Monday, 22 April 2013

Exiled Chechen opposition leader: Boston bombings "gift to the Kremlin and Putin"

The credulity of some U.S. political commentators and analysts is just mind-boggling. In the wake of the Boston bombings, some are already calling for a new thaw in the US relations with Putin's Russia:
'a number of commenters are already arguing that the Obama administration should repair relations with Russia. Writing in The National Interest, Jacob Heilbrunn argues that the bombing is a “vindication” of Putin: “One can only speculate what Russian president Vladimir Putin is thinking as he sees Chechen terrorists wreaking havoc in a major American city.”'
Read the entire article here
"U.S. and Russian counterterrorism agencies already have a history of cooperating in tracking common enemies. If a joint effort plays some role in shining light on the Boston bombers’ motives or wider networks (if there are wider networks), that would strengthen these ties considerably — and possibly enhance the safety of the coming Olympics.
President Barack Obama has been exploring avenues for another “reset” of Russian-American relations. At least when it comes to counterterrorist operations, Putin is too. Depending on how the next few hours or days go, Boston may serve as an opportunity for these two powers to start over." Read the entire article here
But some experts say the Boston tragedy may provide an opportunity for another thawing.

"Certainly, in the past these situations have helped promote reconciliation between the U.S. and Russia," said Jeffrey Mankoff, a Russia analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "Potentially that could happen again." Read the entire article here

In the overheated atmosphere created by the bombings, it may be useful to read what the exiled Chechen opposition leader Akhmed Zakayev has to say on this matter: 
"Indeed, the Boston bombings were a “gift to the Kremlin and Putin,” he says with a sigh. After last week’s attacks, Zakayev expects events in Boston to be exploited by the Russian government. “They will say, ‘This is the Chechen.’” When the smoke clears, he says he expects Moscow to politicize the suspects’ ethnic background. “Three years ago Putin said that Western nations granting political asylum to Chechens will have problems with these Chechens.” -
It’s this type of comment that raises Zakayev’s suspicions. Throughout our conversation, he hinted at a darker conspiracy, the cui bono suggestion that if the Putin regime benefited politically from the attack, it could have been, in some way, been involved in facilitating it. “Behind this action, we have to consider the involvement of a state organization or another big organization.”
Seizing on media reports that accused bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev flew to Moscow in January 2012, returning to the United States six months later, Zakayev called this information “an absolutely new situation.” (It had yet to be revealed that the Russian government had previously warned Washington about Tsarnaev.) What about reports that, during this period, Tsarnaev received military training from Chechen Islamist groups? “Which Chechen military group trained this guy? Nobody trained this guy,” Zakayev says. “I could believe if they come to Moscow that they have some instruction from someone, from Russian special services.” He adds that he “absolutely does not follow any conspiracy theory. We should wait until the Boston police have a full report.”
The finger-pointing at Russia is unsurprising. When I met Zakayev in 2010, he made it clear that he believed Moscow was involved in almost all major terror attacks attributed to Chechen Islamists, in an attempt to inflame Russian public opinion. It is widely believed by Chechens—and Sen. John McCain, slain Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, former Economist Moscow correspondent Edward Lucas, and many others—that the notorious 1999 Moscow “apartment bombings,” which precipitated the Second Chechen War, were not the work of Chechen radicals, but of Russian intelligence. And it should be pointed out that Chechen exiles are conspiratorial because they been the target of quite a few conspiracies. Last year testimony at a deportation hearing in London revealed that British intelligence foiled a 2009 assassination plot against Zakayev, which MI5 believed was ordered by Kadyrov.Read the entire article here

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