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The statement of the Caucasian Mujahideen aroused much interest all over the world

Publication time: 3 December 2009, 17:33

The statement by the Staff of the Armed Forces of the Caucasus Emirate which claimed responsibility for the sabotage operation against the "Nevsky Express" caused much interest in the mass-media around the world.


All foreign correspondents in Moscow, including those of Reuters, Agence France Presse and the Chinese Xinhua, reported about it. The information was translated into most languages, including, for example, Bulgarian, Serbian and Slovenian.


For example, a correspondent of the AP, David Nowak, reported from Moscow:


"Chechen rebels claimed responsibility Wednesday for last week's Russian train bombing, which killed at least 26 people and injured scores of others, a Web site sympathetic to the rebels said.


The claim, posted on the site, could buttress the suspicions of officials who are tracing the attack to Islamic separatists in Russia's North Caucasus region. It also raises fears of a fresh wave of attacks outside the region after a five-year break - a renewal of violence that would mirror the growing unrest inside the region.


The statement, issued on behalf of Chechen separatist leader Dokku Umarov, claimed Friday's bombing of a Moscow-St. Petersburg express train was carried out on his orders.


"We declare that this operation was prepared and carried out ... pursuant to the order of the Emir of Caucasus Emirate," or Umarov, the statement said.


Umarov is thought to head a network of separatist cells across volatile and mainly Muslim North Caucasus region that are fighting to break free from Moscow's rule. The rebels are blamed for regular attacks on law enforcement officials in the region's five autonomous republics since the end of two bloody separatist wars in Chechnya.


Russian authorities have said the train's derailment was an act of terrorism and traces of explosives and a crater were found at the disaster site. Government officials were among those killed in the train bombing.


If confirmed, the bombing would mark the first deadly terrorist attack outside the North Caucasus since the bombings of two airliners and a Moscow subway station attack in 2004.


Rights activists charge that devastating rebel attacks in the Caucasus - such as August's bombing of a police station in the capital of Ingushetia, which claimed more than 20 lives - are the bitter fruit of a brutal counterterrorism campaign. The past year has seen a surge in Martyr bombings and assassinations.


"The scariest thing is that this might not be an isolated attack," said political analyst Yulia Latynina in an online commentary. "It could be the start of a series."


Rights activists say government security services in the Caucasus have increased the use of kidnappings, killings and home-burnings directed at suspected rebels and their relatives. The Moscow-based rights group Memorial issued a report this month accusing authorities of implementing "a policy of state terror."


The government has denied wrongdoing, blaming the separatists for trying to turn locals against Moscow.


There has been no official accusation of the southern separatists, but the country's top investigator, Alexander Bastrykin, said in comments published Wednesday in the state newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta that the attack bore their hallmarks. Police released a computerized sketch of a suspect Monday.


Bastrykin's office said Tuesday that he had been injured when a second blast struck the scene of the bombing as sappers and rescue workers were sifting through the wreckage. Russian news agencies said the injury was not serious.


Leonid Belyayev, head of the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry's St. Petersburg branch, was quoted by Russian news wires as saying Wednesday that terrorists could have targeted two trains at once. The blast, he said, was timed to strike when a second train was passing the site in the opposite direction.

Belyayev said the double disaster was avoided because the Nevsky Express was running a minute late.


No arrests have been made in connection with the attack on the luxury Nevsky Express, which occurred 250 miles (400 kilometers) northwest of Moscow and 150 miles (250 kilometers) southeast of St. Petersburg. It was the second attack in two years on the line, which is popular with civil servants and businessmen.


A blast in 2007 injured dozens but killed no one. Two arrests were made following that attack but the main suspect, former military officer Pavel Kosolapov, remains a fugitive.


Russian media reports have quoted officials as saying the same group could be behind both bombings.


Meanwhile, Russian mass media translated into Russian and put somewhere on their Web sites a report on the statement of the Caucasian Mujahideen from Moscow's Reuters and Agence France Presse.  However, this report from the AP they did not translate because of censorship and their ideology.


The English service of BBC said:


" has carried statements before by North Caucasus groups claiming responsibility for attacks on Russia that have turned out to be correct".


In the first half of a video report by the Moscow-based correspondent of Al-Jazeera, Neave Barker, clips of Dokku Umarov and photos of our website could be seen. Al-Jazeera quotes the statement of the Caucasian Mujahideen that unarmed civilian population of Russia is an accomplice of the Russian government as it supports the policy of occupation of the Caucasus and the brutal killings of peaceful Muslims.


Any outsider could see it reading what Russians write about Islam, Muslims, Caucasians and the Caucasus in 99,9 % of cases in Russian blogs.


Al-Jazeera testifies that the explosion by the Mujahideen "has sown fear into the heart of Russia."


The statement by the Caucasian Mujahideen is a powerful blow to the KGB propaganda. The KGB (now renamed the FSB) refused officially to comment on it because whatever they said would be against them.


Unofficially, the KGB through the Moscow bureau of Reuters and in its blogs spreads rumors that the statement of the Mujahideen is unreliable although the Russian state terrorists officially say that the luxury train has been blown up by the Mujahideen. Here is an example of what a KGB agent writes in his blog:


"Recently, the Mujahideen made a video almost for every bombing (in fact, in the Caucasus only, and not always  - KC) which was immediately placed on the KC website (it never happened immediately - KC). It is hard to believe that preparing such a high-level operation they were not interested in making a film. Besides, it is unlikely that they could carry out such a high-level sabotage operation for purely technical reasons.


Arguments in favor of a theory that the train derailed because of a technical problem are more convincing than the statement published on the website which is thought to be unreliable by the Chechens themselves (by the Kadyrov's gang only - KC)".


Well, a video recording in the dark is difficult to make, and it would be not convincing. Moreover, a recording of the 1st operation against the same train in 2007 made in daytime during a reconnaissance was in fact put on our website.


But it "convinced nobody" in Russian media, and the majority of Russian newspapers simply ignored it. Later, the Russians recognized that it was Dokka Umarov and the Mujahideen who were responsible for the bombing this train in 2007. Now the Russians even put some people on "trial" for this bombing and accuse Dokka Umarov of being the organizer. If they recognized the train bombing by the Mujahideen in 2007 then why do they spread doubts through the Moscow bureau of Reuters? Who else then bombed the train?


Department of Monitoring

Kavkaz Center

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