turkmenistan. Later on, Uzbekistan was expected to join the project. The key role in realization of this plan was played by the American company UNOCAL International Energy Ventures Ltd. In case of success, Washington's influence in the former Soviet republics of Central Asia would have multiplied. Moreover, the states of this region would have got an opportunity to finally end their dependence of Moscow. Until the export of their energy carriers was performed through Russia, the Kremlin had a powerful gear of pressure over its former satellites.

    As soon as, in the early 1990s, the idea of this pipeline emerged, the Americans and their Pakistani partners agreed that its construction would be possible only after termination of the internecine war in Afghanistan. After the Talibs appeared, it seemed that it is them, who will

    Taliban troops
    (photo: Corbis)
    bring their country the long-awaited stability. However, regardless of their military success, to the North of Kabul the fights never ceased. At the end of 1997, the USA came forward with the initiative of negotiations between the Talibs and the Northern Alliance. In November, UNOCAL company organized the visit to Washington of a high-ranking Talibs' delegation. During the meetings with them, the issue of pipeline construction had been discussed, as well as the question of future internal Afghani negotiations. It is after the return of this delegation to Kandahar that al-Zawahiri began to prepare the terrorist attacks on the American embassies in Africa. However, there was still more than half a year left until the realization of his plan. And for the moment, the events were unfolding according to the American scenario.

    Few months after Talibs' visit to Washington, secret talks began between them and the representatives of the Northern Alliance. Furthermore, the Central Asian capitals were visited by Yan Kalitsky (White House adviser for the CIS states), and Robert G. Card (US Deputy Minister

    Robert G. Card
    of Energy). Following this, the Turkmen President came to Washington. On the 23rd of April, there was a meeting between the two leaders. As soon as the month of May, the American representative in the UN, Bill Richardson, arrived in Kabul. With his direct participation, and with the assistance from the Pakistanis, the backstage contacts between the Talibs and their adversaries were activated. They continued during the next two months, and were supposed to end by signing a cease-fire approximately till the end of August. It was expected that after this a national unity government would be created, naturally opening a way to construction of the gas pipeline.

    Powerful blasts in the morning of August, the 7th, in Nairobi and Dar As-Salam destroyed all these plans. As it had to be expected, Washington's reaction followed soon after. On the 20th of August, the Pentagon delivered a missile attack on the Afghani territory. Few days later, Talibs' envoy in the UAE, Mohammed Madani declared: "After these totally unjustified missile strikes, we are in the state of war with the USA".

    American diplomats and the representatives of UNOCAL had vanished from

    President of Russia V. Putin (L),
    Political leader of
    Northern Alliance B. Rabbani (C),
    and President of Tajikistan I. Rahmonov
    Afghanistan. Further work on the gas pipeline project became prospectless. Negotiating process terminated. Getting unspoken support from Tajikistan and Russia, the troops of Ahmad Shah Massoud made an effort to take the offensive. Although the latter had been successfully beaten off by the Talibs, the threat to Russian interests in the region passed away…

    Suspicious coincidence

    On the 18th of September, 1981, the Soviet official daily Pravda published the statement by the USSR

    Anwar Sadat's speech
    in Israeli Parliament, Nov, 1977

    Ministry of Foreign Affairs as to the aggravation of the relations with Egypt. In the 1950s – 1960s, this Arab country was Kremlin's main strategic partner in the Middle East. The situation had changed after the death of the President Nasser, and Anwar Sadat's coming into power in autumn, 1970. Step by step Moscow had lost all of its influence over Cairo. In the summer, 1972, Egyptian leader demanded a withdrawal of the thousands of Soviet troops from the country. The following year, after the war with Israel, Sadat made his final choice, when he agreed to negotiate with his adversary under the US aegis.

    Sadat assassination, Oct, 1981
    This dialogue finished with signing the Camp David agreements. Egypt's rapprochement with the USA, and the peace agreement with Israel caused Kremlin's fury. Moscow finally lost its most important outpost in the Middle East. As a result, its positions in the region had been considerably weakened. Hereafter, the Soviet Union began to support almost openly the adversaries of Sadat in the Arab world. This made the relations between the two countries even more complicated. In the first half of October, 1981, several officials of the Soviet embassy were accused of espionage by the Egyptian authorities. In response, Moscow recalled its ambassador from Cairo. The staff of Egypt's Defense Attaché Office was instructed to leave the USSR in seven days.

    Publication in Pravda reflected the Kremlin's position concerning these events. Its last passage contained a hardly concealed threat towards the Egyptian regime: "The Soviet side leaves itself the right to undertake any necessary actions directed toward protection of its interests". After two and a half weeks, during military parade in Cairo, the President Sadat was killed by the officer, who was member of the radical Islamic organization Al-Jihad.

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    Soviet Past of Worldwide Jihad
    Michel Elbaz, AIA general coordinator

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    Ayman al-Zawahiri is today the number two in Al-Qaeda, and the first-rate ideologist of worldwide jihad movement. He had a great influence over the worldview of Osama bin Laden himself, and played one of the key roles in preparation of September 11, 2001 attacks. He also gained wide publicity as the leader of international organization Al-Jihad al-Jadid, which, in the 1990s stood, behind many of big terrorist attacks against Hosni Mubarak regime in Egypt and beyond it. Before that, al-Zawahiri became famous as the participant of the Arab voluntary movement in Afghanistan, in the period of Soviet occupation. Further on, he has been actively supporting the Mojahedin in the Balkans, in the Northern Caucasus, and in the Middle East.

    Al-Zawahiri's theoretical writings and his practical participation in jihad favored the emergence of a mythical image of this man. However, al-Zawahiri's way to the summit of the jihad movement began only after he left Egypt for Afghanistan for the second time, in 1986, and since then never returned to his mother country. Rich epos that was further on put together about this man by his numerous followers is almost free of references to the events, from which his career had started. Together with this, some little-known details in his biography of that time present this ominous and still puzzling personage in a totally new light.

    Jihad on secret services' order

    Shukri Ahmad Mustafa
    It is known that the ideology of the modern Islamic fundamentalism emerged in the first half of the 1960s. President's Nasser repressions against the Muslim Brotherhood gave a push to it. As a result, viewpoints of many young activists of this organization had undergone a radicalization, which was reflected in the writings of the well-known Sayyid Muhammad Qutb. Under the influence of his ideas, after Anwar Sadat's rise to power (at the end of 1970), first radical groups emerged beyond the framework of the Muslim Brotherhood. Jamaat Al-Takfir Wal-Hijra appeared earlier then the others, under the leadership of Shukri Ahmad Mustafa. As a whole, he gathered about half a thousand adherers. As his representative in the Upper Egypt Shukri Mustafa assigned the Palestinian, Salih Abdallah Siriyah. Not long before their meeting, the latter one had founded his own group – Shabab Muhammad – that counted a little more than a hundred members.

    Salah Siriyah thought that an Islamic state in Egypt could be created only after a military coup d'Etat.

    Salih Abdallah Siriyah
    He paid special attention to propaganda among the cadets of the military institutions. In spring, 1974, Siriyah and his men undertook an unsuccessful attempt to seize Cairo Military Academy. After that, his group was smashed up. This, however, did not have any impact on the activity of Shukri Mustafa. His organization persisted till the mid-summer, 1977. After several militant actions, most of its members were arrested. Mustafa and four of his closest associates were executed.

    It is after the arrest of Salah Siriyah and Shukri Mustafa that the fact of their close ties with the Libyan secret services came into light. Siriyah even acknowledged that he personally met with Muammar Qaddafi. It followed from the evidence of the group's members that they had undergone their training in Libya, and received the arms and money from this country. Almost the same was told during the trial by the devotees of Shukri Mustafa. In both cases, the final goal was the overthrow of Anwar Sadat. In the first half of the 1970s, Qaddafi became one of the sworn enemies of the Egyptian President. In this the Libyan leader based himself upon the growing Kremlin's support. Soviet leaders saw Libya as an alternative for their lost outpost in Egypt, and as a counterweight to Sadat's regime.

    As a consequence, Soviet arms' deliveries to Libya were considerably increased. Number of the Soviet

    Sadat (R) and Qaddafi (1971)
    military advisors and secret services' representatives grew as well. No wonder that during the investigation several Salah Siriyah's adherents stated that the Russian-speaking instructors were present in process of their training in the Libyan camps…

    Made in USSR

    A year after Salah Siriyah group was smashed up, a part of its former members assembled once again. Some escaped the arrest; others came off with short term of imprisonment. They were leaded by one of Siriyah's confidants, Muhammad Salim al-Rahhal. His closest associate was Isam ad-Din al-Qamri, armored troops Major. Later on, their group united with several other groups, and formed a backbone of the Al-Jihad organization. Al-Qamri became one of its main military leaders, being inferior only to one person – Abbud al-Zumar, military intelligence Colonel. Their rivalry over the leadership was fed by the doctrinal contradictions. Al-Qamri, being Salah Siriyah's follower, stood for the immediate regime overturn by military methods. Main role in such a scenario he gave to armored forces. His rival, on the contrary, preferred not to hurry in performing an overturn. His main bet was on the intelligence and commando units.

    As a consequence of these contradictions, Al-Jihad cell led by al-Qamri was becoming more and more standalone. It almost wholly consisted of his former comrades-in-arms. Part of them were previously linked with Salah Siriyah. Al-Qamri's group had one more particularity: part of its members were graduates of the Soviet higher educational institutions. After return to their home country, and Anwar Sadat's rise to power, some of them cooperated with the Soviet military intelligence (GRU) until the middle of 1972.

    Such was the company, which absorbed young Ayman al-Zawahiri, who was recruited by al-Qamri himself. Preparing to military coup d'Etat, his men were hiding arms in the medical storehouse of one of the Cairo hospitals. Al-Zawahiri, who worked there, helped them to do it. He was in the special confidence of cell's chieftain, who had a great influence over the formation of his views. Al-Qamri got killed in a firefight, in the summer of 1988. It was not only the ideas that the future architect of worldwide jihad got from him, but also certain connections, which had no small share in framing his destiny…

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    Secret At The Heart Of Putin's Rise To Power
    By rights Tatyana ought not to be alive today. Along with the other residents of the red-brick housing block on Novosyolov Street in the Russian city of Ryazan, she should have died with husband and son on Sept 23, 1999.

    At 5.30 that morning three sacks of high explosive hidden in the basement of their building were set to blow up. The explosion would have brought down the block.

    "Of course we're lucky to be here," said Tatyana, 39, in the hallway of her building this week. She was too scared to give her surname.

    "They had decided to blow up the building and we would all have died. Even today I shiver when I think about it."

    More than 240 other Russians were less fortunate. They died that autumn in a wave of bombings that destroyed three blocks of flats, two in Moscow and one in the town of Volgodonsk.

    The Russian authorities were swift to lay the blame at the door of Chechen separatists. But no supporting evidence has emerged. Two men from the Caucasus were convicted of involvement after a closed trial this year, but it was widely denounced as a charade.

    Instead a growing body of proof has surfaced that links the bombings, and the Ryazan incident in particular, to the FSB - the revamped KGB. Independent investigators, including several MPs, who have sought to look into the case have been intimidated, arrested or beaten.

    Analysts and investigators claim that President Vladimir Putin, who was FSB chief until August of that year and subsequently prime minister, must know the truth.

    Lilia Shevtsova, a senior associate with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said: "He would know not just what happened but who the suspects were. The truth will not damage him because it won't be told until after he is gone."

    The 1999 bombings proved to be Mr. Putin's political making. He positioned himself as a strongman who would crush the Chechen rebels and restore order to the ailing country.

    Riding a wave of nationalist fervour, in eight months he went from being a virtual political unknown to winning the presidency by an easy margin. Now, after winning nearly complete control over parliament in December and installing a loyal new cabinet days before tomorrow's presidential election, Mr. Putin is poised to seal another four years at Russia's helm.

    In Novosyolov Street the day before the bomb was due to detonate, residents noticed a white Lada parked with a man sitting in the back and a woman standing nervously by the front door. Then another man emerged from the cellar and the three drove away. The residents called the police who found the bomb - three sacks of hexogene, a military explosive used in the other attacks that autumn.

    The railway station and airport were cordoned off and roadblocks set up. To general approval, Mr. Putin announced that Russian planes had begun strafing Grozny, the Chechen capital.

    That evening the bombers made a mistake. Using a public telephone one of them called a number in Moscow for instructions, saying it was impossible to leave the city undetected. An operator traced the call. The number called belonged to the FSB.

    Shortly afterwards the two men were arrested. Each produced documents showing that he worked for the FSB. Later an order came down from Moscow ordering the local police release them.

    The next day Nikolai Patrushev, the head of the FSB, announced that the entire thing had been a training drill to raise public awareness. The white substance was not hexogene, he said, but sugar. The residents who called the police and the telephone operator were each given a colour television to reward them for their vigilance.

    For a while the controversy refused to die down. Boris Berezovsky, the exiled tycoon and a bitter enemy of Mr. Putin, sponsored a film and a book about the incident but both were confiscated by Russian authorities.

    A human rights activist, Veniamin Ioffe, who tried to show the film in St Petersburg was beaten up and later died.

    In 2002 several liberals, including the MPs Ivan Rybakin and Sergei Yushenkov, set up a citizens' commission to investigate the bombings.

    On April 17 last year, Mr. Yushenkov was shot dead outside his home. In July, another MP and commission member died mysteriously after alleged food poisoning. A third commission member was beaten unconscious in the lift of his building.

    Last December, Mr. Rybakin lost his seat in the State Duma. He has now all but given up on the investigation.

    "The men behind this were definitely FSB employees," he told the Telegraph. "Whether they got their orders from the very top, or were a criminal grouping inside the organisation, is impossible to say.

    "Since they are guarding this so carefully I am afraid there is something really horrible there. As for Putin, its possible he didn't know at the time. But he certainly knows the truth now, better than anyone."

    Tatyana said: "We still don't know who is guilty. We probably never will. Life is hard here and after a while we stopped asking. I'm sorry to say it, but that's the Russian way."

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    Here's a link to a PDF document by Dr. Constantine C. Menges that details Russia's and China's involvement with supplying terrorists and enemy nations of the US – Russia, Proliferation and the War on Terrorism

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    Russia As A Bridgehead Of HAMAS
    The logo of HAMAS from the Russian based website
    On October, 18 the Kremlin's press-service published the message of President Vladimir Putin to the Israeli and Palestinian colleagues. In both documents the need is marked to accept aspiration of Russia for active participation in the further settlement of the Middle-Eastern conflict. Putin reminds of his April's initiative to convene the conference devoted to this problem in Moscow.

    In a conversation with the AIA Israeli section expert, a high-ranking representative of the Israeli Staff on Struggle Against Terrorism (LUTAR) accused the Kremlin of a policy of double standards. As he said, on the one hand Putin calls for settlement of the conflict and emphasizes "inadmissibility of terrorist actions " (in his message to the President of Israel), but on the other hand Russia permits to the members and activists of radical Middle-Eastern organizations, such as Hezbollah, HAMAS, the Palestinian groupings of "Islamic Jihad" to continue operating freely on its territory. LUTAR's expert noted that these organizations conduct struggle not only against Israel, but also against the official Palestinian leadership to which Moscow traditionally renders public support.

    As a solid proof of his words, AIA's interlocutor told about the October report of the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies (C.S.S,) which functions at the Heritage Center Of Israeli Secret Services (MALAM). This report is devoted the Internet infrastructure of HAMAS. The report proves that the majority of the major websites of this organization functions on the basis of the Russian Internet servers, and uses the Russian Internet companies. Moreover, MALAM even found out even that a representative of HAMAS supervising the Internet issue operates in Russia…

    Ex-Directors of Mossad Preserve the Heritage

    Efraim Halevi
    Meir Amit
    The Heritage Center of the Israeli Secret services
    The Heritage Center of the Israeli Secret services (MALAM) is located to the north of Tel Aviv, near Glilot military base. This center was established in the summer of 1985 with an active participation of the third head of the Israeli Mossad Meir Amit (1963-68). He holds the post of the president MALAM, and its chairman is the previous chief of Mossad Efraim Halevi, who headed this intelligence structure in 1998-2002.

    Initially the center was planned as a memorial complex, to commemorate the memory of the employees of the Israeli secret services, who died protecting the country. Numerous monuments were erected there; museum and library were created. Gordon Thomas, the author of a monumental book Gideon's Spies about the secret services of Israel, marks, that the memorial complex of the center "immortalizes memory of 557 men and women of the intelligence community, 71 from them served in Mossad". In the book it is marked that private files of all the Israeli agents and counterspies that died performing confidential missions are kept in the archives of the Center.

    In time the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (MAMLAL) headed by the Colonel (res.) of the military intelligence Reuven Ehrlich was established on the basis of MALAM. The materials of this Center are published in MALAM's quarterly, which is distributed among the representatives of academy, experts, former and working employees of the secret services. The reports of the Center are devoted to the actual daily problems of terrorism are periodically published in the Internet. They are based on documents of the Palestinian organizations, acquired by the Israelis as a result of army and General Security Service (SHABAK) operations. MAMALAL's experts are paying significant attention to monitoring Arab mass media, in particular, the Islamic one.

    On some of the issues the Center cooperates with the Staff on Struggle Against Terrorism, which is a part of the Israeli National Security Council.

    The Israeli Intelligence Informs

    Starting from last year MAMALAL specifically traces the activity of Internet sites connected with the radical Islamic organizations. The analysts of the center use the data of and The latter is managed by Aaron Weisburd, web developer from New York City, and specializes on gathering information on the Internet - activity of radical Islamic movements.

    Experts of MAMLAL note "the international and Palestinian terrorist organizations widely use the Internet as the important mean for transfer of messages encouraging terror". The main advantage of this communication consists first of all of the "absence of any control and restrictions of censorship". The Internet is used for contacts "between the organizations and their headquarters, and also local branches of the organizations and their target audience." According to the analysts of the Center the value of the Internet in the activity of the terrorist organizations increased considerably after September, 11. "The Internet allows them to overcome rather easily all the obstacles, administered by the governments of the different countries and in particular by the USA."

    The First report MAMLAL on this subjects was published in August 2004. It concerned the websites of central grouping of Palestinian "Islamic Jihad". Two months later, another report, devoted to the Internet infrastructure of the largest Palestinian Islamic organization HAMAS appeared. Later the analysts of the center came back to this issue in their publications twice - in January and October, 2005.

    MAMLAL's experts established, that HAMAS occupies leading position among the Palestinian organizations on the use of the Internet. From the last three reports follows that the majority of major HAMAS sites are on servers in the countries of the Eastern Europe, first of all in Russia, and use local providers.

    It is noticed that Russia, by the estimation of HAMAS leaders, is one of the "steadfast" countries to the foreign pressure in everything connected to "grantings of services, closings of websites and blocking of messages with terrorist content." For this reason, all the most important sites of HAMAS function from its territory. The Russian authorities are really extremely "liberal" towards the existence on their territory of such powerful mechanism of propagation of the radical organization, which is added to the Western lists of terrorists. Even when in October, 2004 the authorities ordered closing of the major Internet - forum of HAMAS, the server for which is rendered by Moscow's Company DataForce, no practical measures on performing of this decision were taken. This forum, without any obstacles, continues to function -

    The Eastern European Internet infrastructure has for HAMAS such a great value that the leadership of this organization appointed special representative in the region for supervising the activities on this direction. On MAMLAL's data his name is Amur Aitashev. He operates from the territory of Russia and reports to the high-ranking HAMAS operative Nizar Al-Hussein. In his turn Nizar supervises the activity of all the major websites of the organization. He conducts his activity from Beirut and belongs to the Lebanese branch of HAMAS. A propaganda bureau of the Syrian headquarters of the organization supervises his activity. In the last report of the MAMALAL it is marked: "The leadership of HAMAS operates its Internet - infrastructure from Lebanon for political reasons. Thus, the Syrian fingerprints disappear…"

    The Kremlin's Double Game

    Abu-Mazen (L) and Putin.
    The abovementioned facts testify to the double standards, or of the double game of Moscow. Each and every time Russia reacts extremely rigidly to the appearing of an independent site devoted to a situation in the Chechen Republic on the servers of any European country. If the authors of the new project express solidarity with the Chechen resistance or the Caucasian radical Islamic movement, Moscow using any methods achieves its closing. In such a cases the Kremlin puts massed political pressure on the countries of Europe, in particular the Baltics, in parallel undertaking hacker attacks against an these websites. Such a hearty reaction to the Chechen websites drastically contrasts with the "liberalism" shown by the Russian authorities towards Internet – infrastructure of HAMAS.

    At the same time, it is obvious that propaganda activity from territory of Russia of the largest oppositional movement of Palestine causes huge damage to the legally elected president Abu-Mazen. From the beginning of 2005 more and more publications on sites of the "Palestine-info" group were directed not as much against Israel, but against an official Palestinian leadership. On the background of Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, propagandists of HAMAS in every possible way tried to attribute the main merit over achieving this to their organization. And they obviously did this in a counterbalance to the party in power - the FATAH headed by Abu-Mazen. In the view of the upcoming elections to the municipalities of large Palestinian cities (December, 2005) and to the Parliament (January, 2006), activity of the Internet - infrastructure of HAMAS from Russian territory endangers a secular wing in the Palestinian national movement. It concerns as the public opinion on the West bank of Jordan and in Gaza, and the international coverage of pre-election campaign (in the CIS and in particular in Russia the websites of HAMAS publish material in Arabic, Russian, French, Persian and Urdu languages).

    The Federal Security Service (FSB) supervising political activity in Russia of the natives of the Muslim countries must know all about that. The analysts of other state structures, in particular of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, should understand that so non peculiar to Moscow liberalism in the field of freedom of speech, in the case of HAMAS contradicts strategic interests of a leadership of Palestine. As well as during the Soviet times, the Kremlin expresses public support only to the leaders of the FATAH movement. However, on a background of HAMAS' achievements at January municipal elections and before the elections in December - January, 2006 Moscow, by its actions, reserves an option of official recognition of Islamic opposition to Abu-Mazen. Probably it is not casual, that during the meeting with the Russian journalists in April, the leader of HAMAS Khaleed Mashaal has especially noted that to spite of the Israelis and Americans, the Kremlin did not included his organization into the list of the terrorists…

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    "Bishop" Arafat: The PLO’s Alliance with the Moscow Church
    Any observer who believed the Soviet Union to be “dead,” the Moscow Church to be Christian, and the PLO to be Muslim faced a rude awakening when all three recently joined forces to battle anti-Communists.

    From the beginning, Communist repression and control of the Orthodox Church inside Russia left too many loose ends. During the 1920s, the legitimate church leadership fled the country and maintained continuity as the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad (ROCA), also known as the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR), remaining an ever-present public challenge to the Moscow Patriarchate’s image of legitimacy. Any attempt to silence ROCA would only invite broad opposition in the outside world, and thus the Soviets were limited to establishing parallel churches under their control in non-Communist countries. Many Russian Orthodox communities in the United States and elsewhere have long hosted Moscow-aligned churches near ROCA ones, often just around the corner from one another.1

    The renewal of Soviet Communism in 1991, portrayed in the West as a “collapse,” changed the equation, allowing the possibility of quietly re-absorbing ROCA into the Moscow Church. But as it became clear that the anti-Communist ROCA leaders were aware of the ongoing KGB/FSB secret police control over the Moscow organization and refused to play along, the Soviet Russian regime began moving more aggressively.

    Exploiting the new, more friendly relations with foreign governments, the Moscow Patriarchate raised legal challenges in Western courts in an attempt to seize church property from the uncooperative ROCA. Arguing that all Russian Orthodox Church properties rightfully belonged only to the “official” Patriarchate, Moscow’s lawyers moved against ROCA churches in Bari, Italy; Ottawa, Canada; Copenhagen, Denmark; Geneva Switzerland; and throughout Germany.2

    And, once the Oslo Accords allowed the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) to take over parts of Israel, in the PLO-occupied territories as well — where the KGB found greater success with the terrorist organization it had been funding and arming for decades.

    As soon as PLO occupation forces arrived in Israel’s West Bank, where some ROCA institutions had long existed, they moved at Soviet Russia’s request. “In 1995 the Palestinian authorities confiscated an orchard and buildings belonging to the Orthodox Palestinian Society (affiliated with ROCOR), and transferred it to the Russian Federation government in Moscow,” protested an official with the Russian Orthodox Church in the U.S.3

    The PLO’s Palestinian Authority (PA) dispensed with legal formalities entirely, hesitating only in reaction to possible negative publicity. By 1997, Patriarch Alexei II, head of the Moscow Church — and an active agent of the KGB — officially asked PLO head Yassir Arafat to seize the remaining ROCA properties. Arafat wasted no time, and on July 5, 1997, a number of heavily armed PLO troops descended on the 130-year-old Monastery of Abraham’s Oak on Hebron. When the monks and nuns refused to vacate the property, the PLO soldiers broke through the doors, physically assaulting the residents and dragging them out into the street.4 Eyewitnesses recount cursing and beating by the PLO troops, who injured the monastery’s Abbess and other monks and nuns, some so severely they required hospitalization.5

    The Hebron property was immediately handed over to the Moscow Church, but the ensuing controversy delayed the PLO from continuing the seizures for nearly three years. Then, on January 15, 2000, Arafat sent armed troops to the ROCOR monastery in Jericho, where they gave the monks 30 minutes to leave. The PLO forces did not even bother with judicial procedures, carrying no document of legal authority for their action. Yet, while two members of the Russian Consulate watched, the monks were violently assaulted and physically dragged out of the facility at 10:00 am.6 During the chaos, two American nuns managed to slip inside. The Moscow representatives began dragging them out, but U.S. diplomatic intervention protected the nuns and allowed them to reside in the chapel for 75 days, even while 20 PLO troops and one Moscow cleric maintained control of the Jericho Gardens Monastery compound.7

    Reaction in U.S. Congress brought an official condemnation of the Jericho seizure, but ultimately that church property also landed in Moscow’s hands.8 Two years later, the Moscow Patriarchate returned the favor during the siege of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, when 200 PLO terrorists captured the church and held the monks hostage; Moscow’s Alexei II officially protested the use of nearby church property by Israeli troops who were fighting to free the occupied church, while completely ignoring the PLO occupation of the church itself.9

    That same Alexei II has proven equally friendly with Arafat’s successor, new PLO head Mahmoud Abbas. During a visit to his Communist supervisors in Moscow, Abbas met with Alexei II, who thanked him for the Hebron and Jericho property seizures and promised the Moscow Church’s full support for the PLO struggle against Israel.10


    1. Goldvug, N., “The politics of spirituality,” The Birch Online,, Spring 2005.

    2. Budzilovitch, P.N., Report at the Sobor of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad (ROCA),, Oct. 20, 2000 (meeting held in New York).

    3. Kizenko, S., Letter to U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright,, undated (early 2000).

    4. Kessel, J., “Russian Orthodox strife brings change in Hebron,” CNN Interactive/World News,, July 9, 1997; Goldvug, N., Op cit.

    5. Israeli Government Press Office, “Assaults on holy sites by the PA violates the Oslo Accords,” Likud of Holland,, undated; “Russian nuns say they were beaten,” Associated Press, July 9, 1997, cited on United Jerusalem,; illustrations drawn by an eyewitness, presented to Monastery Press,, downloaded Dec. 18, 2002 (but apparently no longer available on the site).

    6. Goldvug, N., Op cit.; “U.S. nuns land in middle of Russian church dispute,” CNN, Jan. 19, 2000, cited on United Jerusalem,; George, I., “More news about Jericho,” Redeeming the Time,, Jan. 16, 2000.

    7. “U.S. nuns land in middle of Russian church dispute,” Op cit.; George, I., Op cit.; “American nun lobbies for contested convents,” Christian Century, Aug. 2, 2000, published on LookSmart Find Articles,

    8. Goldvug, N., Op cit.; Philipps, J., “Boehlert introduces resolution on Russian Orthodox Church,” press release from the office of Congressman Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY),, March 22, 2000.

    9. “Peers plead for peace and justice,” Anglican Journal, World,, May 2002.

    10. “Peace begins in the Holy Land, Russian patriarch tells Palestinian president,” AsiaNews, Moscow,, Feb. 1, 2005.

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    KGB And GRU Former Intelligence Operators Assist Hezbollah To Penetrate The US
    Former CIA undercover agent: KGB and GRU former intelligence operators assist Hezbollah to penetrate the US

    Hezbollah - the Iranian-backed Lebanese terrorist organization - has more American blood on its hands than any Islamic terrorist ring with the sole exception of al-Qaeda, The American Spectator writes.

    Last week FBI Director Robert Muller announced that though the FBI and Customs had caught others, Hezbollah had succeeded in smuggling some operatives across the Mexican border into the US, he said. "This was an occasion in which Hezbollah operatives were assisting others with some association with Hezbollah in coming to the United States. That was an organization that we dismantled and identified those persons who had been smuggled in. And they have been addressed as well". Former CIA undercover operator Wayne Simmons has been warning of this problem for years, The American Spectator notes. He spent almost two decades posing as an intelligence operative working with Colombian drug lords and risking his life to thwart their operations. Simmons's warning is dire. He marks that many former intelligence operators from the KGB and GRU are hiring out to plan terrorist smuggling operations through Canada and Mexico. Other US editions quoted recently US intelligence and terrorism experts saying that as tensions increase between the United States and Iran, they believe Iran would respond to US military strikes on its nuclear sites by deploying its intelligence operatives and Hezbollah teams to carry out terrorist attacks worldwide. There is also a growing consensus that Iran's agents would target civilians in the United States, Europe and elsewhere, they said.

    Terrorism experts considered Iranian-backed or controlled groups - namely the country's Ministry of Intelligence and Security operatives, its Revolutionary Guards (Pasdaran) and the Lebanon-based Hezbollah - to be better organized, trained and equipped than the al-Qaeda network that carried out the September 11, 2001, attacks.

    Some of the analysts note possible connection between the Iranian intelligence and former Soviet intelligence officers.

    The current state of Iran's intelligence apparatus is the subject of debate among experts, Washington Post wrote. Some experts who spent their careers tracking the intelligence ministry's operatives describe them as deployed worldwide and easier to monitor than Hezbollah cells because they operate out of embassies and behave more like a traditional spy service such as the Soviet KGB.

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    Russian Secret Services Created The Islamic Movement Of Uzbekistan
    "The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU – also called Islamic Movement of Turkestan – IMT) was formed in Tajikistan - with the help from the local authorities and, also importantly, with the Russian army and border guards keeping an eye on the process", the former members of the IMU living in Iran said to the journalists. When the United Tajik Opposition the IMU was an element of made peace with the secular authorities of Tajikistan, followers of the IMU were compelled to flee to Afghanistan via Outpost 4 where they were "assisted by Russian secret services". "Men from all over Central Asia have been coming to join the IMU since 1997. Uzbeks, Tajiks, Yigurs, Kazakhs, Tatars, Turkmens became IMU members. The intifada (uprising) boiled down to the war on Islam Karimov's regime precisely... Tahir Yuldashev, the leader of IMU became the "national hero" for believers. Whole families - even with children - used to come to join him from all over Central Asia", the ex-members of the movement said to the journalists. "In fact, even children and old men could join the IMU, but only the mujarrats (young single men) participated in the hostilities as such. Many of them took up the arms under duress. These men were trained in the camps in Afghanistan..." Most ex-members of the IMU say Yuldashev deceived them. Idealistically believing that they were to fight "for the future of Uzbekistan" at first, they found themselves essentially hostages of their leader. "Very many young men without families were dispatched by Yuldashev to fight the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan", a former gunman said. "As a matter of fact, Yuldashev even sold some young men as slaves to field commanders". "The IMU had the support of immigrants from the early Soviet period , namely Uzbeks and Tajiks residing in Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia. Still, it was someone else who coordinated its actions", the former members said. "Yuldashev was taking his orders from someone. That the IMU was financed by some wealthy Saudi sheikhs is a myth". Former activists of the IMU currently residing in Iran say that Yuldashev was supposed to become "a gatherer of all with grievances against Karimov's regime" and "lead them out of Uzbekistan".

    The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan was created in 1996 as a subset, militant organization, whose goal is to overthrow the secular government of Uzbekistan and replace it with an Islamic theocracy. After September 11, 2001, the United States froze all IMU assets classifying it as an Islamist terrorist organization. AIA was the first one to report on the use of the Islamic movement of Uzbekistan Moscow made in its relations with Tashkent.

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    Russian Footprints
    What does Moscow have to do with the recent war in Lebanon?

    By Ion Mihai Pacepa

    The Kremlin may be the main winner in the Lebanon war. Israel has been attacked with Soviet Kalashnikovs and Katyushas, Russian Fajr-1 and Fajr-3 rockets, Russian AT-5 Spandrel antitank missiles and Kornet antitank rockets. Russia’s outmoded weapons are now all the rage with terrorists everywhere in the world, and the bad guys know exactly where to get them. The weapons cases abandoned by Hezbollah were marked: “Customer: Ministry of Defense of Syria. Supplier: KBP, Tula, Russia.”

    Today’s international terrorism was conceived at the Lubyanka, the headquarters of the KGB, in the aftermath of the1967 Six-Day War in the Middle East. I witnessed its birth in my other life, as a Communist general. Israel humiliated Egypt and Syria, whose bellicose governments were being run by Soviet razvedka (Russian for “foreign intelligence”) advisers, whereupon the Kremlin decided to arm Israel’s enemy neighbors, the Palestinians, and draw them into a terrorist war against Israel.

    General Aleksandr Sakharovsky, who created Communist Romania’s intelligence structure and then rose to head up all of Soviet Russia’s foreign intelligence, often lectured me: “In today’s world, when nuclear arms have made military force obsolete, terrorism should become our main weapon.”

    Between 1968 and 1978, when I broke with Communism, the security forces of Romania alone sent two cargo planes full of military goodies every week to Palestinian terrorists in Lebanon. Since the fall of Communism the East German Stasi archives have revealed that, in 1983 alone, its foreign intelligence service sent $1,877,600 worth of AK-47 ammunition to Lebanon. According to Vaclav Havel, Communist Czechoslovakia shipped 1,000 tons of the odorless explosive Semtex-H (which can’t be detected by sniffer dogs) to Islamic terrorists — enough for 150 years.

    The terrorist war per se came into action at the end of 1968, when the KGB transformed airplane hijacking — that weapon of choice for September 11, 2001 — into an instrument of terror. In 1969 alone there were 82 hijackings of planes worldwide, carried out by the KGB-financed PLO. In 1971, when I was visiting Sakharovsky at his Lubyanka office, he called my attention to a sea of red flags pinned onto a world map hanging on the wall. Each flag represented a captured plane. “Airplane hijacking is my own invention,” he claimed.

    The political “success” occasioned by hijacking Israeli airplanes prompted the KGB’s 13th Department, known in our intelligence jargon as the “Department for Wet Affairs” (wet being a euphemism for bloody), to expand into organizing “public executions” of Jews in airports, train stations, and other public places. In 1969 Dr. George Habash, a KGB puppet, explained: “Killing one Jew far away from the field of battle is more effective than killing a hundred Jews on the field of battle, because it attracts more attention.”

    By the end of the 1960s, the KGB was deeply involved in mass terrorism against Jews, carried out by various Palestinian client organizations. Here are some terrorist actions for which the KGB took credit while I was still in Romania: November 1969, armed attack on the El Al office in Athens, leaving 1 dead and 14 wounded; May 30, 1972, Ben Gurion Airport attack, leaving 22 dead and 76 wounded; December 1974, Tel Aviv movie theater bomb, leaving 2 dead and 66 wounded; March 1975, attack on a Tel Aviv hotel, leaving 25 dead and 6 wounded; May 1975, Jerusalem bomb, leaving 1 dead and 3 wounded; July 4, 1975, bomb in Zion Square, Jerusalem, leaving 15 dead and 62 wounded; April 1978, Brussels airport attack, leaving 12 wounded; May 1978, attack on an El Al plane in Paris, leaving 12 wounded.

    In 1971, the KGB launched operation Tayfun (Russian for “typhoon”), aimed at destabilizing Western Europe. The Baader-Meinhof, the Red Army Faction (RAF), and other KGB-sponsored Marxist organizations unleashed a wave of anti-American terrorism that shook Western Europe. Richard Welsh, the CIA station chief in Athens, was shot to death in Greece on December 23, 1975. General Alexander Haig, commander of NATO in Brussels was injured in a bomb attack that damaged his armored Mercedes beyond repair in June 1979. General Frederick J. Kroesen, commander of U.S. forces in Europe, barely survived a rocket attack in September 1981. Alfred Herrhausen, the pro-American chairman of Deutsche Bank, was killed during a grenade attack in November 1989. Hans Neusel, a pro-American state secretary in the West German interior ministry, was wounded during an assassination attempt in July 1990.

    In 1972, the Kremlin decided to turn the whole Islamic world against Israel and the U.S. As KGB chairman Yury Andropov told me, a billion adversaries could inflict far greater damage on America than could a few millions. We needed to instill a Nazi-style hatred for the Jews throughout the Islamic world, and to turn this weapon of the emotions into a terrorist bloodbath against Israel and its main supporter, the United States. No one within the American/Zionist sphere of influence should any longer feel safe.

    According to Andropov, the Islamic world was a waiting petri dish in which we could nurture a virulent strain of America-hatred, grown from the bacterium of Marxist-Leninist thought. Islamic anti-Semitism ran deep. The Muslims had a taste for nationalism, jingoism, and victimology. Their illiterate, oppressed mobs could be whipped up to a fever pitch.

    Terrorism and violence against Israel and her master, American Zionism, would flow naturally from the Muslims’ religious fervor, Andropov sermonized. We had only to keep repeating our themes — that the United States and Israel were “fascist, imperial-Zionist countries” bankrolled by rich Jews. Islam was obsessed with preventing the infidels’ occupation of its territory, and it would be highly receptive to our characterization of the U.S. Congress as a rapacious Zionist body aiming to turn the world into a Jewish fiefdom.

    The codename of this operation was “SIG” (Sionistskiye Gosudarstva, or “Zionist Governments”), and was within my Romanian service’s “sphere of influence,” for it embraced Libya, Lebanon, and Syria. SIG was a large party/state operation. We created joint ventures to build hospitals, houses, and roads in these countries, and there we sent thousands of doctors, engineers, technicians, professors, and even dance instructors. All had the task of portraying the United States as an arrogant and haughty Jewish fiefdom financed by Jewish money and run by Jewish politicians, whose aim was to subordinate the entire Islamic world.

    In the mid 1970s, the KGB ordered my service, the DIE — along with other East European sister services — to scour the country for trusted party activists belonging to various Islamic ethnic groups, train them in disinformation and terrorist operations, and infiltrate them into the countries of our “sphere of influence.” Their task was to export a rabid, demented hatred for American Zionism by manipulating the ancestral abhorrence for Jews felt by the people in that part of the world. Before I left Romania for good, in 1978, my DIE had dispatched around 500 such undercover agents to Islamic countries. According to a rough estimate received from Moscow, by 1978 the whole Soviet-bloc intelligence community had sent some 4,000 such agents of influence into the Islamic world.

    In the mid-1970s we also started showering the Islamic world with an Arabic translation of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a tsarist Russian forgery that had been used by Hitler as the foundation for his anti-Semitic philosophy. We also disseminated a KGB-fabricated “documentary” paper in Arabic alleging that Israel and its main supporter, the United States, were Zionist countries dedicated to converting the Islamic world into a Jewish colony.

    We in the Soviet bloc tried to conquer minds, because we knew we could not win any military battles. It is hard to say what exactly are the lasting effects of operation SIG. But the cumulative effect of disseminating hundreds of thousands of Protocols in the Islamic world and portraying Israel and the United States as Islam’s deadly enemies was surely not constructive.

    Post-Soviet Russia has been transformed in unprecedented ways, but the widely popular belief that the nefarious Soviet legacy was rooted out at the end of the Cold War the same way that Nazism was rooted out with the conclusion of World War II, is not yet correct.

    In the 1950s, when I was chief of Romania’s foreign intelligence station in West Germany, I witnessed how Hitler’s Third Reich had been demolished, its war criminals put on trial, its military and police forces disbanded, and the Nazis removed from public office. None of these things has happened in the former Soviet Union. No individual has been put on trial, although the Soviet Union’s Communist regime killed over a hundred million people. Most Soviet institutions have been left in place, having simply been given new names, and are now run by many of the same people who guided the Communist state. In 2000, former officers of the KGB and the Soviet Red Army took over the Kremlin and Russia’s government.

    Germany would have never become a democracy with Gestapo and SS officers running the show.

    On September 11, 2001, President Vladimir Putin became the first leader of a foreign country to express sympathy to President George W. Bush for what he called “these terrible tragedies of the terrorist attacks.” Soon, however, Putin began moving his country back into the terrorist business. In March 2002, he quietly reinstituted sales of weapons to Iran’s terrorist dictator, Ayatollah Khamenei, and engaged Russia in the construction of a 1,000-megawatt nuclear reactor at Bushehr, with a uranium conversion facility able to produce fissile material for nuclear weapons. Hundreds of Russian technicians also started helping the government of Iran to develop the Shahab-4 missile, with a range of over 1,250 miles, which can carry a nuclear or germ warhead anywhere in the Middle East and Europe.

    Iran’s current president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, had already announced that nothing could stop his country from building nuclear weapons, and he stated that Israel was a “disgraceful stain [on] the Islamic world” that would be eliminated. During World War II, 405,399 Americans died to eradicate Nazism and its anti-Semitic terrorism. Now we are facing Islamic fascism and nuclear anti-Semitic terrorism. The United Nations can offer no hope. It has not yet even been able to define terrorism.

    A proverb says that one fire drives out another. The Kremlin may be our best hope. In May 2002, the NATO foreign ministers approved a partnership with Russia, the alliance’s former enemy. The rest of the world said that the Cold War was over and done with. Kaput. Now Russia wants to be admitted to the World Trade Organization. For that to happen, the Kremlin should be firmly told first to get out of the terrorism business.

    We should also help the Russians realize that it is in their own interest to make President Ahmadinejad renounce nuclear weapons. He is an unpredictable tyrant who may also consider Russia an enemy at some point in time. “If Iran gets weapons of mass destruction, deliverable by a missile, that’s going to be a problem,” President Bush correctly stated. “That’s going to be a problem for all of us, including Russia.”

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    Good thing I looked... I was about to post the Pacepa article here.

    He makes great points throughout ... but his ending is a mere pipe dream -ain't gonna happen.

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    I'll place this here in lieu of what I was about to post...

    How the Soviets Gave the Mullahs the Bomb

    By Jamie Glazov | August 23, 2006

    Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Regnar Rasmussen, a former military interpreter and interrogation specialist trained at the Danish Armed Forces' Specialist School. For more than ten years, he worked as a translator in the Danish Central Police Department (immigration department) as well as in several criminal investigations departments. He affirms that, through his experience, he learned of the many ways in which the Soviet system trained the Islamist enemy we now face in the terror war. More frightening yet, he claims that his sources informed him back in 1992 that the Soviets sold the Iranian Mullahs nuclear warheads in autumn 1991.

    FP: Regnar Rasmussen, welcome to Frontpage Interview.

    Rasmussen: Thank you very much for inviting me on.

    FP: First things first, tell us a bit about your background and how you became privy to the information you possess today about our Jihadi enemy and Iran's possession of nuclear weapons.

    Rasmussen: Basically I am a linguist and happen to be able to speak a number of useful languages such as Russian, Persian, Urdu/Hindi, Bengali - and of course Danish, German and English. I spent large chunks of my life in India, and with Calcutta as my base I travelled extensively all over South and South East Asia. This experience was one of the reasons why I was frequently called upon as a translator in various cases related to immigration or to crimes committed by immigrants or against immigrants. Throughout ten years in this capacity I was on a virtual 24-hour stand-by duty and often spent the entire day and the entire night as well interrogating huge numbers of foreigners.

    Even though I had learned quite a lot about the inner workings of the Soviet system on a theoretical level both at university and at the Armed Forces' Specialist School, it was not until 1984 that I realized that my imaginations had been faint and vague compared with the reality I was now faced with. Asylum seekers from Iran now started to flood all western countries. The reason was that those innumerable communist parties and groupings which had believed in Khomeini as a "true representative of the people" now suddenly had become the targets of Muslim persecution as "infidels" because of their communist beliefs.

    A very large section of the younger generation had been involved in communist movements due to their resentment of the Shah. Khomeini saw these naive youngsters as "useful idiots" (expression coined by Lenin) and allowed them to participate in the killing and destruction of any and all persons who might or might not have had cooperation with or sympathy for the Shah or the ideas of the Shah. This was to be understood in the broadest sense so that even any kind of "decadent entertainment" was included in the endless list of offenses punishable by death.

    Now this entire section of "helpers of the revolution" was to be eliminated once and for all. Many of them landed "on my doorstep" and I was able to hear their life stories directly from themselves. Out of these a substantial number told me about their education in various Soviet educational institutions.

    FP: So tell us how the Soviet Union trained some of our Islamist enemies.

    Rasmussen: It became clear to me that the entrance into the Soviet system for practically all foreign students was the Lumumba University. (Click here and also Click here) After one or two years of language training and "political training" here they were then distributed to other educational institutions according to their capabilities and desires.

    Those who were talented agitators stayed back at the Lumumba University. Those who were mere thugs with severe personality disorders were sent to Romania and Bulgaria to learn guerrilla warfare. Bulgaria was the playground for large scale guerrilla operations including the use of mortars and anti tank weapons, while Romania had many centers for city guerrilla warfare.

    The smarter ones were sent to other places such as Czechoslovakia or Eastern Germany. In Czechoslovakia they were given an education as chemical engineers at the so-called "Semtex University". (Click here and Click here) The education was genuine and serious, but what really made my hairs stand on one end was the immense overweight of practical training in the preparation and use of explosives. It was taught to the Iranian students even down to the minutest details that these skills were deemed necessary if their "revolutionary aims" were to succeed.

    In Eastern Germany there were several educational institutions teaching courses in all sorts of engineering. Some became construction engineers and learned everything about large buildings. Again I was taken aback when I learned that the young students were not only taught how to build something - but certainly also how to take it all down again in a single blow. As one of my asylum seekers said: "I doubted whether I should call myself a construction engineer or a demolition engineer".

    As 9/11 unfolded before my eyes on the TV screen seven years later I thought of this young man's statement.

    It is very important to bear in mind that the Iranians were nothing more than a tiny minority amongst the recruits of the Soviet Union. My Iranians told me that they had to stick together and protect each other by day and by night against the hordes of Arabs surrounding them everywhere on campus. Iranians and Arabs are known to hate each other.

    Another important detail is that many of the Iranian students did have sincere aspirations about using their education for good purposes once back in Iran, and most of the graduates did eventually help in building up infrastructure and setting up a new educational system after the Islamic Revolution. However, there were also those who helped setting up the fundamental structures of the Mullah Regime's intelligence services and espionage services. But unfortunately the new regime suddenly turned against them all, and they had to flee. Their job was over and so were their lives.

    FP: Kindly expand a bit on how Iranians trained in the Soviet Union ended up working for the Iranian regime.

    Rasmussen: A very interesting small number of the Iranians trained in the Soviet system either during the times of the Shah or during the years of the Islamic Revolution finally ended up working for the Mullah Regime - even though they had been communists and should have been exterminated. I have met some of these types. I wouldn't wish for my worst enemy to be faced with one of these. I would describe this group as the most dangerous and unpredictable of them all. These individuals quite often became leaders of various special task forces and turned out to be useful in setting up terrorist cells and movements. I have good reasons to believe that this phenomenon was the same amongst the Arab graduates of the Soviet Terrorist Universities.

    After I had been face to face with a number of these, it dawned upon me that the step from being a glowing red communist to becoming a blood-thirsty Muslim fundamentalist is actually a distance equal to zero. Since then I have seen these two categories as the two sides of the same coin. Communism and Islamic fundamentalism have more in common than what meets the eye. They share the same fundamental hatred against individualism and against individuals who wish to be happy and just enjoy life.

    The Soviet system had a solid tradition of registering everything. We saw all the details meticulously noted down in every STASI report that came out after the fall of communism in 1989. I know that all the files of each and every single foreign student ever trained in the Soviet Union are still intact. They are kept as state treasures somewhere over there in the big bear's den. If the new Russia wants to show her good intentions in the war against terror she should brush the dust off these old archives and let all relevant authorities scrutinize them. If you trace down each and every single graduate you will also be able to see who in turn became his students or followers. The entire network which was set up by that generation in those days would become clearly visible. By now it has grown to vast dimensions.

    FP: Ok, so what information do you have about the Iranians having nuclear weapons and the Soviet connection?

    Rasmussen: Well, for one thing it is well known that many Iranians have studied nuclear physics in the Soviet Union. This does not just mean that some individuals were given some data about some sort of a topic. What matters here are the ties which have been formed between Russian individuals and Iranian individuals in the nuclear sphere.

    "East is East and West is West, and never the Twain shall meet". This truth is the key to understanding oriental politics. Oriental politics is based on ties between individuals. It is not based on abstract principles such as law or morality or ethical codes. The keyword is: personal relations. It matters who is married to whom. It matters who is the son of whom. Clan affiliation is the determining factor. State and law cannot exist for the very simple reason that the clan is the largest entity which can be perceived by the individual citizen. Anything that tries to assume an authority above the clan immediately becomes reduced to nothing more than "a hostile clan". The idea of a state or government is absurd in a clan society.

    Russia belongs to the oriental world. This fact needs to sink in before we can grasp Russian politics.

    During my travels and stays in various oriental countries I have been able to establish ties with lots of very different people. In Pakistan I stayed with a retired colonel who taught me everything about Islam and about Pakistani politics the way he saw it. I also travelled all over Pakistan with a group of religious singers, Qawwali-singers, who taught me about the Sufi aspects of Islam and in particular about the discrepancies within Islam.

    In Northern Pakistan in 1987 I stayed with weapons smugglers who told me how they procured unlimited quantities of weapons from Soviet depots inside the Soviet Union. In Turkey I stayed with a very wise philosopher who was also a muezzin in the local mosque. He opened my eyes to the many horrendous misinterpretations of Islam - but more notably also to the even worse actual statements in the Quran.

    During a stay in one of the former Soviet republics after the fall of communism I had the pleasant opportunity to get into a circle of intellectuals who at that time were moving towards political power. I was very impressed by their purity of mind and their fearless endeavours and decided to help them as best I could. Nevertheless everything ended in turmoil and chaos due to the intrigues and dirty workings of the old KGB structures behind the curtain we all thought had fallen. Alas, no curtain ever fell. It was only moved to a position further backwards and deep into the dark shades of backstage.

    Nevertheless, in 1992 I had some important talks with a high ranking government official from that country. He needed my help in some business dealings. During our relaxed conversations he told me lots of interesting details about his life and his various encounters with the Soviet system. Amongst many other stories he told me the following:

    In autumn 1991 Nursultan Nazarbayev, the president of Khazakhstan, sold three nuclear warheads to the Iranians. The Iranians wanted to use them as a prototype for their own bomb manufacturing. The price was said to have been 7.5 billion USD. Whether this amount is true or just the fantasies of a less paid government official, I cannot verify. The amount was to cover all bribes and kick-offs and military protection during transport. Every country involved had demanded their fair share of the deal.

    Anyway, the warheads were removed from a military depot somewhere in Kazakhstan and transported by train down to Makhachkala in Daghestan. Here they were reloaded onto huge trucks and then taken through the Caucasian region and into Turkey. In the city of Dogubeyazit the Iranians met the convoy and took over. The three vehicles were then driven by Iranian drivers down to the border post Bazargan, where they entered Iranian territory.

    The warheads were brought down to Teheran and parked in the military campus Lavizan. Here they were seen by a soldier who later defected to Israel and told the story to the Israeli intelligence services who at that time were unable to verify the matter further. Various rumours have been circulating ever since. Some stories say two bombs, some say four. The correct number, however, is three.

    Long before the downfall of communism in 1989 nuclear technology had been proliferated by the Soviet Union. The Mullah Regime had had connections and cooperation with the Soviet Union since the early days of the Islamic Revolution in 1978/79, but after 1989 hundreds and hundreds of Russian nuclear scientists were hired on by the Iranians who offered exorbitant wages and golden palaces to them in order to secure their loyalty. This has to be seen on the background of Soviet living conditions in those days. No wonder the Iranians could pick and choose as they wished.

    I am personally convinced that Iran quickly managed to duplicate the bombs and that their only obstacle was to produce sufficient quantities of enriched uranium or other substances for their bombs. As of today I am convinced that Iran has had the nuclear bomb already for some years and is now only waiting for a good opportunity to wipe Israel off the map. I am convinced that Israel suddenly pulled out of their invasion of Lebanon long before accomplishing their stated goals simply and solely due to the threats from Iran. Israel finally realized that America was not in a position to make any pre-emptive strike against Iranian nuclear facilities. This is nothing more than my personal belief and conjecture.

    But you might wonder whether or not there could be something to it if you take a look at some interesting reports. First take a look at this very interesting link: Then study this link. A few steps down the page you find this interesting note:

    1991: A top-secret report from the newly formed Russian intelligence service claims that Iran has obtained at least two nuclear warheads from a batch listed as missing from Kazakhstan. The nuclear weapons were reportedly smuggled across the border to Iran in 1991 and are under the control of Reza Amrollahi, who is head of the Iranian Organization for Atomic Energy and is also in charge of recruiting atomic scientists from the former Soviet Union. Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev is believed to have engineered the weapons deal with Iran, exchanging warheads for hard currency or gasoline. US officials have denied aid to Kazakhstan based on the belief that Kazakhstan has nuclear ambitions.

    —Roger Fallgot and Jan Mather, "Iran Has N-Bomb," The European, 30 April-3 May 1992, p. 1.

    The bombs mentioned here are the ones I was told about on that cosy November evening in 1992. The entire story of what went on during the travel of that convoy from Khazakhstan and all the way down to the Iranian border is yet to be told. Right here we are running out of space.

    But the story has another implication. There is absolutely no way the convoy could have entered into Turkey without clearance from the Turkish government. The Iranians had already cleared the way for the transport. This shows where the Turkish labyrinth also known as Turkish politics had its loopholes. There was an interest in Turkey at that time to support Iranian nuclear ambitions. In my view that interest has not diminished since then. The current political establishment in Turkey is clearly Islamist. The fear that Turkey has systematically allowed weapons grade uranium or plutonium to be transported via Turkish territory is not unfounded.

    On the day when the Iranians decide to divulge their nuclear achievements Turkey will forget about becoming European. Turkey will show its true face and stick with the Muslim world. Iran has not made any nuclear tests on Iranian soil. Why? The test was carried out in Pakistan. So why bother to do it in Iran? What's the difference?

    FP: Regnar Rasmussen, thank you for joining us and sharing this chilling information with us..

    Rasmussen: Thank you Jamie.

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    Symposium: When an Evil Empire Returns
    By Jamie Glazov | June 23, 2006

    The Cold War is back.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, a former KGB agent, is leading his country back into the dark ages of Soviet totalitarianism and instigating a global confrontation between Russia and the United States -- as well as between Russia and the West as a whole.

    The Russian President has consistently rolled back democratic freedoms. And he is proving that the genie can be placed back into the bottle: he has centralized authority and suffocated dissent in the media and in the nation at large. Reformers making efforts to build democracy have been intimidated and silenced.

    On the international front, Putin's Russia is making trouble on Iran, obstructing U.S. efforts to get the Mullahs to stop their nuclear ambitions. And it is no surprise, seeing that not only did Russia obstruct U.S. efforts in Iraq, but evidence indicates that the Russian ambassador to Iraq passed on U.S. war plans to Saddam in the early days of the American invasion. More troublesome still, it appears that Russian mischief is behind the missing Iraqi WMDs.

    So is the Evil Empire back? Or did it ever even leave us?

    To discuss this issue with us today, Frontpage has assembled a distinguished panel, which includes two ex-spy chiefs from opposite sides of the Cold War. Our guests today are:

    Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa, former acting chief of Communist Romania’s espionage service, is the highest ranking official ever to have defected from the Soviet bloc. He is author of Red Horizons, republished in 27 countries. In 1989, Ceausescu and his wife were executed at the end of a trial where most of the accusations had come word-for-word out of Pacepa's book.

    James Woolsey, director of the CIA from 1993-95 and a former Navy undersecretary and arms-control negotiator;

    Yuri Yarim-Agaev, a former leading Russian dissident and a member of the Moscow Helsinki Group. Upon arriving in the United States after his forced exile from the Soviet Union, he headed the New York-based Center for Democracy in the USSR.

    Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney, the co-author with Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely of Endgame: The Blueprint for Victory in the War on Terror. He is a retired Air Force Fighter Pilot who has been a Fox News Military Analyst for the last four and a half years and continues to appear regularly on Fox.

    FP: James Woolsey, Ion Mihai Pacepa, Yuri Yarim-Agaev and Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney, welcome to Frontpage Symposium.

    Yuri Yarim-Agaev, let me begin with you.

    Is the Evil Empire back?

    Yarim-Agaev: Fortunately, not. Although I am very critical of Putin and believe that his regime is the main obstacle against the emergence of democracy in Russia, I would not credit him with the power to restore the Evil Empire. The Evil Empire was based on the communist system. As an ideology, communism collapsed globally, and as a political system, in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. That is irreversible, and that was the major and decisive battle won by democracy in the Cold War. Sadly, it was not followed up, complete victory was never pursued, and the momentum was lost for a while.

    As a result, although mortally wounded, communism has not been eradicated from the face of the Earth. Its remains persist in several major forms:

    - as a barely breathing but still ruling political system in China, North Korea, Vietnam, and Cuba;

    - as political structures left by communism such as the KGB and party apparatus in Russia and many other former Soviet countries which either control or share power;

    - as power structures propped up or created by the Soviet Union in its extended empire in places such as Palestine, Iraq, Angola, etc.;

    - as the world terrorist network created mainly by the KGB in its fight against democracy;

    - and finally, as an ideology not completely disavowed which still spoils cultural academic and political life in our country and the entire Western world.

    These pieces of communism’s agony are strongly interconnected and help to prolong each other’s unwarranted existence. Such symbiosis, however, also makes them more vulnerable. With one final and comprehensive effort, democracy can complete its work and destroy this house of marked cards. Yet until such an effort is made, this moribund communism, although it has no chance of being revitalized, will continue to spoil and destroy the lives of many people around the world for a long time to come.

    FP: Thank you sir. Obviously the “Evil Empire” as we knew it is not back. But Russia is a big power and a big threat and with its backward steps toward authoritarianism and an anti-Western foreign policy, many of the aspects of the Cold War are indeed returning. More than anything, Russia surely doesn't represent a reliable well-intentioned democratic all, to say the least.

    Mr. Pacepa what are your thoughts?

    Pacepa: I agree with Yuri: Putin alone cannot restore the Evil Empire. But I do not concur with his view that Soviet Communism was an ideological system that irreversibly collapsed. I was at the top of that system and I know for a fact that Soviet Communism had devolved into a samoderzhaviye, the Russian form of autocracy traceable to the 14th century’s Ivan the Terrible, in which a feudal lord ruled the country with his political police. Stalin exterminated the leadership of Lenin’s Communist Party together with some seven million of its members and then, behind a facade of Marxism, gave his political police precedence over the original tools of ideology and the Communist Party. Gulag, the badge of Soviet Communism, was rooted not in Marx’s doctrine but in the tsarist 1845 Criminal Code stipulating draconian penalties for persons arousing “disrespect for Sovereign Authority, or for the personal qualities of the Sovereign.”

    Marxism and the Communist Party were foreign organisms introduced into the Russian body, and both were eventually rejected. But the historically Russian political police remained in place with new nameplates at the door. KGB chief Yuri Andropov, a Russian to the bone, used to tell me that “our gosbezopasnost” (state security service) had kept Russia alive for the past five hundred years and “our gosbezopasnost” would guide her helm for the next five hundred years. Andropov has proved a dependable prophet. In 1982 he was enthroned in the Kremlin. His KGB successor, Vladimir Kryuchkov, authored the August 1991 coup that deposed Mikhail Gorbachev. In 1998, former KGB officer Yevgeny Primakov became Russia’s prime minister. Most notably, Vladimir Putin was the very chief of the gosbezopasnost before being appointed Russia’s president.

    In the Soviet Union, the KGB was a state within a state. Now former KGB officers are running the state. They have custody of the country’s 6,000 nuclear weapons, entrusted to the KGB in the 1950s, and they now also manage the strategic oil industry renationalized by Putin. The KGB successor, rechristened FSB, still has the right to electronically monitor the population, control political groups, search homes and businesses, infiltrate the federal government, create its own front enterprises, investigate cases, and run its own prison system. The Soviet Union had one KGB officer for every 428 citizens. Putin’s Russia has one FSB-ist for every 297 citizens.

    The Cold War is indeed over, but, unlike other wars, it did not end with the defeated enemy throwing down his weapons. This historically Russian gosbezopasnost might one day rally behind some other dictator--nationalist, socialist, fascist, environmentalist or whatever label he might choose--who suffered from grandiose dreams of conquering the world, and who could again threaten our Western way of life.

    FP: This is all quite complicated. So in some ways the Cold War ended but also never ended at all? Gen. McInerney, what are your thoughts, especially about Yuri Yarim-Agaev’s and Gen. Pacepa’s seeming disagreement on Soviet Communism being an ideological system that irreversibly collapsed?

    McInerney: Jamie, I am delighted to be associated with this esteemed panel on such an important question. Both Yuri and Gen Pacepa’s presentations were excellent and, based on their comments which I agree with and my observations, I would say that the Evil Empire as we in the West knew it is trying to make a comeback. Specifically with respect to Iran, Russia is not our ally and is probably our enemy I am sorry to say.

    Russia’s assistance to this Iranian regime with nuclear technology will enable this Islamic terrorist regime to develop nuclear weapons. These weapons could eventually end up in American, European and Israeli cities. Consequently their assistance is very destabilizing and most worrisome. The nightmare scenario that we all fear could come to pass and Russia would be the enabler. This is not good and I think we in the West should put enormous pressure on Russia to cease and desist.

    I am not paranoid, but Islamic extremists desire to kill as many Americans as possible – and this is our greatest concern in the coming years. Russia should not want any part of this. I understand that there is a great deal of frustration within the gosbezopasnost after their super power status was reduced.

    However, they must be very careful working with a nation like Iran and their extreme Islamic leadership. As described above, Putin is a very clever person and is skilled in this devious behavior. He has no desire to have Russia adopt democracy and has taken the appropriate steps to become a totalitarian regime in the future. Using Iran to be a de facto ally in reducing America’s role could backfire on them.

    I still believe that Russia helped Saddam Hussein remove his WMDs in the fall of 2002 and their is ample evidence with the concurrent visit of senior Russian military leadership and assistance teams at that time and now the recently released tapes of Saddam’s conversations at the Intelligence Summit in Feb 2006; but this is a separate subject. Their role in the Oil for Food program is well documented. Russia certainly was not our friend in removing Saddam from power. So there is ample evidence that she has an entirely different agenda than one of global democracies which will continually force her to move back to the Evil Empire days.

    FP: Thank you Gen. McInerney. Your turn Mr. Woolsey? And what do you think about Yuri Yarim-Agaev’s and Gen. Pacepa’s seeming disagreement?

    Woolsey: The differences here are minor -- we are all describing the same phenomenon. I would say that what we now have in Russia is a Really-Bad-Wanna-Be-Again-Empire.

    Really bad rather than evil because Putin has taken things back maybe not all the way to Ivan the Terrible but to, say, Nicholas II on a bad day. Custine is still, sadly, as excellent a guide to the tendencies of Russian governments as Tocqueville is to ours. Today the communist ideology is dead and we are left with increasingly corrupt thuggery. One searches in vain for even a bit of lip service being paid to the principle of from-each-according-to-his-ability-to-each-according-to-his-need. There's not a trace of commitment to any overarching values, good or bad, in the behavior of the new Russian establishment.

    A Wanna-Be-Again empire because, whereas Russia's control over its most recent empire, aka the USSR, deteriorated in the early '90's Putin is working hard to restore as much Russian dominance as possible via, inter alia, the leverage provided by oil and gas. It is not accidental, as my Soviet negotiating adversaries used to be fond of saying, that Belarus has been getting easier treatment regarding what it owes for Russian gas than Ukraine, and that Georgia found its gas pipeline blown up last winter where it passed through Russian-controlled territory. As Tom Friedman put it in a recent article in Foreign Policy Magazine, the price of oil and the path of freedom move in opposite directions.

    So unless the Saudis reach into their oil reserves and do again what they did in the mid-80's and late 90's -- pump oil, tank world prices, and bankrupt their higher-cost competitors including Russia -- we will apparently be dealing for some time with a quite wealthy state, and one that is highly corrupt and essentially fascist, that represses somewhere between the preponderance and essentially all of its people's civil liberties, that holds rigged plebiscites occasionally, and that diligently works to dominate its neighbors. This Wanna-Be-Again empire's Achilles heel, though, is demographic. With Russians' current tiny birth rate and short male life expectancy, by mid-century Russia could have under 100 million people, a large minority of them Muslim -- not a good prospect for maintaining even a scaled-back empire, or perhaps even for holding on to Russia proper.

    Yarim-Agaev: There is not much difference in our attitude toward Putin’s regime; there is, however, a major disconnect in assessing its nature and inevitability. We agree that the patient is ill and concur on the primary symptoms. We disagree on a diagnosis and hence on how to treat the patient--or whether he is curable at all.

    We agree on what Russian leaders want, and what they think that they can achieve, and here Ion Pacepa’s knowledge of top KGB ranks is important. We may disagree, though, on what they actually can do, and here knowledge of the real political and economic situation is far more important than knowing the aspirations of those leaders, who typically have a very poor understanding of their country. We agree on Wanna-Be and may disagree on Gonna-Be.

    Historic analogies and the private revelations of the top brass, however peculiar and at times useful, have no validity in terms of either scientific proof or judicial verdict. I would not use them as evidence for sentencing the Russian people to 500 more years of secret police rule, or as the foundation for developing policy toward Russia.

    I would not give the green light to Putin’s regime only because it allegedly restores the natural course of Russian history, which was only slightly distorted by Communism, which was merely a masquerade costume as it were for Russia’s perpetual autocracy. I believe that Russia’s future will be determined by the global expansion of democracy, globalization of the market economy and the information revolution, rather than by the ghosts of Ivan the Terrible and Nikolai I.

    I would not reduce the political system that shaped the 20th century and brought our civilization to the brink of elimination, to a blip on the radar of Russian history. Whatever communism borrowed from Russian autocracy and from Marx’s theories, it developed into a clearly identifiable and new political system with a unique set of basic principles. That system is so deterministic and dominant that it established itself in virtually identical form in Russia, Eastern Europe, China, Korea, Cuba—with no regard to race, ethnicity or local history, and suppressing those countries’ cultures and religions. The Russian Gulag, the Chinese Laogai, Castro’s prisons, and Pol Pot’s killing fields are unalienable parts of any communist system and follow directly from Marxism-Leninism. They can hardly be explained by some obscure article of Nicholas I’s criminal code, typical for any autocracy.

    Communism is cemented in its ideology and cannot survive without it. It does not make a difference whether its leaders believe in it or not, as long as they serve that ideology. Upon decline of the ideology, the system may continue to procrastinate its demise, since there is no opposition to challenge it. After the collapse of the system, constituent parts can exist even longer, especially if they are as tightly organized as the KGB--but they would still live on a borrowed time.

    The KGB was always subservient to the party and cannot exist for any extended period without it. The KGB did not take over the communist party; in 1991 it totally lost its power together with the party. It never regained it, but rather filled the void left by disorganized Russian democrats, and the controversial policy of Western democracies.

    Secret police cannot run a modern country; they can only try to control it. All the powers of the FSB as listed by Pacepa are of a destructive or restrictive nature. They only suppress society’s productive and constructive forces. That is why, with the skyrocketing prices of oil and gas, Russia remains a poor country in comparison with Estonia and the Czech Republic, which have no natural resources but a much higher level of political and economic freedom. Of all the offspring of the Soviet Empire, these two countries undertook the most radical steps to root out Communism.

    With all its atrocities, totalitarianism has only one advantage. Like a sponge it soaks up into its hierarchy the most evil part of society and makes it localized and easily identifiable. It is unwise not to use that advantage. Any good doctor would be glad to identify a tumor timely and to remove it to save the patient’s life. It would be strange if instead of taking that action he would leave the patient with the explanation that his heredity and unhealthy lifestyle caused the deterioration of his health. Such advice can be useful after removal of the tumor, but not instead of it. It would have been quite unfortunate if in 1945 instead of holding the Nuremberg trials and carrying out the policy of denazification, America had found a historical explanation for German Nazism and left the Gestapo to rule.

    I still believe that Russia can and will develop into a democracy, and that the major obstacles on this road are the remains of the communist system. We may help to clear the road at least by not legitimizing and supporting them. Even after those roadblocks are finally removed there will be many bumps left, and then the understanding of Russian history may help to overcome them. But not yet. First things first.

    As to the Cold War, it is not over, never was, and will not end until all the remnants of communism as listed in my introductory statement are eliminated.

    Pacepa: I think we all can agree that, even without the Communist Party, we are dealing with a dangerous Russia. Putin may not be a tyrant on the order of a Stalin, but he is running Russia with the same criminal political police Stalin used for tyrannising the country and carrying out the Cold War. Over 6,000 former KGB officers are now managing Russia’s federal and local administrations, her domestic and foreign policies, her media, her re-nationalized oil industry. In a 14-page article, Putin defined Russia’s political future: “The state must be where and as needed; freedom must be where and as required.”

    Russia’s weapons of mass destruction are also still in the hands of Stalin’s intelligence agencies, which continue to produce, stockpile and guard them. When I was in Romania in the late 70’s, the KGB’s nuclear component alone had 87 super secret nuclear cities. I knew them well. None had ever been shown on any Soviet maps or counted among the population's labor force. Celyabinsk, for instance, was on the map of Russia, but Celiabinsk-40, a KGB city of 40,000 people located in the Urals, was not. After a nuclear accident at the East Siberian city of Tomsk-7 in April of 1993, ten other “secret cities” were disclosed.

    These facilities are so enormous, it would be virtually impossible to disassemble them, and so far nothing indicates that they have been. A couple of years ago one of them test-launched a missile system that allegedly could manoeuvre in mid-flight, allowing it to dodge defenses. “The test carried out yesterday confirmed that we can build weapons which will render any anti-missile system defenseless,” Putin announced. Now he is using these facilities to arm Islamic terrorists—through the government of Iran—with nuclear power and the Shahab-4 missile.

    On February 12, 2004, Putin declared the demise of the Soviet Union a “national tragedy on an enormous scale.” His language is sure to have sent a chill through the 14 other former Soviet republics that have been independent from Moscow for more than a decade. It should worry us as well.

    In Russia, the more things change, the more they seem to stay the same.

    I highly value Yuri’s long fight against the Evil Empire, but I respectfully disagree with his view that “historic analogies … have no validity.” I wish we could ignore Russia’s genes.

    What should we do about it? There is no easy answer for a country whose arteries have been calcified by seven decades of abysmal feudalism—disguised as Communism. If history, including that of the last 16 years, is any guide, the Russians, who are now enjoying their regained nationalism, may well strive to build a Wanna-Be-Again empire by inspiring themselves from old Russian traditions, not from Western-style political parties. Russia has never had any real political parties anyway, and Putin’s United Russia looks like just another power-hungry mafia of siloviki along the lines of the Communist Party. The KGB, now the FSB, will become simply another anagram in a long string: Oprichnina, Okhrana, Cheka, GPU, OGPU, MVD, NKVD. Good or bad, the old political police may appear to most Russians as their only defense against the rapacity of the new capitalists at home and the greediness of foreign neighbors.

    It won’t be easy to change this trend. But we may be able to motivate members of the new Russian generation to start creating a new identity for their motherland. Former CIA director James Woolsey should know better than any of us if and how we might help them to achieve this goal.

    McInerney: Well as Jim said I think we are all saying the same thing as to what is happening to Russia, but may have some historical or granular differences about how and why it is transpiring.

    I agree with Jim, Yuri and Gen Pacepe that the vestiges of this former empire are enablers in the direction it is moving and none of us have said it is going in the right direction. I would hope that Gen Pacepe’s suggestion of motivating a new Russian generation to start creating a new identity for their motherland would be possible, but here I am a pessimist. History has not been good to “hopeful” strategies and ideologies that have totalitarianism as a tenet part of leadership and control. Yuri’s goal for success is the elimination of the remnants of communism which he described in his opening comments. I strongly agree with him but also believe that the direction Russia is going now will make that very difficult.

    Today, Russian corruption is symptomatic of problems including a neutered parliament, intimidated media and a subservient judiciary, all tenets of a fledging democracy and capitalistic system. Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (whom I am sure Yuri and Gen. Pacepe know) said on 2 June 06 that the Russian Government should retain control over strategic companies like defense, atomic energy, and natural resource giants like Gazprom whose board he heads. He pays homage to capitalism by saying companies in other industries must be private but counters that with government playing a larger role to put them in order.

    I have never seen a government that has ever put a private company in order but I am sure there may be a few. Yuri is correct in stating that the West should not legitimize and support this thuggery (Jim’s word) and we should not be intimidated by their threat of opposing their entry to the WTO.

    President Bush should look into Putin’s eyes and say Not now-clean up your act. Russia is on a fast track to becoming a” wanna be evil empire” again if the West does not stand up to there recent actions that are well documented and known. This has to be a global stand and I am not hopeful that our economic allies (EU, ASEAN, ME, SA) have the courage -- which is not good especially with our mounting challenges in Iran and North Korea.

    FP: Jim Woolsey, last word goes to you sir.

    Woolsey: I agree with much of what Mr. Yarim-Agaev says and he provides a useful perspective on the unique contribution of communism, including that in countries other than Russia, to the history of totalitarianism. I don't support the proposition that Russia is a "gonna-be" empire (as distinct from just "wanna-be") - I don't like "gonna" as a characterization of the future of human history. We all have choices.

    But a nation's choices can be heavily influenced by its history, and even though Russians' willingness to subordinate other values to that of security is not permanently imbedded in the Russian people's DNA, this willingness has nonetheless manifested itself a number of times. I rather imagine that any nation's citizens would likely be obsessed with security if they had been invaded in relatively modern times by the Mongols, the Swedes, the French, and the Germans (twice).

    Partly as a result of this historic Russian tilt toward sacrificing other values for security, including their practice of dominating their own neighbors (Lincoln used to tell of an old farmer whose philosophy was, "Ah don't need much land, jist what adjines mine."), Russia missed four chances in the 19th and 20th centuries to opt solidly for liberal reform: the Decembrists, inspired by the ideals of the French Revolution, were defeated; the reformers who backed Alexander II when he freed the serfs were thwarted; the Mensheviks were killed by the Bolsheviks; and the liberal reformers who surrounded Yeltsin have now lost to Putin and the siloviki.

    I would say, unlike Mr. Yarim-Agaev, that one big problem with our own behavior in the nineties was that we ignored Russian history and assumed that once the Berlin Wall was down and good ol' Boris was in the Kremlin everything would be fine on the political side - and indeed that it was our over-fixation on the death of the communist ideology that led us astray.

    Frank Fukayama wrote a fascinating book much more nuanced than the title he took from Hegel, but far too many people thought we in fact had reached something like "The End of History". In my judgment we failed to take some steps to help Russia that we could have (and took some of the wrong ones) because we assumed the politics would be fine and focused so heavily on economics that we ignored the necessity of such things as establishing an independent judiciary and encouraging some checks and balances. In the last analysis, however, we couldn't excise the totalitarian/security service tumor mainly because - unlike the situations in Japan and Germany after WW II - we never controlled the patient and he never gave consent to the operation.

    Maybe one of these days the Russian liberal reformers will win, but you can't blame them for being discouraged.
    Last edited by Ryan Ruck; August 29th, 2006 at 18:44. Reason: Fixed Formatting

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    The following is absolutely killer. I mean absolutely killer and dead-on for this forum and this thread. Ya'll are really gonna just love this!

    Russia's Terrorist Road Map

    JINSA Report #598, 29 August 2006

    Westerners, Americans in particular, often ask what we did to engender the violent hatred of Islamic terrorists. [Not us, by the way. Well aware of Western shortcomings and always interested in national self-improvement, we nevertheless believe nothing we have done or are likely to do justifies 9-11, the Sbarro pizzeria bombing in Jerusalem, or the perversion of Muslim children to believe that their lives are best spent preparing for a violent death.] Others wonder why, even though the USSR invaded and decimated Afghanistan, the particular fury of Islamists is directed at the U.S. and Israel.

    Regnar Rasmussen, a former military interpreter and interrogation specialist trained at the Danish Armed Forces' Specialist School, worked as a Farsi translator in the immigration department of Danish Central Police. In the mid-1980s, he interviewed Iranians fleeing the Islamic Revolution and discovered that many had been communists in the time of the Shah and received guerrilla/explosives/terrorism training in the USSR. In an interview with Insight Magazine, Rasmussen described them:

    After I had been face to face with a number of these, it dawned upon me that the step from being a glowing red communist to becoming a bloodthirsty Muslim fundamentalist is actually a distance equal to zero. Since then, I have seen these two categories as the two sides of the same coin. Communism and Islamic fundamentalism have more in common than what meets the eye. They share the same fundamental hatred against individualism and against individuals who wish to be happy and just enjoy life.

    Romanian Ion Mihai Pacepa, the highest-ranking intelligence officer to have defected from the Soviet bloc, provided details in a recent article in the National Review.

    In 1972, the Kremlin decided to turn the whole Islamic world against Israel and the U.S. ... Andropov told me

    ...The Islamic world was a waiting petri dish in which we could nurture a virulent strain of America-hatred, grown from the bacterium of Marxist-Leninist thought. Islamic anti-Semitism ran deep... Terrorism and violence against Israel and her master, American Zionism, would flow naturally from the Muslims' religious fervor, Andropov sermonized. We had only to keep repeating our themes - that the United States and Israel were "fascist, imperial-Zionist countries" bankrolled by rich Jews. Islam was obsessed with preventing the infidels' occupation of its territory."
    What to do with the information? Ramussen notes:

    The Soviet system had a solid tradition of registering everything. We saw all the details meticulously noted down in every STASI report that came out after the fall of communism in 1989. I know that all the files of each and every single foreign student ever trained in the Soviet Union are still intact

    ... If the new Russia wants to show her good intentions in the war against terror she should brush the dust off these old archives. If you trace down each and every single graduate you will also be able to see who in turn became his students or followers. The entire network that was set up by that generation in those days would become clearly visible.

    It is crucial for the West to sever the relationship between terrorists and the states that harbor and support them. A road map provided by the Russian government would make it a lot easier.

    1779 Massachusetts Ave., NW
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    Last edited by Sean Osborne; September 5th, 2006 at 01:00.

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    Senior Member samizdat's Avatar
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    ...The Islamic world was a waiting petri dish in which we could nurture a virulent strain of America-hatred, grown from the bacterium of Marxist-Leninist thought.
    I hate the biological metaphor. Neitche grew this vile AC strain of bacterium. It stinks of what he ended life eating.

    On the optomistic side- a house divided against itself cannot stand. There are AC similarities, but a distinct division between Soviet communism, Islam and Maoist national fervor. The devil will rear its head(s) but the heads(s) will be crushed.

    canto XXV Dante

    from purgatory, the lustful... "open your breast to the truth which follows and know that as soon as the articulations in the brain are perfected in the embryo, the first Mover turns to it, happy...."
    Shema Israel

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    Creepy Ass Cracka & Site Owner Ryan Ruck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Russia's Involvement With Terrorism

    Roots of Islamic Terrorism: How Communists Helped Fundamentalists
    Roots of Islamic Terrorism: How Communists Helped Fundamentalists

    Antero Leitzinger - 9/11/2006

    This article traces the roots of Islamic terrorism, with special focus on Afghanistan. Notes are added on practical and philosophical problems of world media in finding the right track. From systematic errors in revealing little details, to serious misconceptions about basic facts and principles, we can relatively easily learn how much of "common knowledge" rests actually on superficial research and popular myths. Instead of becoming critical and aware of the traps laid around the issue, both Islamists and Islamophobes fail to recognize how they are manipulated.

    Terrorism is real

    Terrorism is not as difficult a concept as some claim. It is a political ideology (-ism) on the use of terror, which is arbitrary, unrestricted and unspecified fear. This excludes traditional warfare against regular armies and police forces, and individual assassinations of public figures.

    Neither separatism nor criminal violence as such is necessarily terrorism. To call an act terrorism, we should always ask: Does this really spread blind terror among the general populace? A bomb blown in a market place, or in a civilian airplane, intends to create common fear among customers and bystanders alike, because just about anybody could become a victim. The victims are typically anonymous, and the very idea of the act was to cause damage or a credible threat. The assassination of a political leader, throwing stones on occupation troops, or bombing of enemy positions during a declared war or after an order to surrender has been given, may be repulsive and kill innocent people, but there is no terror, if no average "man of the street" needs to feel uneasy about his security the next day. No women or children should need to fear that they could be mistaken as presidents, soldiers, or military installations. Somebody may have bad luck and be targeted accidentally, but if it is terrorism, we will find ourselves asking: Why? What is the object?

    Terrorism is rarely the ultimate end itself, as anarchy or communism is thought to be, but merely a method to promote some politics. That is why terrorists represent a political ideology. Even when they are in fact nothing but common criminals or psychopaths, terrorists make efforts to find a political excuse for their acts.

    We know that not every political movement has created a terrorist splinter group, or served as an excuse for terrorism. Actually, terrorism has been the favourite method of extreme socialists only - both of the (left-wing) international, and the (right-wing) national varieties. Since the Jacobins of the French revolution held a "Reign of Terror" in 1794, the international socialists (communists) and national socialists (fascists) have shared a common tendency to use terrorism.

    A clear definition of terrorism helps to identify and trace it through history. It can be dated and located. This makes it very real - and thus also possible to be exterminated.

    How Socialists became Islamic terrorists

    Modern terrorism was born within a year, 1967-1968. International socialists (communists) started the fashion all over the world simultaneously, which should make us suspicious about the common roots. National socialists followed suit, turning Marxists of Muslim origin into Islamists of Marxist origin.

    In May 18th, 1967, Yuri Andropov took over the leadership of the KGB. The Russian security services evolved into a state within the Soviet state, as it became clear when Andropov became the communist party's general secretary after Leonid Brezhnev's death, in 1982. During Andropov's era, which was far longer than that of any other KGB chief, the Soviet secret services supported international terrorism through satellite states and Marxist "liberation fronts". "On becoming chairman of the KGB in 1967, Andropov immediately announced his intention to revive KGB 'special actions' as an essential tool of Soviet policy during the Cold War." (Andrew & Mitrokhin, p. 374)

    The man who became Andropov's deputy was former Azerbaijani KGB chief Semyon Tsvigun, who committed suicide on January 19th, 1982. His wife was the sister of Brezhnev. Eduard Topol wrote a spy novel about the case, titled "Red Square". In the novel, Tsvigun's widow accuses Andropov for being an anti-Semite, organizing international terrorism, and having his subordinate assassinated. Reality, however, does not corroborate any rift within the KGB. Tsvigun's son became a KGB officer too, and was appointed as a Soviet diplomat in Cairo from August 1984. Tsvigun's son-in-law became the main supplier of arms to Islamist terrorists in Afghanistan, by 1995.

    On June 2nd, 1967, violent student demonstrators met the Shah of Iran in West Germany. All of free Europe was plagued by student demonstrations in May 1968, causing a nearly revolutionary situation in France. Numerous left-wing terrorist cells were formed in Germany, Italy, and other western countries. Their activities peaked in 1977, after which the West German terrorists retired in communist East Germany.

    The (North Irish) IRA and (Basque) ETA started their terrorism in 1968, with peaks around 1976. Andropov considered an IRA request for arms delivery for three years until subscribing it in 1972. (Andrew & Mitrokhin, p. 378 and 384-385)

    German and Italian left-wing terrorists cooperated by summer 1969, and in October 1971, altogether 16 terrorist groups held a meeting in Florence, Italy. Beside the IRA and ETA, many Palestinian and Latin American (ERP, ELN, MLN, MIR) groups joined to the international terror network by 1973.

    In the USA, Soviet agents incited racial tension by writings in the name of the Ku Klux Klan, and by a bomb explosion in New York City, in summer 1971. (Andrew & Mitrokhin, p. 238) The same year, Soviet agents made contacts to a Quebecois separatist group, the FLQ.

    In Latin America, communist Cuba was the source of revolutionary activities in many countries, although the KGB kept its own agents there too. (Andrew & Mitrokhin, p. 386) In October 1967, "Che Guevara", whose girl-friend was an East German, was executed in Bolivia, becoming a romantic idol for teenage girls. Thirty-four years later, his picture could be seen on the T-shirts of young Palestinian brawlers. In Mexico, the KGB was involved in student riots from July to October 1968, prior to the Olympic Games. Uruguay experienced urban guerrilla activities by the MLN, peaking between 1968 and 1972. Argentine followed between 1970 and 1975. Communists had big hopes on Chile, but were bitterly disappointed by the military coup in 1973.

    By the end of the 1970s, communist optimism was definitely on the decline everywhere in the world. At that point, the KGB desperately needed any kind of a boost of revolutionary spirits. Surprisingly, the Middle East came to rescue.

    In December 1967, a Lebanese Christian, George Habash, who had been a Pan-Arabic national socialist, had broadened his field by founding the PFLP, a Palestinian organization. Although it split already by the next year, the PFLP remained the most pro-Soviet Palestinian terrorist group, with widest global ties. It caused the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party to adopt the Palestinian cause in 1968. In July 1970, Andropov allowed the first direct Soviet arms delivery to the PFLP. From that on, both the KGB and - perhaps even more so - the Russian military intelligence, GRU, provided Palestinian terrorists with arms and training. (Segaller, p. 126-127; Livingston & Halevy, p. 140; Lunev, p. 80; Kuzichkin, p. 206; Andrew & Mitrokhin, p. 381) From 1972 on, this was co-ordinated by Habash, who had close connections to Japanese and Latin American terrorist groups. (Livingston & Halevy, p. 208-209)

    The man chiefly responsible for exporting Palestinian terrorism was Wadi Haddad, deputy leader of the PFLP, recruited as agent "Natsionalist" by the KGB in 1970. Andropov revealed his aims in a report to Brezhnev himself: "The nature of our relations with W. Haddad enables us to control the external operations of the PFLP to a certain degree, to exert influence in a manner favorable to the Soviet Union and also to carry out active measures in support of our interests through the organization's assets while observing the necessary conspirational secrecy." (Andrew & Mitrokhin, p. 380)

    The once fashionable airplane hijackings had been begun by the PFLP in July 23rd, 1968. At that time, the Soviet Union, having supported the establishment of Israel and armed its forces 20 years earlier, had already invested a lot of resources into the Palestinian cause and Arab Socialism. Arms had been initially smuggled through Egypt. (Barron, p. 77)

    "By the summer of 1968, the Soviet Union had progressed far toward converting Egypt into its principal base of subversion against the Arab world." (Barron, p. 62) Thirty-three years later, Egypt was the principal base of Islamic terrorists. Soviet Union, however, failed in Egypt. In May 1971, Anwar Sadat wiped out most of KGB agents. In July 1972, Soviet advisors were expelled from Egypt. Eight years later, Sadat paid for this with his life, being assassinated by members of an Islamist group. Sadat's peace policy toward Israel made it easy for the remnants of the KGB network to ally with the right-wing Muslim Brotherhood. This is the background of Ayman az-Zawahiri, the second man of al-Qayda.

    Yasser Arafat's al-Fatah organization received its first Soviet arms shipment in September 1972. Palestinians were, however, split into pro-Iraqi and pro-Syrian parties and factions. Although both Iraq and Syria were ruled by an Arab Socialist Baath party, and extremely friendly toward the Soviet Union after the end of 1950s, the deepening friction between these two Arab states cut through the Palestinians, and frustrated Soviet efforts to unite Arabs against Israel and the western world.

    The Yom Kippur War of 1973, and the subsequent oil embargo from October 1973 to March 1974, which was aimed against the USA, taught the KGB two lessons: that the traditional, orthodox Arab Socialist partners and their Palestinian proxies could not be trusted and achieved little through military endeavours and terrorism; but that the future was economic, and lay with the oil-fields in Saudi Arabia and Gulf emirates. Thus Political Islam, or Islamism, replaced Socialism as the most promising basis for winning Arab hearts and hurting western interests in the Middle East. After the debacle in Egypt, the KGB turned toward Saudi Arabia, where King Faysal had been assassinated in May 1975, and King Khalid ruled until 1982. Here, the KGB could find most valuable connections through the Muslim Brotherhood.

    The key link may have been Muhammad Maruf ad-Dawalibi, former Prime Minister of Syria, and founder of the Islamic Socialist Front in autumn 1949. He had declared already in April 1950, that Arabs would prefer "thousands time more to become a Soviet Republic than to be spoils of Jews". (Reissner, p. 332, 355 and 422-423) Dawalibi's preference for Soviet rule had not been shaken by Soviet support for Israel as late as September 1951. Instead, he recommended Arab leaders to seek even harder for Soviet support. (Reissner, p. 357 and 366) Dawalibi was exiled from Syria, but he became a councellor of King Khalid, and the chairman of the Islamic Conference that convened in Pakistan in 1976. (Reissner, p. 394 and 423)

    Saudi Arabia became after 1974 the main financier of international terrorism, regardless of the professed Atheism of Palestinian Marxist groups. For example, only in the year 1989, the PLO received 85 million US$ and Hamas 72 million US$ Saudi payments. At the same time, Kuwait too financed Hamas with 60 million US$. (Goodwin, p. 16-17)

    This policy, explained as payoffs to keep terrorists away from Saudi targets, was supervised by the Saudi intelligence chief, the king's nephew, Prince Turki, from 1977 until his unexplained sacking at the end of August, 2001.

    Another Saudi god-father of Islamism was the senile Mufti Abdulaziz Bin Baz (d. 1999), who declared that the sun revolved around the earth (1966), and that the earth was flat (1969), among other equally "Islamic" doctrines. (Goodwin, p. 211) With Saudi money, such ideas where transmitted through the Islamic Conference, and its organizer, the Muslim World League, all over Muslim world.

    Iraq was in mid-1970s Russia's most trusted ally in the Muslim world (except for South Yemen, which was already officially a Soviet satellite), and the only nominally non-communistic state, where the KGB ceased its activities, because there appeared to be no need for any supervision. When Saddam Hussein had some Iraqi communists executed, in May 1978, the KGB became worried, but the outbreak of Iraqi-Iranian war in 1980, came as a surprise to Soviet diplomacy. For a while, Soviet Union wavered in whom to support, but when the USA, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia had made their choice for Iraq, the Soviet Union switched sides. Following this, many Soviet-sponsored terrorists had to move from Iraq to Iran, Syria, or Lebanon.

    Iran became Russia's most loyal ally after the Islamic revolution in 1979. This relationship has lasted over two decades, and is still cherished by the Islamists among Shi'ite clergy and security services. When Soviet troops invaded Afghanistan later the same year, there was only one spontaneous demonstration in Tehran, after which Iran has tamely followed Russia's actions against neighbouring Muslim people.

    The Iranian revolution took the KGB by surprise, but it was a pleasant surprise, and the Soviet Union choose to side with the Islamist revolutionaries already by November 1978. Azerbaijan's contemporary president, former party leader and KGB chief (a successor and friend of Tsvigun), Hayder Aliyev, was the expert on Middle East, who had soon convinced the Politburo, that Ayatollah Khomeini should be supported by the Soviet Union. (Taheri, p. 218) This assessment caused a permanent division within the Iranian communist (Tudeh) party, because it was instructed to support Khomeini despite the doubts of the party's own general secretary. He was replaced by a relative of Khomeini. (Kuzichkin, p. 264 and 285)

    Among the closest associates of Khomeini, there were many Communists who had conveniently grown beards. Mustafa Ali Chamran had studied in California and Egypt before he founded a Red Shi'ite secret society. His pupils included later foreign minister Ibrahim Yazdi, oil minister Mohammed Gharazi, and a Lebanese fellow student in Berkeley University, Hussein Shaikh al-Islam, who led the occupation of the US Embassy in Tehran. This occupation, shortly before the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, focused Iranian radicalism into anti-Americanism. (Taheri, p. 78 and 139-140) Mohammed Beheshti, whose death at a bombing on June 28th, 1981, remained a mystery, had resided in East Germany. Khomeini's early companion and foreign minister, Sadegh Ghotbzadeh, was a link to Syria. Most left-wing radicals were repressed only after summer 1981, by which time many former Communists had successfully accommodated with the new regime. Both Ghotbzadeh and Chamran had received Palestinian terrorist training. As a student in the USA, Ghotbzadeh had been recruited by the GRU. (Livingston & Halevy, p. 153-154; Kuzichkin, p. 302)

    "It is significant that anti-Americanism was first propagated as a major theme of Muslim fundamentalism by young men and women from Islamic countries who had spent time in the United States as students or workers." (Taheri, p. 206) These included the founding father of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Said Qutb, who had lived in the USA for two years around 1949/1950. The four pilots of September 11th, 2001, included one native German citizen, whose Moroccan father was no Islamist at all, a Lebanese of liberal background, and a United Arab Emirates' subject, both of whom had spent five years in Germany, and the Egyptian-born terrorist leader Muhammad Atta, who had immigrated into Germany nine years earlier.

    Daniel Pipes' article "The Western Mind of Radical Islam" describes well, how so many Islamic terrorists actually adopted more ideas from contacts to western society than from their own traditions: "Fundamentalist leaders tend to be well acquainted with the West, having lived there, learned its languages, and studied its cultures. ... Indeed, the experience of living in the West often turns indifferent Muslims into fundamentalists. ... In contrast to this ostentatious familiarity with Western ways, fundamentalists are distant from their own culture. ... Having found Islam on their own as adults, many fundamentalists are ignorant of their own history and traditions." (

    This became very obvious through the biographies of those who committed the suicide attacks of September 2001, and who were typically from wealthy families, liberally educated, and had lived many years in Hamburg, London, and America. Pipes takes notice of the fact that "fundamentalist Muslims" (or rather, "Islamists", as they care little of traditions and their true fundaments), have introduced distinctly Christian notions into their religion. He presents plenty of detailed examples, among others that "fundamentalists have turned Fridays into a Sabbath, something it had not previously been. ... Ignorant of the spirit underlying the Shari'a, fundamentalists enforce it along territorial, not personal lines..." (, and so forth.

    While original Islamic law had complex separate provisions for Jews and Christians, Islamists tend to regard them as intolerantly as non-Christians used to be regarded in pre-19th century Europe. Islamists also tend to confuse Islamic concepts (f. ex. regarding ritual purity, food prescriptions, etc.) with similar but not identical Christian concepts. A visible example is the uniform-like "Islamic head-scarf", which could be derived rather from prescriptions in the Epistle of St. Paul than from interpretations of the Koran, or from traditional customs. There is also a curious tendency to threat apostates with death sentence (while the Koran forbids the use of force in matters of religion), and to prevent female followers from marrying Christian men, while men have always been allowed to marry Christian women, and the Koran explicitly orders the same marriage restrictions or exemptions equally for both sexes. Actually, it was the Christian Canon and laws (for example in Russia until the beginning of 20th century), that threatened an apostate with death penalty and prevented mixed marriages. When Christian societies found out that such laws had no base in religion, Islamists took them over, although they had even less base in Islam. For example, in the Malaysian state of Sabah, Muslim women were banned from mixed marriages only after the 1970s, when Islamism became a global fashion. Fundamentally anti-Islamic fashions and interpretations of religion were exported from Saudi Arabia globally since the 1970s, with heavy financial backing.

    Pipes describes the way Islamists "have set up church-like structures. The trend began in Saudi Arabia, where the authorities built a raft of new institutions..., for example: the Secretary of the Muslim World League, the Secretary General of the Islamic Conference... The Islamic Republic of Iran soon followed the Saudi model and went beyond it..." (

    Anti-Americanism became a strong common denominator for not only Muslims, but also Christians and Atheists in the Middle East. This was not so surprising, since not only Habash, but also another Marxist Palestinian party leader, Nayef Hawatmeh of the DFLP, was a Christian. (IHT 9.8.1999) The PLO included many Christian Arabs, but since 1985, it too adopted an "Islamic" policy. Arafat's own Al-Fatah organization together with the Communist Party of Jordan allied with the Muslim Brotherhood. (Bodansky, p. 21)

    In the Karabakh conflict, Khomeini supported Christian Armenians, whose terrorist movement ASALA had been originally established by a former Iraqi member of the PFLP, "Hagop Hagopian", and had shared common training camps in Lebanon with the PFLP, from 1977 to 1982. (Seale, p. 337-338)

    After July 1983, ASALA disappeared in the same Lebanese valley, where another anti-Turkish organization, the PKK, emerged next summer. This was no novelty, since pro-Soviet Armenians had participated in the founding of an anti-Turkish Kurdish party already in 1927 - also in Lebanon. Both ASALA and PKK were rumoured to have been brainchildren of a Soviet Armenian KGB officer Karen Brutents. (MN 10.3.1999)

    Another Armenian terrorist faction, renamed ARA, moved from Iraqi and PFLP protection to Iranian and Lebanese (actually Syrian) custody by the end of 1984. This coincided with the swift of Soviet sympathy from Iraq to Iran during the Iraqi-Iranian war. (Taheri, p. 112 and 278) They were activated against Azerbaijani Muslims in 1987.

    The "Islamic revolution" in Iran inspired also frustrated left-wing Arabs. The Arab world had been demoralized by the 1973 war, by failure to gain enough from the oil crisis, and by the Lebanese civil war in 1975-1976. Even a Christian Marxist like Jérôme Shahin came to the conclusion, that neither Arab Socialism nor Pan-Arabic unity, but only Islam could inspire Arab "masses". Another Marxist, Anwar Abdulmalek, advocated "Political Islam", and described Khomeini as "progressive by definition" because of the innate anti-Americanism of Islamic heritage. The "Abdelmalek-Shahin syndrome" gave suddenly hope to alienated left-wing intellectuals. (Sivan, p. 161-168)

    Islamism became the new ideology for Algerian independence champion Ahmad Ben Bella (1984), who had been decorated with a Lenin medal twenty-one years earlier. (Taheri, p. 192-193 and 296) In Morocco, Socialists turned into Islamists included Abdulkarim Moti and Abdussalam Yassine. (Taheri, p. 195) The latter published an open letter to the king in 1974, was imprisoned, and lives still under house arrest as the leader of Adl wa Ihsane (Justice and Well-fare) Party. (NZZ 2.7.1999)

    This conversion from Marxism to Islam was no worse a spiritual problem than the conversion of traditionally deeply Roman Catholic nationalist organizations like the IRA and ETA, into Marxist terrorist groups in the 1960s. German right-wing terrorists of the Wehrsportgruppe felt no problems either, in being trained in 1981 by left-wing Palestinians in Lebanon. (NZZ 8.1.1985)

    Despite possible ideological objections, those communists and other extremists, who remained loyal to Russia's strategic mission in the Middle East, were ready to serve it under a new ideological disguise. This was noticed by some researchers by mid-1980s: "The most significant new factor is the Soviet realization that two movements - radical-revivalist Islam (commonly but misleadingly called 'fundamentalist') and traditionalist Islam - have become the most decisive trends in the Muslim world, and that if Moscow is to have any influence there, it must find a way to exploit and manipulate them - particularly the radical-revivalists, who are most useful to them. ... They know that their hopes for success lie in persuading the radical-revivalist Muslims to see the Soviets as an instrument to be used against a common enemy, the West." (Afghanistan..., p. 244)

    Soviet Islamists in Afghanistan

    Russia has long traditions in the political art of provocation, dating back to the imperial age, when the secret police finally lost track of its own web of "agents provocateurs", who successfully infiltrated and compromised opposition parties by committing themselves to so serious crimes, that they could just as well be considered revolutionaries in police disguise. Provocations were adopted by the Soviet secret services, and widely used in the "ethnic conflicts" that appeared suddenly in Central Asia and the Caucasus, between 1987 and 1993. (See: Caucasus...!)

    Provocations were exercised already during the invasion of Afghanistan, as has been recently (in February 2002) revealed by Vasili Mitrokhin, a KGB officer from 1956 to 1984, who prepared a secret report in 1987 and defected to Britain in 1992. He describes "false flag" operations, where "Soviet-trained Afghan guerrilla units posed as CIA-supported, anti-Soviet mujahidin rebels [Islamic freedom-fighters] to create confusion and flush out genuine rebels". In January 1983, there were 86 such "false bands", trained by KGB officer V. Kikot of the 8th Department of the "Directorate S". Kikot was transferred from Cuba, and was acquainted with training Palestinian terrorists. There were also over 110 agents infiltrated in Iran and over 200 agents in Pakistan, including Murtaza Bhutto, son of the former president and brother of the future prime minister. (WP 24.2.2002; IHT 25.2.2002)

    Former KGB general Oleg Kalugin assured correctly on a BBC World News TV discussion on September 23rd, 2001, that there were more terrorists of al-Qayda who had been trained by the KGB than by the CIA, but his words were not taken seriously by other debaters, who preferred to blame the prevailing poverty in Palestinian refugee camps, American non-involvement there, American involvement in assisting Afghan freedom-fighters in the 1980s, and global inequality, as breeding-grounds for terrorism. For some reason, logically inconsistent and practically unfounded theories remain far more popular in western media than the simple facts confessed by top-ranking ex-Soviet officials.

    Afghan freedom fighters recognized Gulbuddin Hikmatyar as a KGB provocateur already by 1985. Two-thirds of the conflicts between Afghan guerrilla factions were caused by KGB provocation. (Bradsher, p. 295; Afghanistan..., p. 203-227 and 395) This should have been no surprise, since Hikmatyar is told to have spent four years in the Afghan communist party (PDPA) before becoming a "devout" Muslim. ( Even an Afghan left-wing feminist group accuses Hikmatyar for participation in an assassination carried out by the KGB in 1985. (

    "The Soviets manipulated and exploited Gulbaddin Hekmatiyar's Hizbi-i Islami [Islamic Party] primarily through the numerous agents in his military council, which included representatives not only from the Muslim Brotherhood but also from Libya, Iran, and the PLO. In the mid-1980s, Gulbaddin Hekmatiyar was known to have visited Libya and Iran and was rumored to have visited the PDRY [communist South Yemen]." (Bodansky, p. 22-23)

    As CNN's reporter Richard Mackenzie has said, Hikmatyar "gained notoriety in Afghanistan for killing more fellow Mujahideen than he did communists."

    Many observers predicted early enough, what would be the alternative to communist power in Kabul: "Since 1978 the Communist regimes in Kabul have consistently identified Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the most radical figure, as the primary or even the sole leader of the entire Resistance... In the event that the Communist regimes in Kabul were ever to be replaced or joined by the most radical elements in the Resistance and these elements attempted to implement their extremist programs, it appears certain that they would meet with massive public opposition, setting off disorders which would provide the Soviets with an opportunity to return in the guise of providing stability. In such a case, an international community convinced that the Afghans are 'incapable' of self-government would hardly protest." (Afghanistan..., p. 9) This was very much what happened indeed, and within 15 years from this prophesy, the time seemed ripe for Russia to make it happen.

    Although Hikmatyar was (like the Taliban leaders later) a Sunni Muslim, he regarded Iran as his model, and took refugee in Iran, where he sympathized the Taliban until he was forced to disappear from Tehran in February 2002. A great mystery, wondered by many western researchers and journalists who had observed the Afghan war, was how notoriously anti-American Hikmatyar, despite his bad reputation and terrorist sympathies, became a favourite of the Pakistani ISI (until 1993), and thus a main recipient of US military aid for Afghan guerrillas in the mid-1980s. Several explanations, including KGB infiltration of the CIA (or rather ISI), have been provided. (Arney, p. 160-161; IHT 28.1.1994)

    The most probable explanation is simply that the CIA possessed more money than wisdom. A former CIA agent, Reuel Marc Gerecht, described in his article "The Counterterrorist Myth", how throughout the Afghan war, the Directorate of Operations never developed a team of Afghan experts. The first case officer to have some proficiency in an Afghan language did not arrive until 1987. After 1989, the CIA abandoned Afghanistan, in the firm belief that the Cold War was over, and for the following ten years, no CIA official paid a visit to the legendary commander Ahmadshah Masud in Afghanistan, to learn that the war was far from over yet. (

    Although American contribution to the Afghan war has been exaggerated, it remains a dark cloud over the CIA's credibility. The British were critical about CIA's policy, and far more efficient by providing Stinger missiles to Masud, who used them to expel the Russians. Hikmatyar sold his Stingers to Iran in 1987. (Cooley, p. 92 and 173)

    Russia's aid for the communist army exceeded all foreign aid to the guerrillas. From 1986 to 1990, the USA sent weapons worth of 2,5 to 3,2 billion US$ and Saudi Arabia for the same amount, while the Soviet Union provided an arsenal worth an estimated 5,7 billion US$, according to moderate estimates. (Goodwin, p. 16 and 82; NZZ 26.-27.9.1998; Reuters 1.4.2001) Saudi Arabia may have continued financing its own proxies in the years 1991-1992. But this was certainly more than equalled by Russia's shipments, estimated as high as worth of 4 billion US$ annually (20-30 daily flights), continuing at least until 1991. (Khabir Ahmad's report in "Venäjän ja Itä-Euroopan instituutin Tiedonantoja ja katsauksia" 3/2001)

    There are discrepancies between the numbers presented in different sources, but whatever reasons the USA may have had for spending money on Hikmatyar, Russia's legacy prolonged the most destructive civil war beyond the official disintegration of the Soviet Union and the fall of Kabul.

    Afghan communists have a broad history of "turning coats", or to be more accurate, of growing beards and adopting the title "Mullah" attached to a pseudonym. Prior to the Soviet invasion, the communists had been divided into three factions:

    Maoist radicals of the Khalq faction, led by Hafizullah Amin (1979), who was deposed by the Soviets. These included army officer Turan Abdurrahman, who joined the guerrilla already in 1979, and reappeared as "Mullah Borjan", the supreme commander of the Taliban military in 1996, before he was killed under unknown circumstances;

    Moderates of the Khalq faction, led by Nurmuhammad Taraki (1978-1979), who was deposed by Amin. These included defence minister Shahnawaz Tanai, and several other generals, who joined Hikmatyar between 1990 and 1992, but defected to the Taliban by 1996, organizing their air force, air defence (Muhammad Gilani), artillery (Shah Sawar), communications units, military intelligence, and security services (Muhammad Akbar);

    Kremlin loyalists of the Parcham faction, led by Babrak Karmal (1979-1986), Najibullah (1986-1992), and Abdurrashid Dostum, who is an ethnic Uzbek general. Dostum's air force bombed Kabul to ruins before it too defected to the Taliban in May 1997. Dostum himself joined the "Northern Alliance" with the legal government only when he was reduced to military marginality, and although he generously received an office in Kabul, he would still like to challenge the interim government, and remains a trouble-maker in the northern provinces, with support from Uzbekistan.

    Taliban commandants were identified in an excellent article by Stéphane Allix in Le Monde diplomatique, January 1997. They all had a past in the communist Khalq faction. The KGB was not supposed to recruit agents among them, but concentrated on the Parcham faction, (Kuzichkin, p. 312) but the GRU must have been interested specially in recruiting Khalq officers.

    The founder of the Taliban, "Mullah" (without much of clerical education) Omar, was a comrade-in-arms of "Mullah Borjan" in the Islamic Revolutionary Movement, before they founded a new party of their own, by autumn 1994. Their credentials in the resistance were marginal compared to those of Masud. The same applies to Osama Bin Ladin, who arrived in Pakistan by 1984 and may have participated in one battle but boasted as a war veteran to his young idolaters. According to CIA agent Milton Bearden, Bin Ladin fought a battle only in spring 1987, although his biographer Yossef Bodansky, blessed with rather vivid imagination, credits him also with a couple of skirmishes in 1986 and 1989. (Bodansky, p. 19 and 25)

    Actually, when the Palestinian organizer of Arab aid, Abdullah Azzam, wanted to send volunteers, money, and arms to assist Masud, Bin Ladin had his mentor assassinated in autumn 1989, took over the organization (al-Qayda), sent the volunteers back home (Kabul remained to be liberated, as well as the rest of Central Asia), and let Hikmatyar have the rest. Bin Ladin left his base in the Pakistani frontier town of Peshawar in an unexplained panic (telling that Saudi Arabia had hired the ISI to kill him), in 1991, while communists were still in power in Kabul, and just when things started to move in Soviet Central Asia. He had quite apparently no interest in destabilizing the Russian sphere of influence, and in contrary, directed the activities of Arab adventurers against pro-American governments.

    During the Afghan war, Arabs hanging around in the region had been of little use (the Afghans detested them because of their religious fervour, lack of respect for traditions, and boasting habit), and although they pretended to be interested in Afghanistan, they were in fact hiding in Peshawar from their own police. When visiting Afghanistan, they were merely tolerated because of their connections to financial aid. (NZZ 26.-27.9.1998) Most of the "Arab Afghans" were Egyptians in exile, but some Arab countries dumped there common criminals. In 1991, they were recruited to fight in Algeria, and in 1993-1994, they were used by Hikmatyar to assist Aliyev and Russian-sponsored terrorists in Azerbaijan. (Cooley, p. 178-179)

    Bin Ladin returned to Afghanistan only when in need of refuge for himself, invited by Hikmatyar in 1996, and soon found out, that meanwhile, all his fellow terrorists had defected - alongside with the communist generals - to the self-appointed "Mullah" Omar. Bin Ladin followed suit.

    Russia's sponsorship of the Taliban and al-Qayda

    Post-Soviet Russia faked friendship with the legal Afghan government of Burhanuddin Rabbani (1992-2001), while its "former" communist generals (seven out of eleven) served Hikmatyar, with the main exception of Dostum. According to Peshawar University professor Azmat Hayat Khan, the communist army was divided with the explicit intention of continuing destabilization, and retaining their party affiliations and structures for future use. ("Central Asia" 31/1992, p. 62) The Taliban was, however, sometimes suspicious about its former communists, many of whom may have been purged in September 1998, when three generals, twenty-two officers, and thirty other people were arrested for involvement in a communist conspiracy. (Radio Russia 27.9.1998;

    When Rabbani's defence minister Masud, the archenemy of the KGB, was about to restore peace in Afghanistan by 1995, against all odds, Russia promoted a new rebel movement, the Taliban. Money, arms and technological know-how were channelled not only through the above-mentioned agents, but also directly by flights from Russia, and probably overland through Turkmenistan. This started before Bin Ladin's arrival, and Bin Ladin - through his Egyptian connections, close to Hikmatyar - remained servile to Russian interests.

    First of all, Russia was worried about the future of ex-Soviet Tajikistan, which enjoyed a short period of democracy at the very same time when Rabbani and Masud, both ethnic Tajiks, were restoring order in Kabul. The Russian army restored old communists to power in Tajikistan, fought a bloody civil war, and put pressure on the Afghan government not to tolerate Tajik guerrillas on its soil. Rossiiskiye Vesti wrote in September 1994, that the Tajik civil war could be finished only by pacifying Afghanistan. (The Times 8.5.1995)

    Secondly, Saparmurat Niyazov, the communist leader of Turkmenistan, initiated, in November 1994, a project to build oil and gas pipelines through Afghanistan to Pakistan. (Guardian 3.10.1995) This was further promoted by the mighty Gazprom company, whose former manager Viktor Chernomyrdin is, as its shareholder, one of the world's richest men, and happened to be Russian prime minister from 1993 to 1998. This end of the pipeline project has received little attention from Western media, while the other end has produced speculations ever since the Californian-based UNOCAL and the Saudi Arabian Delta Oil companies were attracted to the project by October 1995. Originally, also the Argentinean oil company Bridas was involved, but because it would have preferred a routing through Iran, it was dropped out of the project. (Der Spiegel 1/7.1.2002)

    Gazprom succeeded in having UNOCAL to sign a deal on August 13th, 1996. This became a political nuisance to the USA, and finally, UNOCAL cancelled it. However, neither the government of Turkmenistan, nor the Russian gas giant Gazprom, suffered from bad publicity. They met no political objections to continue negotiations with the Taliban. (IPS 30.4.1999; AsiaPulse via COMTEX 31.10.2000) Niyazov personally put on hold the promising alternative, American-sponsored Trans-Caspian Pipeline Project for the export of Turkmen gas to Turkey. (The Monitor 4.1.2001)

    Turkmenistan's Afghan connections, both economical and political, remained relatively unnoticed by the media, because the country was almost as closed from the outside world as it used to be during the Soviet times. After the Taliban's defeat and the escape of al-Qayda militants toward the north-east corner of Iran, or toward Turkmenistan, Niyazov had to cut his links by a thorough purge in the army and secret services. Muhammad Nazarov, chief of the KNB (Turkmen KGB), was publicly reprimanded, demoted from four-star general to lieutenant general, and dismissed on March 13th, 2002. He was replaced by the interior minister. The defence minister and head of military counterintelligence, Gurbanduri Begenzhev, also lost his posts in disgrace. The same happened to Khosse Reyymov, another major general, who had been responsible for border controls. The changing of the guard came as a surprise as just weeks before, the security services were being presented as a pillar of Niyazov's authoritarian regime. Some sources suggested that the US ambassador had complained in private to Niyazov of crime within the Turkmen secret services. Niyazov's "fight against infection" within the KNB began immediately after the meeting. (TOL 18.3.2002)

    While Niyazov and Chernomyrdin had personal financial interests to support the Taliban, US Vice President Al Gore signed the infamous 1995 US-Russian weapons agreement, which exempted Russia from sanctions, although Russia would sell arms to Iran. This secret agreement violated the rules of 1992, by the US Congress. Gore's excuse was that Russia agreed upon not selling nuclear technology, and to stop all arms exports to Iran by the end of 1999. This, of course, never happened, and when the failed agreement was leaked to The New York Times in October 2000, Russia declared its intention not to keep it anyway. (Reuters 31.10. and 22.11.2000) The case illustrates how deeply Chernomyrdin was involved in businesses with Islamic extremists, and how Russia succeeded in having Bill Clinton's administration participate in shady deals against American public interests. There were also rumours of promised concessions in the pipeline projects, or in financial support to Gore's presidential campaign. Gore's loss at the November 2000 elections was a devastating surprise for Russian political establishment.

    Thirdly, a KGB officer, Viktor But (Victor Bout), flew arms to the Taliban until 2001. The beginning of this business enterprise would have remained unknown, if a Russian airplane would not have been spotted at Kandahar airport. According to But's explanations, the arms shipment, originally intended to the government in Kabul, was forced to land at Kandahar by a MiG 21, on August 6th, 1995. This happened exactly at a time when the Taliban was about to be routed. Instead of a rapid disaster at this critical point, the reinforced Taliban turned to attack, and took over the town of Herat by September 5th. The Russian pilots were kept as hostages in Kandahar until next August 16th, when they miraculously escaped and were decorated by the Russian president. Soon after, in September 1996, an well-armed Taliban advanced all the way to Kabul.

    "By August the [Taliban] group was broke and desperate. Yet suddenly they were rolling in cash and confidence. On Sept. 27 the Taliban marched into Kabul. Former mujahedin commanders close to the Taliban say the bonanza arrived courtesy of Osama bin Ladin... Afghan and Western sources say bin Laden's gift to Omar amounted to $3 million." (Newsweek 13.10.1997) According to Russian sources, the money, exactly three million US$, was a "ransom" paid directly by Russia. (Interfax 29.8.1996) Perhaps it did not make much of a difference, who delivered the money - and much more than worth of that in arms - to the Taliban?

    Viktor But was born in 1967, probably in Smolensk. He has used also the names Viktor Bulakin and Vadim Aminov. He carries five passports: two Russians, one Ukrainian, and probably one Tajik and one Uzbek. (Guardian 23.12.2000) He served as navigator in the Soviet air force, and graduated from the Military Institute for Foreign Languages in Moscow, known as a GRU spy school. By 1991, But had a career in the KGB, assisted by his father-in-law, who was no less a character than the Brezhnev family member Tsvigun. (Guardian 23.12.2000)

    After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, But served in UN peace troops in Angola. (Sunday Telegraph 22.7.2001) He still has a house in Johannesburg, now used as a brothel. In 1995, But appeared in Belgium as the owner of a cargo flight company. He flew arms to Afghanistan, since 1997 to East Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, and Uganda, and since 1998 to Liberia and Sierra Leone. Destinations may have included also Bosnia, Serbia, Iraq, Eritrea or Georgia (the end users are often unknown), Peru, and Sri Lanka (Tamil Tigers). (Jane's Intelligence Review, February 2002; The Washington Monthly 1/2002)

    But's partners were Soviet-trained air force generals of the Taliban. To be closer to Afghanistan, he moved in 1997 to the United Arab Emirates. When UN sanctions forced the United Arab Emirates to check the cargo going to Afghanistan, in January 2001, Bill Clinton's administration did its last favour to friendly Russia by allowing an exception for carriers registered in Russia. (LAT 20.1.2002) For Clinton's administration, Russians were always above any suspicions as sponsors of Islamic terrorism. Once again, the British MI6 was needed to turn CIA's attention to the right direction. (Sunday Times 17.2.2002)

    Russian disinformation labelled the Taliban a client of Pakistan, although some observers had noticed already by 1997, that the ISI had surprisingly little leverage on the Taliban. Even if the Taliban were a creation by Benazir Bhutto's (1993-1996) interior minister, Nasrullah Babar, they had soon freed themselves from any gratitude and dependence.

    In June 2001, a fax message from Peshawar, revealed by Pakistani intelligence, described But's role as Taliban's lifeline. Arms should be routed either overland via Turkmenistan, or by air to Uzbekistan or Turkmenistan - the airplanes, flown by reliable Armenian pilots, would then fake emergency landings in Afghanistan. (WT 11.11.2001)

    But has 250-300 employees, probably mostly Russians, Ukrainians, and Armenians. According to a Russian newspaper, the Komsomolskaya Pravda, But's main source of arms is Transdnestria, the Moldovan slice of land occupied by Russian army and administered by Soviet-nostalgic communists. (BBC 27.2.2002) This is also where terrorists of the Turkish PKK have found refugee. According to Jane's Intelligence Review, February 2002, "Pakistani smugglers with ties to Ukraine" escorted possibly up to 200 al-Qayda militants to Ukraine. The "Pakistani smuggler" was, however, But's associate, and the destination probably Transdnestria.

    But himself owns a five-storey house in Moscow, where he appeared in a radio studio to declare his innocence. Shortly before, the Russian Interpol officer had claimed that they had searched for But for years, and could guarantee, that he was not in Russia. (LAT 26.2.2002) But's brother had a house in Islamabad. (WP 26.2.2002)

    On February 28th, 2002, the head of the Russian Interpol office proudly declared, that after four years of investigations, Russian law-enforcement agencies could assure, that But was nowhere in Russia. At the same time, But appeared in the Ekho Moskvy radio programme, saying that he had lived all the time in Moscow. He evaded questions by claiming, that he was a businessman, envied and therefore persecuted by Americans, that he had no ties to Russian intelligence, that he was involved only in air transportation since 1992, and that he never went "into the arms trade as such" - after all, "What does 'arms trade' mean?" But asked philosophically. He repeated the common claim that "Americans helped in cultivating the Taliban and controlled it through Pakistan." (NYT 1.3.2002)

    The same night, a Russian Interior Ministry spokesman explained that police were not seeking to arrest But, because they had no evidence of any wrongdoing. (LAT 1.3.2002) Instead, the Russian media started to explain that But was only working for a Ukrainian Jew, Vadim Rabinovich, who must be an Israeli agent. This claim had been originally presented by the reorganized Russian foreign intelligence service SVR. (Der Spiegel 1/7.1.2002)

    The But affair may have required from Russia more than just diversion in the media. In mid-October 2001, tension between Russian and Abkhazian border was very high, and experts predicted an "anti-terror invasion" of Georgia by Russian forces. This did not happen, however, as suddenly everything cooled down. At the same time, Russia's foreign ministry had protested The Washington Times' report about al-Qayda's arms trade relations to "Russian mafia", asking for exchange of information between security services. (RFE/RL Russian Federation Report 1.10.2001; DN 16.10.2001) When the But affair was discussed in public, in February 2002, Georgia invited US military assistance. This caused a fury in Russia, but unexpectedly, the Kremlin appeared paralyzed to react.

    Some years ago, Clinton's Russia expert Strobe Talbott had entertained great expectations because the FBI was allowed to open an office and to train Russian colleagues to fight terrorism in Moscow. This was before the spy scandal of the FBI. They failed, however, to investigate the September 1999 terror wave, which was pinned collectively on Chechens, but was obviously committed by Russian secret services. At the end of October, 2000, FSB colonel Aleksandr Litvinenko sought asylum in Britain and claimed to have evidence of FSB's guilt for the bombings. (Monitor 2.11.2000; BBC 6.11.2000) Other Russians have expressed suspicions on GRU's involvement. (The Independent 6.11.2000; Monitor 11.1.2000; TN 3.2.2000) Interpol, the FBI, and their Russian colleagues appear to be unable not only to investigate terrorism but also to apprehend well-known Russian "merchants of death" in Moscow, despite of international warrants for arrest.

    Talbott's "post-Cold War" thesis was that simple good will, trusting Russian officials, and supporting financially Russia's supposedly reforming institutions, would pay back in the form of increasing mutual trust and genuine friendship. According to a polling conducted by the US State Department, quite the opposite has happened: over 70 % of Russians had a favourable opinion of the USA in 1993, but only 37 % in February 2000. (Forbes.Com 31.10.2000)

    There might indeed be a Chechen connection, but hardly the like Interpol's Russian officials would be investigating: the former communist boss of Soviet Chechnya, and Russia's puppet president (1995-1996) Doku Zavgayev, was appointed as Russia's ambassador to Tanzania shortly before Bin Ladin's associates blew up buildings there. US federal prosecutors found a letter between terrorists, who repeatedly referred to the group's members in Kenya by the code name "the fish people". (NYT 23.1.2000) The arms flown by But's company to Afghanistan were listed as "fish from Tanzania". (WT 11.11.2001) Where do fish dwell? Perhaps in an aquarium, which happens to be the nickname of the GRU headquarter in Moscow... (

    Also, the PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan's decision to fly to Nairobi, in February 1999, may be added to a list of curious East African coincidences.

    We should also remember the career of Yevgeni Primakov, KGB operative in Egypt in the 1960s, chief of the SVR from 1991 to 1996, foreign minister from 1996 to 1998, and prime minister from 1998 to 1999. His appointment into Chernomyrdin's government in December 1996 followed two months after the sacking of Aleksandr Lebed, the popular general who made peace in Chechnya and advocated strong measures against the Taliban. "The rivalry between SVR and foreign ministry ... ended in decisive victory for the SVR with Primakov's appointment as foreign minister ... in December 1996." (Andrew & Mitrokhin, p. 562)

    Primakov appears to have carried with him a sharp policy change: instead of negotiating a final peace deal with the Chechens, as had been agreed by Lebed, the FSB encouraged provocative Islamists, who committed murders and kidnappings from 1997 to 1999, scaring most foreign aid workers and reporters out of the land, and providing the Russian government with an excuse for a renewed intervention. Obviously, this was a method successfully exercised in Afghanistan to oust the Rabbani government from Kabul.

    During his travels in the Middle East in the 1980s, Primakov had been known to talk about Free Mason and Jewish conspiracies. (Andrew & Mitrokhin, p. 573)

    According to a Russian newspaper article by Oleg Lurye, Bin Ladin's cousin had meetings with the daughter of Boris Yeltsin. (RFE/RL Business Watch 12.3.2002)

    Soviet Islamists in Russia

    Islamists in modern Russia are KGB-trained provocateurs, who fight traditions and nationalism, and dream about a re-established Soviet Union. Their perception of Islam resembles more a Communist caricature than the historical roots of ethnically mainly Caucasian and Tatar Muslims. To understand the development to this better, KGB's activities in the Middle East can be divided in five-year periods:

    1968-1972 the KGB puts great hopes on international terrorism in general, and

    particularly on Palestinians, and other Arab Socialists. Focus on Egypt.

    1973-1977 the KGB is disappointed and Arabs are frustrated, but Saudi-sponsored

    Islamism provides an alternative political ideology for promoting

    anti-American and pro-Russian sentiments. Focus on Iraq.

    1978-1982 the KGB puts great hopes on the "Islamic revolution" of Iran, and its

    expansion to Arab countries, while exporting communism into Afghanistan.

    Focus on Iran. End of Andropov's era (1967-1982) in the KGB.

    1983-1987 the KGB is disappointed, but accommodated by the dominance of Islamism

    over orthodox Communism in Iran. Focus on Syria and Afghanistan. End of

    GRU chief Pyotr Ivashutin's era (1963-1987).

    1988-1992 the KGB withdraws its "active measures" inside the Soviet borders, and

    concentrates in provoking "ethnic conflicts" to divide and rule

    separatists in the Caucasus and elsewhere in the disintegrating empire.

    The KGB is split (1991), and the GRU has chiefs with no intelligence

    background (1987-1991) but establishes huge post-Soviet military bases

    in Karabakh, Abkhazia, and Transdnestria.

    1993-1997 the KGB (FSB and SVR) re-establishes communist power in former Soviet

    Republics (except the Baltic countries) but fails to do it in Chechnya.

    Afghanistan remains divided as a new group of provocateurs, the Taliban,

    emerges to challenge the freedom fighters. The GRU under Fyodor Ladygin

    (1992-1997), has more resources at its disposal than the SVR under

    Primakov (1991-1996).

    Through these phases, Russian secret services gained a tight hold on international terrorism, and specially on Islamism. It was nothing new. During the 1920s, Soviet intelligence had succeeded in thoroughly infiltrating fiercely anti-Soviet monarchist emigrant organizations. Furthermore, "dozens of mythical organizations came into being. One of these, the 'Trust', has become well known in both Western and Soviet writings. For many years the Soviet leaders claimed to have cunningly infiltrated a monarchist resistance organization, but in the 1970s they admitted that they themselves had created it. … Similar ones attacked… the church hierarchy of every denomination; and 'nationalists' inside and outside the country, with a 'line' of provocation covering each political tendency within each major ethnic subdivision - Ukrainians, Cossacks, Armenians, Georgians, Central Asians. Fragmentary information on at least two dozen 'lines' has become known in the West through the years." (Deriabin & Bagley, p. 262 and 263)

    Unfortunately, "Soviet provocation… remains little understood in the West. People safe in a democratic system may find it difficult to conceive that rulers would systematically use such hostile techniques against their own subjects." (Deriabin & Bagley, p. 252)

    Back in the 1920s, anti-Soviet emigrants were compromised in front of western governments to reduce their credibility, and they were used in domestic propaganda to stage sabotage actions, to scare the populace, and to provoke dissidents into revealing themselves. This excellent experience was certainly in the minds of post-Andropov and post-Ivashutin intelligence officers, who "may in fact have launched a new golden era of provocation. … A blatant example was the work of the far-right anti-Semitic organization called Pamyat (Memory)." (Deriabin & Bagley, p. 251 and 261)

    For the development of Soviet Islamism, the years 1988-1992 were crucial. The KGB fought for its very existence, and the GRU too was called to fight internal enemies within Soviet borders, instead of its traditional foreign military intelligence work. Although the GRU had fewer agents abroad than the KGB (in relation 7 to 10), it was claimed to possess more financial resources by the mid-1980s. (Kuzichkin, p. 274) Where was the money spent when the "Cold War" was declared ended, traditional military intelligence lost motivation, and left-wing terrorist organizations of the 1970s vanished from sight? Obviously, GRU resources were concentrated to activities within Soviet borders, to arm and train provocateurs. It is known, that special forces were called from Afghanistan to crush Crimean Tatar demonstrations in Moscow, in July 1987. They appeared soon in the bloody incidents of Tbilisi (1989) and Baku (1990), and in Baltic capitals (1991).

    GRU's Afghan experience was, how to manipulate Islamists and to make Communists (of the Khalq faction) to grow beards and join their declared enemies. This "Khalq strategy" provided a successful alternative to the more orthodox "Parcham strategy" that relied on ideologically less unholy alliances. When Soviet property was privatized, the GRU naturally made money out of sale of air craft and arms.

    As Finnish researcher Anssi Kullberg has recently pointed out in his well documented master's thesis on Russian geopolitics, the Islamic Renaissance Party was founded in Astrakhan, in June 1990, under KGB surveillance, to argue for a Soviet and global Islam against separatist movements among Muslim nations.

    The Islamic Party of Azerbaijan was founded in 1991 by a philologist, "a typical representative of the post-Soviet lumpen-intelligentsia", who was both anti-Turkic and anti-Semitic. Its members organized the burning of an Israeli flag and training of "Islamic brigades". The party fought an international Masonic (!) conspiracy to spread the American model of civilization, until its leadership was arrested in 1996, and accused of spying for Iran. (Igor Rotar: Islamic Fundamentalism in Azerbaijan - Myth or Reality? Prism 8/2000)

    Soviet sponsorship for Islamism has been exposed by a Chechen nationalist leader, Ahmad Zakayev, in a revealing booklet on "Wahhabism - Kremlin's drugs against national liberation organizations". (Dziennik Polski 30.9.2001)

    Finnish Polish researcher Zofia Grodzinska-Klemetti, who visited Chechnya during and between the war years, has also stressed how both Russian and Saudi intelligence were regarded by Chechens as parallel forces undermining the peace and liberty of Chechen society. She noticed in her lecture in Helsinki on October 23rd, 2001, that anti-Semitic propaganda was always in Russian language, and that God was always addressed in Arabic, as Allah, instead of using more popular appellations in local languages. It has been very typical for western Islamists to insist on the use of God's Arabic name. Obviously, anti-Semitism did not emerge from Caucasian or Russian Turkic (Tatar) cultures, but was imported in the name of Arab-centered Islam.

    When the Soviet colonies had nevertheless declared independence in 1991, militant Muslims like the Chechen Basayev brothers, and some of Hikmatyar's "Afghan Arabs", were invited by the GRU to join an "Islamic cause" on behalf of Abkhazia against Georgia. Although the war of 1992-1993 was depicted as a war of independence for the traditionally Muslim Abkhazians, the Basayevs and other Muslim volunteers soon found out, that this was far from the truth. The so-called Abkhazians were old-time Communists who refused to accept democratic changes. Instead of gaining more autonomy, Abkhazia - just like Karabakh and Transdnestria - became practically operated by Russian secret services, and engaged in international arms trade and training of terrorists.

    According to American Turkish researcher Ali M. Koknar, Shamil Basayev went through military training in Afghanistan from April until July 1994; Indian researcher Vinod Anand dates his visit from March to May 1994 - anyway before the Taliban emerged. His host must then still have been Hikmatyar, or one of his Soviet-trained subordinates. There has never been evidence of any contacts between the Chechen leadership and the Taliban, except for a private mission of the former Chechen vice president in early 2000, when Russia had already invaded Chechnya for the second time.

    The Chechen Republic of Ichkeria had declared independence in 1991, and for the first three years, Russia tried a variety of tricks to overpower it. What had succeeded by 1993 in Georgia, Tajikistan, and Azerbaijan, failed to bring results in Chechnya. In the end, Russia started two full-scale invasions against this tiny Caucasian nation. Very few Islamists have shown any sympathy for their fellow Muslims. Both Iran and Iraq have applauded Russia's invasions. Although Russia has blamed Muslim terrorists ("Afghan Arabs") for the tough Chechen resistance, more Ukrainian or ethnic Russian (!) volunteers have been sighted among Chechen freedom-fighters than Arabs or Afghans.

    There are tactical similarities between Chechnya and Afghanistan. Equally sinister forces operated in both countries. Provocateurs were used by Russian secret services to destabilize governments, and the world media was largely kept disinformed about what was going on. At some point, while Afghans were accused for fighting in Chechnya, Chechens were accused for fighting in Afghanistan. Such astonishingly illogical accusations were uncritically transmitted by Western media. Few journalists bothered to ask, why these "mercenaries" remained invisible, immortal (no bodies found on battle grounds), and impossible to be ever caught alive (unless Russia had its prisoners-of-war executed before they could be interrogated), or what sense would it make to have such a bold "students' exchange" between two countries without a common border or even a common neighbour. The logistic risks alone would certainly discourage such practices.

    Beside this, the origins of such inconsistent claims could be traced quite easily. The myth of Chechens in Afghanistan was invented by the Times of India in December 1999, concerning at first only refugees, women and children. By April 2000, there appeared in The Indian Express and The Hindustan Times articles, distributed in the internet by well-known disinformation agents, stories about Arab, Pakistani and Afghan militants, who allegedly had been to Chechnya in August 1999, but returned to fight in Kyrgyzstan before retiring to Afghanistan. (Vinod Anand: Export of Holy Terror to Chechnya From Pakistan and Afghanistan, Strategic Analysis 24.3/2000) Indian newspapers have been always useful for launching Russian disinformation.

    In April 2000, the alleged Afghans in Chechnya and Chechen refugees in Afghanistan were suddenly turned into Chechen fighters in Afghanistan, by the Russian media. ( 26.4.2000) When a Russian TV crew claimed on May 22nd, 2000, that Masud had admitted the existence of "not yet many" Chechens in Afghanistan, Itar-TASS news agency reported "dozens of Chechens" sighted in Afghanistan, which Reuters and BBC inflated into "thousands of Chechens". So, a myth was born. Although Kazakstani Khabar TV searched 3260 prisoners in Afghanistan to find a Chechen, the only candidate turned out to be an Azerbaijani. (BBC 4.1.2002) A Russian newspaper reporter managed to meet a Circassian, who must have worked hard to explain his American interrogators the differences of Caucasian nationalities. (MN 6.-12.2.2002) There were more Westerners among al-Qayda prisoners.

    Mysteriously, none of these Chechens could ever be interviewed - unlike two captured Chinese Uyghurs, who were presented in probably every respectable Western newspaper. ( This, of course, pleased China, but provided Russia little evidence to substantiate its own myths on terrorism.

    It has been alleged that most al-Qayda militants in Afghanistan were of Saudi Arabian or Egyptian origin, but passports could be stolen or forged. Records captured in Kabul, include mostly Yemeni names, followed by Algerians, and individual Syrians, Lebanese, Palestinian, Kuwaiti, and Tunisians. (Jane's Defence Weekly 30.1.2002) Al-Qayda's third man, "Abu Zubaydah", was first declared a Saudi Arabian of Palestinian origin, but then recognized as an Iraqi activist of the Arab Socialist Baath party. (NYT 14.2.2002; Der Spiegel 8/18.2.2002) Although they are Arabs all the same, identities could provide clues about political backgrounds.

    Chechens have been accused for various mischief in Russia. Some years ago, there were stories about toxic material hidden in Moscow parks by Chechen terrorists. Now we know that the Soviet Army had dumped chemical armament into a Moscow park 30 years earlier. (TOL 12.9.2001) All traces seem to lead back to the "Third Rome" and its "praetorians", the Russian military intelligence, GRU. According to the Russian president himself, in his speech at the "Aquarium" on November 5th, 2001, as many as 421 GRU officers had perished in Chechnya during two years of war, and the GRU continues to have a role in Russian foreign affairs! (NIS Observed 28.11.2001)

    What role?!

    Reference literature

    Andrew, Christopher & Mitrokhin, Vasili: The Sword and the Shield - The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB (USA 1999)

    Arney, George: Afghanistan (London 1990)

    Barron, John: KGB - The Secret Work of Soviet Secret Agents (New York 1974)

    Bodansky, Yossef: Bin Laden - The Man Who Declared War on America

    (Rocklin 1999)

    Bradsher, Henry S.: Afghanistan and the Soviet Union (Durham 1985)

    Cooley, John K.: Unholy Wars - Afghanistan, America and International

    Terrorism (Padstow 1999)

    Deriabin, Peter & Bagley, T. H.: KGB - Masters of the Soviet Union (New York 1990)

    Goodwin, Jan: Price of Honour (London 1995)

    Klass, Rosanne (ed.): Afghanistan - The Great Game Revisited (Lanham 1987)

    Kuzichkin, Vladimir: Inside the KGB - Myth and Reality (Frome 1990)

    Leitzinger, Antero (ed.): Caucasus and the Unholy Alliance (Vantaa 1997)

    Livingston, Neil C. & Halevy, David: Inside the PLO (USA 1990)

    Lunev, Stanislav: Through the eyes of the Enemy (Washington 1998)

    Reissner, Johannes: Ideologie und Politik der Muslimbrüder Syriens (Islamkundliche Untersuchungen 55, Berlin 1955)

    Seale, Patrick: Abu Nidal - Der Händler des Todes (Gütersloh 1992)

    Segaller, Stephan: Invisible Armies (Worcester 1986)

    Sivan, Emmanuel: Radical Islam, Modern Theology and Modern Politics

    (Binghamton 1985)

    Taheri, Amir: Holy Terror (Bethesda 1987)

    I was, unfortunately, unable to find the interesting accounts on Russian secret services by Aleksandr Litvinenko ("The FSB Blows Up Russia", or "An Attack on Russia", 2002), Vasili Mitrokhin (2002), Vladimir Sakharov & Umberto Tosi ("High Treason", 1980), Arkady Shevchenko ("Breaking with Moscow", 1985), Vladimir Solovyov & Elena Klepikova ("Behind the High Kremlin Walls", 1986), I. G. Starinov ("Over the Abyss", 1995), Claude Sterling ("Terrorism in the Soviet Connection", 1984), and Viktor Suvorov ("Aquarium", 1985, or "Inside the Aquarium", 1986). I would also suggest the reader Ronald Kessler's "The Richest Man of the World - Adnan Khashoggi" (1986).

    Abbreviations for media

    BBC British Broadcasting Company

    DN Dagens Nyheter (Swedish daily)

    IHT International Herald Tribune

    IPS International Press Service

    LAT Los Angeles Times

    MN Moscow News

    NZZ Neue Zürcher Zeitung (Swiss daily)

    RFE/RL Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

    TN Turkistan Newsletter

    TOL Transitions Online

    WP Washington Post

    WT Washington Times

    Index of persons

    Sometimes combined Arab names appear in English separated (specially Abdul-), or with slightly different spelling because of differences in pronunciation. I have thus retained Mohammed instead of proper Muhammad for Persian names. Some of these variations are listed below [in parentheses]. The Saudi use of "Bin" instead of "ibn" (son) actually makes the patronymic a surname - for example, Ladin was not the father of Usama, but his great-grandfather.

    Abdulmalik, Anwar Lebanese writer [Abdelmalek]

    Abdurrahman, Turan "Mullah Borjan", Taliban officer

    "Abu Zubaydah" Iraqi terrorist

    Ahmad, Khabir Afghan researcher

    Akbar, Muhammad Taliban officer

    Aliyev, Heydar KGB officer, President of Azerbaijan 1993-

    Allix, Stéphane French researcher

    Amin, Hafizullah President of Afghanistan 1979

    Anand, Vinod Indian researcher

    Andropov, Yuri KGB chief 1967-1982, Soviet leader 1982-1984

    Arafat, Yasser Palestinian leader

    Atta, Muhammad Egyptian terrorist

    Azzam, Abdullah Palestinian writer

    Babar, Nasrullah Interior Minister of Pakistan

    Basayev, Shamil Chechen officer, brother of Shirvani Basayev

    Bearden, Milton CIA officer

    Begenzhev, Gurbanduri Defence Minister of Turkmenistan

    Beheshti, Mohammed Ayatollah, Iranian leader 1981

    Ben Bella, Ahmad President of Algeria 1962-1965

    Bhutto, Benazir Prime Minister of Pakistan 1988-1990 and 1993-1996

    Bhutto, Murtaza Pakistani left-wing politician, brother of Benazir Bhutto

    Bin Baz, Abdulaziz Saudi Mufti

    Bin Ladin, Usamah Saudi terrorist [Osama bin Laden]

    Bodansky, Yossef American researcher

    Brezhnev, Leonid Soviet leader 1964-1982

    Brutents, Karen KGB officer

    But, Viktor KGB officer [Victor Bout]

    Chamran, Mustafa Ali Defence Minister of Iran

    "Che Guevara" Cuban terrorist

    Chernomyrdin, Viktor Prime Minister of Russia 1993-1998

    Clinton, Bill President of the USA 1993-2001

    Dawalibi, Muhammad Maruf ad- Prime Minister of Syria 1951 and 1961-1962

    Dostum, Abdurrashid Afghan officer

    Faysal King of Saudi Arabia 1964-1975

    Gerecht, Reuel Marc CIA officer

    Gharazi, Mohammed Oil Minister of Iran

    Ghotbzadeh, Sadegh Foreign Minister of Iran 1979-1980

    Gilani, Muhammad Taliban officer

    Gore, Al Vice President of the USA 1993-2001

    Grodzinska-Klemetti, Zofia Finnish Polish researcher

    Habash, George Palestinian terrorist

    Haddad, Wadi Palestinian terrorist

    "Hagop Hagopian" Iraqi terrorist

    Hawatmeh, Nayef Palestinian terrorist

    Hikmatyar, Gulbuddin Prime Minister of Afghanistan 1993-1994 and 1996 [Hekmatyar]

    Islam, Hussein Shaikh al- Lebanese terrorist

    Ivashutin, Pyotr GRU chief 1963-1987

    Kalugin, Oleg KGB officer

    Karmal, Babrak President of Afghanistan 1979-1986

    Khalid King of Saudi Arabia 1975-1982

    Khan, Azmat Hayat Pakistani researcher

    Khomeini, Ruhollah Ayatollah, Iranian leader 1979-1989

    Kikot, V. KGB officer

    Koknar, Ali M. American Turkish researcher

    Kullberg, Anssi Finnish researcher

    Ladygin, Fedor GRU chief 1992-1997

    Lebed, Aleksandr Russian officer

    Litvinenko, Aleksandr FSB officer

    Lurye, Oleg Russian reporter

    Mackenzie, Richard CNN reporter

    Masud, Ahmadshah Defence Minister of Afghanistan [Ahmed Shah Massoud]

    Mitrokhin, Vasili KGB officer

    Moti, Abdulkarim Moroccan writer [Mot'ee]

    Najibullah President of Afghanistan 1987-1992

    Nazarov, Muhammad KNB chief

    Niyazov, Saparmurad President of Turkmenistan

    Öcalan, Abdullah Turkish terrorist

    Omar Mullah, Taliban leader

    Pipes, Daniel American researcher

    Primakov, Yevgeni SVR chief, Prime Minister of Russia 1998-1999

    Qutb, Said Egyptian terrorist

    Rabbani, Burhanuddin President of Afghanistan 1992-2001

    Rabinovich, Vadim Ukrainian businessman

    Reyymov, Khosse Turkmen officer

    Rotar, Igor Russian researcher

    Sadat, Anwar President of Egypt 1970-1981

    Saddam Hussein President of Iraq 1979-

    Sawar, Shah Taliban officer

    Shahin, Jérôme Lebanese writer

    Talbott, Strobe American left-wing politician

    Tanai, Shahnawaz Defence Minister of Afghanistan

    Taraki, Nurmuhammad President of Afghanistan 1978-1979

    Topol, Eduard American Russian writer

    Tsvigun, Semyon KGB officer

    Turki Prince, Saudi intelligence chief 1977-2001

    Yassine, Abdussalam Moroccan writer

    Yazdi, Ibrahim Foreign Minister of Iran?

    Yeltsin, Boris President of Russia 1991-1999

    Zakayev, Ahmad Deputy Prime Minister of Chechnya

    Zavgayev, Doku Russian Chechen politician

    Zawahiri, Ayman az- Egyptian terrorist

    The article was originally written in March 2002. Antero Leitzinger is a political historian and a researcher for the Finnish Directorate of Immigration. He wrote several books on Turkey, the Middle East and the Caucasus.

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