NATO's Secret Islamic Jihad
Oil And The Battle For Chechnya

www.nlpwessex.org/docs/ukraine-caspian.htm
A Caucasian Republic In An Oil And Gas Transit Corridor
Between The Caspian And Black Seas


"At least 11 of the 9/11 al-Qaeda hijackers travelled to Chechnya between 1996 and 2000."
Chechen rebels were feared for suicidal courage and cruelty
London Times, 20 April 2013, Print Edition, P 9

"Russian President Vladimir Putin says he hopes the April 15 Boston Marathon bombings will bring Russia and the United States closer together in combating terrorism.... U.S. and Russian authorities are investigating why deceased bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, an ethnic Chechen, visited Russia last year.... Putin accused the West of providing 'informational, financial, and political' support to militants in the North Caucasus that Russia considers terrorists. 'Russia itself has been a victim of international terrorism, one of the first such victims,' he said. 'And I have always been annoyed when our Western partners and your colleagues from the Western media called our terrorists -- who committed brutal, bloody, sickening crimes on the territory of our country -- called them insurgents and almost never called them terrorists,' Putin said."
Putin Talks About Boston Bombings, Navalny, Berezovsky In Q&A Session
Radio Free Europe, 27 April 2013

Grozny2.jpg (22596 bytes)

Above, A Devastated Grozny In Chechnya During The Civil War That Followed The Fall Of The Berlin Wall And The End Of The Soviet Union

In April 2013 a young man of Chechen origin was arrested following the explosion of two bombs near the finish line of the Boston marathon in the United States, killing three people and wounding nearly 180.  For the first time the incident caused the American public to become strongly aware of Chechnya as source of international Islamist based terrorism.

What most Americans remained unaware of, however, was the long term secret support by NATO member states for Chechen terrorists ('rebels'), as part of the west's struggle with Russia for control of pipeline corridors transporting oil and gas out of the Caspian sea region following the dissolution of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991.

The type of terror that occurred in Boston on 15 April 2013 has been, at various times during their civil war, a near daily experience for those who live in Chechnya. It is an experience whose delivery has been assisted by the hidden hand of NATO, the most lethal and hypocritical military alliance of modern times.

nlpwessex.org

"Delivering one of his most scathing attacks on the US, Mr Gorbachev told The Daily Telegraph that a US military build-up was under way to contain a resurgent Russia. From Nato's expansion plans in the former Soviet Union to Washington's proposals for a bigger defence budget and a missile shield in central Europe, the US was deliberately quashing hopes for permanent peace with Russia, Mr Gorbachev said. 'We had 10 years after the Cold War to build a new world order and yet we squandered them,' he said..... 'I sometimes have a feeling that the United States is going to wage war against the entire world.'... Relations have further deteriorated after Nato promised eventual membership to Georgia and Ukraine, a move interpreted by Mr Gorbachev as an attempt to extend America's sphere of influence into Russia's backyard.  ‘The Americans promised that Nato wouldn't move beyond the boundaries of Germany after the Cold War but now half of central and eastern Europe are members, so what happened to their promises? It shows they cannot be trusted.’ ....Gorbachev ..... quoting a Russian documentary on state television, suggested that Margaret Thatcher had supplied weapons to Chechen terrorists."
Gorbachev: US could start new Cold War
Daily Telegraph, 7 May 2008

"It is time to consider the extent to which American secret agencies have developed a symbiotic relationship with the forces they are supposed to be fighting – and have even on occasion intervened to let al-Qaeda terrorists proceed with their plots..... Consider the FBI’s instruction in 1993 to the Canadian RCMP [Royal Canadian Mounted Police] to release the al-Qaeda organizer Mohamed Ali, who then proceeded to Nairobi in the same year to begin planning the U.S. Embassy bombing of 1998.... the best insider's book about the FBI and Ali Mohamed, [is] The Black Banners, by former FBI agent Ali Soufan (a book that was itself heavily and inexcusably censored by the CIA, after being cleared for publication by the FBI)....  by 1996 bin Laden was 'supporting Islamists in Lebanon, Bosnia, Kashmir, Tajikistan, and Chechnya.' 72 And in step with bin Laden, the al-Kifah Center [in New York] was also supporting jihad after 1992 'in Afghanistan, Bosnia, the Philippines, Egypt, Algeria, Kashmir, Palestine, and elsewhere.' 73 But bin Laden and Al-Kifah were not acting on their own, they were supporting projects, especially in Tajikistan (1993-95) and then Chechnya (after 1995), where their principal ally, Ibn al-Khattab (Thamir Saleh Abdullah Al-Suwailem) also enjoyed high-level support in Saudi Arabia.74 'Khattab enjoyed a certain amount of logistical and financial support from Saudi Arabia. Saudi sheikhs declared the Chechen resistance a legitimate jihad, and private Saudi donors sent money to Khattab and his Chechen colleagues. As late as 1996, mujahidin wounded in Chechnya were sent to Saudi Arabia for medical treatment, a practice paid for by charities and tolerated by the state.' 75 Ali Soufan adds that America also supported this jihad: by 1996, 'the United States had been on the side of Muslims in Afghanistan, Bosnia, and Chechnya.' 76 By protecting the Al-Kifah Center [in New York] and its associates (including Mohamed) and not prosecuting them for their crimes (including murder), the U.S. Government was in effect keeping open a channel whereby those in America who wished to wage jihad were helped to wage jihad in other countries, not here."
Peter Dale Scott - US Government Protection of Al-Qaeda Terrorists and the US-Saudi Black Hole
The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 11, Issue 29, No. 1, July 29, 2013

"Oil is never far from the surface of the war in Chechnya.... oil financed the Chechen struggle for independence 10 years ago
and
the Caspian Sea oilfields and control of pipelines through the Caucasus were a major factor behind Moscow's use of force against the [Chechen] rebels."
Back garden 'oil barons' spring up in Chechnya
Daily Telegraph, 7 June 2002

NATO's Decades Long Islamic Jihad

Bombings at a marathon sporting event in Boston, Massachusetts, in the spring of 2013 suddenly drew much public focus onto the role of Chechnya as a centre for Islamist terrorism. This is a subject to which very little public attention had previously been drawn despite the fact that at least eleven of the 9/11 al-Qaeda hijackers travelled to Chechnya between 1996 and 2000. However, militant Islamists in Chechnya have not been acting alone.

During the 1990s NATO countries had been working behind the scenes to try and destabilise Chechnya by secretly backing militant jihadists seeking independence from Russia after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Chechnya falls within the key geopolitical strategic corridor known as 'the Caucasus' linking the oil and gas fields of the Caspian Sea region with Western Europe. NATO believes that if Chechnya can be split off from Russia, western control of the corridor will be greatly enhanced.

NATO's secret alliance with jihadist Islam in Chechnya is an extension of that launched in 1979 in Afghanistan by US President Jimmy Carter, and later extended under the Reagan Administration. Running to billions of dollars it was NATO's largest ever covert operation ('Operation Cyclone') and it propelled the rise Osama Bin Laden.

This covert policy of backing militant Islamists in pursuit of 'regime change' was also continued by NATO member states in the Balkans and in Libya in the 1990s, and against Libya, Syria and Iran after 9/11.

Those post 9/11 activities have been in total contradiction to the so-called 'war on terror' proclaimed by the Bush II administration, albeit a proclamation long since understood as a 'smokescreen' for the pursuit of other geopolitical objectives (see 'This War On Terrorism Is Bogus', Guardian 6 September 2003), not least of which was 'regime change' in Iraq in 2003, the planning for which began just 10 days into the Bush administration in January 2001.

With the principal exception of actions against the Shia-Islam-based religious regime in Iran, all these covert operations have involved NATO member states deploying fundamentalist Islamists to try and overthrow secular governments (Najibulla in Afghanistan; Milosevic in Yugoslavia; Putin in Chechnya; Gaddafi in Libya; and Assad in Syria). The aim of the Islamists in all these cases is not to establish democracy, but rather rule by Islamic Sharia law, as was achieved by the Taleban in Afghanistan after NATO's covert destabilisation of that country in the 1980s.

In the case of Iran the United States has been secretly backing the MEK (or 'People's Mujahadeen of Iran', a Marxist Islamist group), some of whom were covertly trained by the US government in America's Nevada desert between 2005 and 2007. This matter was exposed in 2012 by the veteran Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist, Seymour Hersh, the man who had also previously exposed the My Lai massacre during the Vietnam war, and the Abu Ghraib prison torture scandal following the US led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

The Bush administration's covert training of the MEK, as uncovered by Hersh, took place even though the organisation was officially designated a terrorist group at the time by the US State Department.

The Obama administration has since delisted the MEK as a terrorist group in order to more easily further its efforts to destabilise Iran, as happened with the Bin Laden-allied KLA in Yugoslavia under the Clinton administration in the 1990s. Put simply, such people are designated 'terrorists' when attacking NATO member states, but 'rebels' or 'freedom fighters' when attacking NATO's enemies, for which they are deployed on a vastly larger scale.

In the eyes of western strategists, it is that latter imbalance which makes the overall net effect of the exercise geopolticially 'worthwhile', despite occasional 'blow back' causalities on the soil of NATO member states.

This is part of a cynical calculation of the type infamously outlined by former US National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski in an interview given with the diplomatic journal Le Nouvel Observateur as far back as 1998, when he described the creation of what he called "Some stirred-up Muslims" as a price worth paying for conducting covert operations against the Russians in Afghanistan in the 1980s (though  Brzezinski's post 9/11 opposition to the arming of Islamists in Syria suggests a more recent tacit acknowledgement of the dangerous consequences of such actions).

The ultimate targets in these covert wars are Russia (the world's largest combined producer of oil and gas) and China (the world's largest consumer of energy), including their strategic interests abroad. Neither being any longer communist in economic terms, these two countries are now major capitalist competitors to NATO member states.

NATO's 'Islamic Jihad' conducted against them is not about 'values', but about money and the natural resources which underpin it.

In the process millions of innocent people continue to have their lives devastated by being killed, maimed, orphaned, or made homeless and destitute.

nlpwessex.org

'Pipeline-Istan'

"We're trying to move these newly independent countries toward the west. We would like to see them reliant on western commercial and political interests rather than going another way. We've made a substantial political investment in the Caspian, and it's very important to us that both the pipeline map and the politics come out right."
Bill Richardson 1998,
Bill Clinton's US energy secretary, on US policy on the extraction and transport of Caspian oil
'A discreet deal in the pipeline - Nato mocked those who claimed there was a plan for Caspian oil'
Guardian, 15 February 2001

The West's Secret Alliance With Islamic Jihadists In The Balkans And The Caucasus

"The Clinton administration followed up by providing strong support to the KLA, even though it was known that the KLA supported the Muslim mujahadeen. Despite that knowledge, then Secretary of State Madeleine Albright had the KLA removed from the State Department list of terrorists. This action paved the way for the United States to provide the KLA with needed logistical support. At the same time, the KLA also received support from Iran and Usama bin Laden, along with 'Islamic holy warriors' who were jihad veterans from Bosnia, Chechnya and Afghanistan. Swiss journalist Richard Labeviere, in his book, 'Dollars for Terror,' said that the international Islamic networks linked to bin Laden received help from U.S. intelligence community. Indeed, Chechen sources claim that U.S. intelligence also aided them in their opposition to Russia. Given that U.S. policy in the post-Cold War period has not only been anti-Russian but anti-Iranian, the United States worked closely with Pakistan's predominantly Sunni Inter-Services Intelligence organization. Through ISI, the United States recruited Sunni mujahadeen by staging them in Chechnya to fight in Bosnia and later in Kosovo."
Michael Maloof, Post 9/11 Pentagon Counterterrorism Adviser
Iran subversion in Balkans
G2 Bulletin, 25 September 2006

(Who is Michael Maloof? - Click Here)

ON THIS PAGE

NATO's Covert Islamist Uprising In Chechnya
The Key Role Of Turkey

Why Is NATO Backing Chechen Independence?
'It's The Pipeline Corridors Stupid'

Transatlantic Covert Operations
In Chechnya

Chechnya And The Role Of Abu Qatada
The Al Qaeda Leader The British Authorities Refused To Put On Trial In The UK

Dirty Oil Games In The Caucasus
The Role Of NATO's Covert Operations In The Ukrainian Elections Of 2004

Additional News Updates
Since The Ukrainian Elections Of 2004

'Plausible Deniability'

"I can tell you that there is a role in my mind, a proper role, for covert action to continue. And I would not call it 'paramilitary'. I would call it 'pure covert action'. And that would be things happening to the benefit of national security that just seem to happen. And there is not an American flag on them. And if somebody came to the President of the United States, he would be able to say, 'I don't know what you're talking about.'"
Porter Goss, former director of the CIA
Ship of Spies
BBC Radio 4, 15 January 2011


NATO's Islamist Uprising In Chechnya
The Key Role Of Turkey

"President Putin has drawn a line in the mountains of the North Caucasus beyond which Russia will not withdraw.... Mr Putin has also added into this complex mix the spectre of international (by which he means Islamic) terrorism and an accusation that unnamed foreign countries want to break bits off Russia.... An oil pipeline from Azerbaijan used to run through Chechnya, but it was by-passed after earlier fighting and now goes through Dagestan. There is oil and gas to be developed in the Caspian Sea and Russia wants a stable area through which to pass supplies."
Chechnya: Why Putin is implacable
BBC Online, 6 September 2004

"The controversial Kremlin-backed president of Chechnya claims that militants in the violence-plagued Russian province are backed by U.S. and British intelligence agencies. Ramzan Kadyrov's remark was probably the bluntest claim by a Russian official that insurgents in the restive North Caucasus have Western support. Western officials have dismissed such assertions as nonsense. A statement from Kadyrov's office Wednesday quoted him as suggesting that Western-backed mercenaries are fighting the government in Chechnya. It quotes him as saying, 'We are fighting in the mountains with the American and English special services.' Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin suggested during his presidency that the West was encouraging unrest in the North Caucasus."
Chechen Leader Claims US, Britain Back Rebels
Associated Press, 23 September 2009

Pakistan And Saudi Arabia Provided The Mujahadeen (As In The Previous War With The Soviets In Afghanistan)
Whilst Turkey Also Provided The Logistics

Chechnya

"At least 11 of the 9/11 al-Qaeda hijackers travelled to Chechnya between 1996 and 2000."
Chechen rebels were feared for suicidal courage and cruelty
London Times, 20 April 2013, Print Edition, P 9

"... evidence of the U.S.’ unwillingness to crack down on Chechen extremism came in the form of one of the most high-profile U.S. law enforcement successes in the days leading up to 9/11: the capture of Zacarias Moussaoui in Minnesota on August 16, 2001. Whistleblower Coleen Rowley wrote recently that not only did her former employers at the FBI, CIA Director George Tenet, and other counterterrorism experts balk at allowing a search of Moussaoui’s laptop and other property but, more disturbingly, they brushed aside a critical April 2001 memo by erstwhile FBI Assistant Director Dale Watson. That memo, entitled 'Bin Laden/Ibn Khattab Threat Reporting,' warned about 'significant and urgent' intelligence to suggest 'serious operational planning' for terrorism attacks by 'Sunni extremists with links to Ibn al Khattab, an extremist leader in Chechnya, and to Usama Bin Laden,' reported the New York Times’ Philip Shenon in his insightful 2011 story of 'The Terrible Missed Chance' Even after the FBI’s attaché in Paris reported that French spy agencies had evidence suggesting Moussaoui was a recruiter for Khattab and despite senior intelligence officials admitting that 'the system was blinking red' with the prospect of an imminent terror attack, no one seemed to want to acknowledge that Moussaoui, Khattab and bin Laden were brothers in bloodshed."
America’s politics of convenience
The Hindu, 3 May 2013

"[Bin Laden] is .... suspected of helping to set up Islamic training centres to prepare soldiers to fight in Chechnya and other parts of the former Soviet Union.... Born in Saudi Arabia to a Yemeni family, Bin Laden left Saudi Arabia in 1979 to fight against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The Afghan jihad was backed with American dollars and had the blessing of the governments of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. He received security training from the CIA itself, according to Middle Eastern analyst Hazhir Teimourian. While in Afghanistan, he founded the Maktab al-Khidimat (MAK), which recruited fighters from around the world and imported equipment to aid the Afghan resistance against the Soviet army."
Who is Osama Bin Laden?
BBC Online, 18 September 2001

"... these [intercepted] conversations, between 1997 and 2001, had to do with a Central Asia operation that involved bin Laden. Not once did anybody use the word 'al-Qaeda.' It was always 'mujahideen,' always 'bin Laden' and, in fact, not 'bin Laden' but 'bin Ladens' plural. There were several bin Ladens who were going on private jets to Azerbaijan and Tajikistan. The Turkish ambassador in Azerbaijan worked with them. There were bin Ladens, with the help of Pakistanis or Saudis, under our management.... bringing people from East Turkestan into Kyrgyzstan, from Kyrgyzstan to Azerbaijan, from Azerbaijan some of them were being channeled to Chechnya, some of them were being channeled to Bosnia. From Turkey, they were putting all these bin Ladens on NATO planes. People and weapons went one way, drugs came back.... A lot of the drugs were going to Belgium with NATO planes. After that, they went to the UK, and a lot came to the U.S. via military planes to distribution centers in Chicago and Paterson, New Jersey. Turkish diplomats who would never be searched were coming with suitcases of heroin."
Sibel Edmonds, former Turkish translator at the FBI on the intercepts she discovered

Who’s Afraid of Sibel Edmonds?
The American Conservative, November 2009

"The Clinton administration followed up by providing strong support to the KLA, even though it was known that the KLA supported the Muslim mujahadeen. Despite that knowledge, then Secretary of State Madeleine Albright had the KLA removed from the State Department list of terrorists. This action paved the way for the United States to provide the KLA with needed logistical support. At the same time, the KLA also received support from Iran and Usama bin Laden, along with 'Islamic holy warriors' who were jihad veterans from Bosnia, Chechnya and Afghanistan. Swiss journalist Richard Labeviere, in his book, 'Dollars for Terror,' said that the international Islamic networks linked to bin Laden received help from U.S. intelligence community. Indeed, Chechen sources claim that U.S. intelligence also aided them in their opposition to Russia. Given that U.S. policy in the post-Cold War period has not only been anti-Russian but anti-Iranian, the United States worked closely with Pakistan's predominantly Sunni Inter-Services Intelligence organization. Through ISI, the United States recruited Sunni mujahadeen by staging them in Chechnya to fight in Bosnia and later in Kosovo."
Michael Maloof, Post 9/11 Pentagon Counterterrorism Adviser
Iran subversion in Balkans
G2 Bulletin, 25 September 2006

(Who is Michael Maloof? - Click Here)

And On Into The Balkans

"[Bosnian Muslim leader] Izetbegovic travels to Pakistan to rally Muslim support for Bosnia....Izetbegovic, in Pakistan, appeals for aid from world’s Muslims.... the first three countries Izetbegovic visited after being inaugurated as president were Libya, Iran and Turkey. During a trip to Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey in July 1991, he conveyed the impression that he was looking to conclude an Islamic alliance... From June 1992 so-called mujahedin or ‘holy warriors’ from Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Algeria, Turkey, Bahrein and Qatar fought on the Muslim side in the war in Bosnia. There were only a few hundred of them fighting in the war but, more importantly, their involvement had the blessing of Izetbegovic... the supply of weapons from particularly Pakistan and Iran to Bosnia was not by sea, but mainly by air..... The so-called Air Operations Coordination Center in Sarajevo was manned by personnel from NATO.... Requests for Close Air Support .....went to the Operational section ... in Tuzla. This section consisted almost entirely of Pakistanis.... the officer in charge of operations (the G-3) of Sector North East, [was] the Pakistani Lieutenant-Colonel Rachid Sadiki... As Sarajevo was very much aware of its dependence on Croatia, Izetbegovic visited Teheran again on 14 September 1993 to deepen the defence relationship.... eanwhile Holbrooke was becoming increasingly frustrated that the [illegal arms] Croatian pipeline [to Bosnia] was not progressing well. .... Holbrooke therefore proposed to deliver arms and ammunition to the ABiH [Bosnian Muslim army] via third party countries. Lake, who had always welcomed such covert operations, nonetheless found the plan 'too risky'. The Secretary of State, Christopher, shared this view. They did support ‘lift and strike’ but not ‘lift, arm and strike’. Holbrooke's proposals did lead to a debate within the administration. Clinton and State Department officials considered supplies via Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Pakistan. This was not new: in the 1980s, Saudi Arabia had already supplied arms worth $ 500 million via the CIA to the Mujahedin fighters in Afghanistan..... A number of countries are candidates for having supplied directly to Bosnia. Pakistan delivered equipment, as did the Sultan of Brunei, who paid for anti-tank missiles from Malaysia. In January 1993 already, a Pakistani vessel with ten containers of arms, which were destined for the ABiH, was intercepted in the Adriatic Sea. Pakistan definitely defied the United Nations ban on supply of arms to the Bosnian Muslims and sophisticated anti-tank guided missiles were air lifted by the Pakistani intelligence agency, ISI, to help Bosnians fight the Serbs, an ex-ISI Chief has officially admitted in a written petition submitted before a court in Lahore. The document was submitted by Lt. General (Retd) Javed Nasir, who was head of the ISI from March 1992 to May 1993, in a case he filed against the owner and editors of the largest newspaper and TV group of Pakistan, in an anti Terrorism Court. It remains unclear how the missiles were transported to Bosnia and who did it.... As early as 1992 Iran had opened a smuggling route to Bosnia with the assistance of Turkey; this was two years before the Clinton administration gave 'permission' for creating the [illegal arms] Croatian pipeline. Bosnian government officials acknowledged that in 1993 a Turkish pipeline also existed, through which the above-mentioned arms from Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Brunei and Pakistan were smuggled..... NATO officers stated in a British daily newspaper that if the American intelligence services used a cover, 'Turkey would be the obvious choice'. The Turkish air force had C-130s that could reach Tuzla. This was otherwise also true of the Iranian and Pakistani air forces, which were also mentioned as possible third-party countries for supplies via Turkey to Tuzla. The UK Defence Intelligence Staff (DIS) was also aware of the American secret arms supplies to the ABiH. According to a British intelligence official, the DIS never made an issue of them, so as not to further damage the sensitive relationship with the US services. An internal DIS analysis concluded that the arms were delivered via 'a different network', and that the entire operation was probably led by the NSC [the US President's National Security Council]. It was stressed that the CIA and DIA were not involved in the Black Flights to Tuzla. Incidentally, the DIS received a direct order from the British government not to investigate this affair. This was not permitted for the simple reason that the matter was too sensitive in the framework of American-British relations.... The Pentagon had likewise identified Cengic as the main link between the supplies from Islamic countries, such as Iran, Turkey and Pakistan.... The conclusion must be that the United States 'turned a blind eye' to the Croatian pipeline, but in the case of the Black Flights to Tuzla Air Base, they deliberately closed their 'eyes' (of the AWAC aircraft) for the direct Turkish flights. US aircraft did not themselves fly to Tuzla, because their discovery would have seriously embarrassed the US government and put transatlantic relations under even greater pressure. Supplies via a third party country were a simpler solution for the United States."
Srebrenica - A Safe Area?
Report Published on Behalf of The Dutch Government, 10 April 2002

And Central Asia

"A memoir by a top former Turkish intelligence official claims that a worldwide moderate Islamic movement based in Pennsylvania has been providing cover for the CIA since the mid-1990s. The memoir, roughly rendered in English as 'Witness to Revolution and Near Anarchy,' by retired Turkish intelligence official Osman Nuri Gundes, says the religious-tolerance movement, led by an influential former Turkish imam by the name of Fethullah Gulen, has 600 schools and 4 million followers around the world. In the 1990s, Gundes alleges, the movement 'sheltered 130 CIA agents' at its schools in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan alone, according to a report on his memoir Wednesday by the Paris-based Intelligence Online newsletter. The book has caused a sensation in Turkey since it was published last month."
Islamic group is CIA front, ex-Turkish intel chief says
Jeff Stein - Spy Talk - Washington Post, 5 January 2011

"A large network of jihad-preaching schools dots the American landscape, and it's being paid for by taxpayer dollars. The network of more than 100 facilities in 27 states is the result of the work of Turkish expatriate billionaire Fethullah Gulen, who lives in a heavily guarded compound near Saylorsburg, Pa. Terrorism analyst, author and Family Security Matters contributing Editor Paul Williams explains that Gulen left Turkey under a cloud, and came to the United States carrying an agenda. 'Fethullah Gulen is a chap who fled Turkey in 1998. He was attempting to avoid prosecution from the secular government at that time; he wanted to set up an Islamic government,' Williams explained.  'He moved to Pennsylvania and established a mountain fortress around Saylorsburg, which is in the heart of the Poconos,' Williams explained. Court records from the Eastern District of Pennsylvania's federal courts indicate that Gulen won his removal case against Homeland Security by showing that he was an 'alien of extraordinary ability,' and that by staying in the United States he could pursue his work of 'authoring articles and providing guidance 'to fellow scholar in the fields of theology, political science, Islamic studies, and education.' ' Williams says Gulen had help. 'The Department of Homeland Security uncovered that Gulen has over $25 billion in assets. That's more money than many countries have. Most of this money has been channeled to Gulen from the CIA,' Williams asserted. Koinonia Institute senior analyst Steve Elwart says Gulen was helped by a number of different factors. 'He was denied his visa the first time around by DHS by saying that he didn't have any experience since he was trying to come in as an educator. DHS said that he really didn't have the qualifications to hold himself out as an educator,' Elwart observed. Elwart says there was another concern. 'There were also concerns about his ties to the CIA and that as it turned out, those concerns were apparently valid, because when he appealed the decision, he got two letters of recommendation from the CIA,' Elwart continued. ... Williams explains that U. S. officials may have had a reason for funneling money to Gulen. 'I'll tell you why the CIA is funding him. These countries (referring to the Middle East and former Soviet Central Asian Republics) have vast natural gas and oil reserves. They are afraid of where those reserves will go, so we want to gain some control over the supplies,' Williams claimed. Now his fingerprints are all over schools across Asia – and dozens more charter schools across the United States. Those are schools that are run on the taxpayers' money, but have private teaching agendas, often using the subtle inferences in social studies courses to advocate for Islam, observers report. 'He has these schools all over Central Asia and these counties, Tajikistan, Kurdistan, all have Turkish backgrounds. They speak Turkish. They share a Turkish culture. They share the same religion so it's really easy for him to establish these schools throughout Central Asia,' Williams explained.... 'Gulen's movement is so radical that it is outlawed in Russia and even in The Netherlands, a country that's known for its tolerance, would not allow any funding for the Gulen schools,' Williams added. Elwart adds that there was one still another factor influencing U.S. assistance to Gulen. 'There has been a movement in the last two administrations to promote what they call moderate Islam by bringing these people forward and financing them to get people inculcated into the Muslim culture,' Elwart explained. 'In terms of following the money trail, part of it I think was from the United States government. There were a number of people out there that see him as a religious leader which in fact he comes from a family of imams, and people donate to him,' Elwart detailed.  Williams asserts that Gulen's long-range plans are to re-establish an Islamic caliphate.... MEMRI Turkish expert Rachel Sharon-Krespin writes in an article in Middle East Quarterly that Fethullah Gulen is a major player in Turkish politics. Besides the Justice and Development Party, he also owns, controls or operates a network of schools and universities in Turkey, as well as the major newspapers and television stations. In an American Thinker article, Center for Islamic Pluralism Director Stephen Schwartz says that Gulen is the power not only behind a movement in Turkey, but is the controlling force behind what Schwartz calls a Turkish Diaspora. Elwart agrees that Gulen's intention is to use his schools to indoctrinate the students into Islam at taxpayer expense..... Williams says the indoctrination is subtle and administrators say the schools aren't trying to be Islamic. 'They'll say these schools are completely secular. These schools don't promote any Islamic doctrine; they're not political in any way. But according to Gulen himself these schools serve, in the shadows, the creation of a new Islamic order,' Williams maintained. 'If you read about Gulen in the foreign press, they have it pretty well nailed down. In speeches he talks about the importance of stealth jihad, of infiltrating places and appearing very secular,' Williams added. Gulen's claim to be a secular educator whose interest is simply in promoting interfaith dialogue appears to have been successful, as the claim was used to support District Judge Stewart Dalzell's opinion in Gulen's case.... Williams disputes the judge's ruling and says that Gulen's own speeches say the opposite. 'In his own speeches he says you can really infiltrate a secular government in a place like the United States and wreak all kinds of havoc. That's what he's been doing. Once again the schools are funded by us. They're at least 140 of them. He's been called the most dangerous Islamist in the world and very little light is being shed on him and his activities,' Williams stated."
Islamic indoctrination on US taxpayers' tab
WorldNetDaily, 27 February 2011

"The 'Turkish Khomeini,' Fethullah Gulen, lives in Pennsylvania. From there he runs a $25 billion international network. He is a prime mover behind the rapid Islamization of Turkey, and he urges Muslims to build schools to indoctrinate an entire generation. He is tied to hundreds of Gulen charter schools right here in the United States. (Texas alone has 36 of these Gulen charter schools.) I recently heard from a teacher at a Gulen Movement school. 'There are so many ethical violations occurring here every day,' he told me, 'that it is hard to know where to start.' And worse, there is open support for jihad..."
Indoctrinating for jihad in charter schools
WorldNetDaily, 6 May 2013

Extracts From The Formal Sworn Legal Testimony
Of Sibel Edmonds

"State Secrets Privilege is this arcane executive privilege that the government, United States government, invoked in my case twice in order to quash my court case, but also prevent the public knowledge of information I reported to Congress, to the Inspector General's Office, and to the FBI and the Justice Department itself, and basically it acts as a gag order, and the only justification the U.S. government provided for it was 'she may be right with whatever she knows and she believes is important and crucial, but because the information she has may threaten and affect certain U.S. diplomatic relations and national security, we are asking the courts and the Congress as executive privilege called State Secrets Privilege..... my deposition was subpoenaed by a law firm called Motley Rice. I think it's M-o-t-l-e-y, second word R-i-c-e, who represented thousands of 9/11 victims' family members, and they subpoenaed my deposition, and I believe this was in 2004.... I didn't know what they were planning to ask specifically, but it has to do with certain Turkish lobby and organizations in the United States who also had certain dealings with Saudi Arabian related financial and lobby organizations in the United States and cases that would have been -- that would have involved both Saudi Arabia and Turkey jointly were doing certain things here in the United States, but also outside the United States.....  Their operations, and some of these layers sometimes they conduct their operations independently and with the sole purpose of obtaining a profit, and therefore, the information they obtain, let's say, the nuclear or weapons technology, weapons technology related information doesn't necessarily only go to Turkey or Israel, but they sell it to the highest bidder. That's how they operate. They contact their people whether it's in ISI, in Washington, D.C. part of the military attache for Pakistani intelligence, or the certain Saudi business people in Detroit may be contacted, and they say, okay, and talk about these Turkish entities.....   They [high ranking members in the US governent] were involved in operations that were obtaining illegally U.S. weapons and nuclear related technology and sell it to foreign governments and also foreign independent operatives.... I took the language specialist, Farsi speaking language specialist, senior language specialist from the Iranian Division, Farsi Division, FBI, Washington field office, who worked right next to me, to the 9/11 Commission and Inspector General's Office, and he testified on this [regarding foreknowledge received by the FBI in April 2001 from a reliable Iranian intelligence asset, of Osama Bin Laden planning attacks on US cities with planes, that some of the people were already in the country, and the attacks would happen in a few months]. He informed me and he showed me this translator Bekru (phonetic) Sharsahr, and there are documents out there that he went to the Inspector General's Office. He gave them the documents, the translated documents on the Iranians. I was not part of that translation... [the interest of the families of the 9/11 victims in these matters] as far as I knew, had to do with the government of Saudi Arabia and the Saudi Arabian financial institutions. I was not told anything about Iranian case.... [the practices and policies by the government of Turkey inimical to American interests resulting in both the direct and indirect loss of American lives included] practices and operations implemented from mid-1990s at least until towards end of 2001 in Central Asia and Caucasus, and these operations and practices included Islamization of certain segments of those Turkic nations, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan. There are so many of them in that -- in that area, and setting up madrasahs and bringing in, helping bringing -- at the time they were not referred to as al-Qaeda until 2001, September 11th. They were referred to as mujahideens from Afghanistan and Pakistan into Central Asia, then to Turkey to give them passports, and then funnel them in 1997, 1998 to certain Eastern European countries and the Balkans..... it's very broad I can go on for a long time about what practices... Those operations when until -- at least until September 2001, and again, for those operations, they corroborated and worked with certain U.S. persons who were involved in these operations. The other, the obtaining, illegally obtaining and selling U.S. military and military technology and that includes weapons and nuclears, and even from foreign policy related secret or high -- top secret information, and not only for Turkey, but passing this information to what they refer to as highest bidders and whoever bid highest, whether these people were nation-states or they were just individuals that they were pursuing under counterterrorism after September 11. That would be another example of activities that they were involved that were against the security and the interest of the Americans with cost in terms of lives....One example of this would be with Brewster Jennings, for example, just selling that information and giving that information out in the hands of those foreign entities, including Pakistan. One of the things that the CIA was asked for right away, to do damage assessment, and one of the things that came out of it was the damage assessment included damage to asset both in terms of effectiveness, which was neutralized and that Brewster Jennings' front company for CIA have to be immediately absolved that summer after this information was obtained, but also they were accessing U.S. people who were compromised because of that by -- within these foreign governments. That's another. And the third one that I started talking about were helping these individuals from Azerbaijan, the Turkey entities that served the mujahideen groups starting from 1995, 1996. They were given Turkish passports. In some cases they were given Azerbaijani passports, and they -- Turkey played a very active and important role in taking these people and moving them into Europe and some of those people actually ended up in the United States.... these Turkish people, and some of them are directly connected to Turkish intelligence and Turkish military in the United States, they played a very significant role in bringing in heroin from source from Afghanistan to Turkey, but from Turkey into both United States, but also directly to Belgium, large quantity, very, very large quantity of heroin.... My information is mainly about his activities [i.e. of Fetullah Gulan] and issues that were, again, done from late 1990s until I left, and then after that it will be known activities here in the United States. He shortly -- he was the religious activist figure in Turkey, and he landed on Turkish government's wanted list and was going to be persecuted for wanting to throw Turkish secular government -- replace it with Islamic shariah kind of type of government. And when he was wanted in Turkey for that and he was going to go to jail, he actually got on the plane and came to the United States, and he was given immediately visa to stay in the United States, and he has been in the United States until now as far as I know. He has since established more than 300 madrasahs in Central Asia and what he calls universities that have a front that is called Moderate Islam, but he is closely involved in training mujahideen-like militia Islam who are brought from Pakistan and Afghanistan into Central Asia where his madrasahs operate, and his organization's network is estimated to be around $25 billion. He has opened several Islamic universities in the United States. As I said it's being promoted under Moderate Islam. It is supported by certain U.S. authorities here because of the operations in Central Asia, but what they have been doing since late 1990s is actually radical Islam and militizing (phonetic) these very, very young, from the age 14, 15, by commandoes they use, and this is both commandoes from Turkish military, commandoes from Pakistani ISI in Central Asia and Azerbaijan, and after that they bring them to Turkey, and from Turkey they send them through Europe, to European and elsewhere. Up until 1999, the Turkish government, also paramilitary units in Central Asia, they operated under the groups that call themselves Gray Wolves, ultra-nationalists, and their method was, you know, assassination of certain leaders in the Central Asian countries, and militizing, but not through Islam. But after this scandal that took place in Turkey, Susurluk scandal, they were no longer supported by certain segments in the United States, and instead some of our people involved in foreign policy, they supported the Islamic movements of Gulan in the Central Asian countries in order to counter Russia as far as the energy sources are concerned in those countries.... [Gulan is allowed into the United States] Because part of what he has in terms of the deal with certain segments in the United States is furthering the interests of the people who are interested in the energy sources in Central Asia, and that is the -- whether it's oil or whether it's natural gas, and basically it's a fight. The best way to describe it is Cold War is not over. It's a continuation of Cold War over those nations, and what we did in Afghanistan in early 1980s with mujahideen, we have been joined now in Central Asia by using Islam and extremism and these madrasahs, and Pakistani and Afghani elements to build (unintelligible) and staff in terms of those resources towards certain business interests."
DEPOSITION OF SIBEL DENIZ EDMONDS BEFORE THE OHIO ELECTIONS COMMISSION
IN THE MATTER OF JEAN SCHMIDT, Plaintiff v DAVID KRIKORIAN, Defendant : Case No. 2009E-003
Saturday, August 8, 2009

"Russia expelled a U.S. diplomat on Tuesday after saying he had been caught red-handed with disguises, special equipment and wads of cash as he tried to recruit a Russian intelligence agent to work for the CIA....The FSB, a successor to the Soviet KGB, said Fogle worked for the Central Intelligence Agency and that he had been handed over to embassy officials at some point after his detention. RT footage showed a Russian official haranguing Fogle, a senior U.S. embassy official and two others in an FSB office. The speaker says Fogle twice called his target - an officer involved in counterterrorism in the restive North Caucasus - and proposed that he spy for the United States."
Russia says CIA agent caught trying to recruit spy
Reuters, 14 May 2013

"Turks have been bit part players in al-Qaida's global jihad, but a recent security scare in Europe pointed to a small but growing number in Germany and Turkey who have joined militant ranks in Pakistan. Muslims from many parts of the Islamic World went to Pakistan during the jihad to end the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s. There may be nothing new about Turks taking that path, but recent obituaries on jihadi websites and tales of the exploits of Turkish jihadis have been eye-catching. 'Turkey serves as a gateway for al-Qaida, through which it channels both funds and recruits for operations abroad,' said Tim Williams of Stirling Assynt, a political and terrorist risk consultancy in London. 'The growing number of Turks appearing in the Af-Pak theatre . . . (is) evidence of that.' Turks returning from Afghanistan were involved in the November 2003 bombings that killed 57 people in Istanbul and wounded hundreds more in a series of attacks that targeted the British consulate, an HSBC bank and two synagogues..... A senior Turkish security official told Reuters that all the Turks who have joined al-Qaida's ranks in Afghanistan-Pakistan belong to one group. He went on to name its chief as well as a commander, Zekeriya, whom Kucuk was caught e-mailing. 'Their leader is named Ebuzer, the leader of all Turks in al-Qaida. Zekeriya is another high-ranking leader of Turks there,' he said. The Washington-based Jamestown Foundation identifies Ebuzer as Serdar Erbashi, a veteran of the second Chechen war, who, it says, had headed al-Qaida's cell in Ankara. The Turkish official didn't name the group, but a Pakistani security officer in Peshawar, the main city in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province, identified it as Taifatul Mansura, a koranic reference meaning 'Assembly of the Victorious.' .... The faction appeared to emerge out of the Ittehad-e-Islami, or Islamic Jihad Union (IJU). The ISU is itself a by-product of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), a Central Asian jihadi movement that has forged ties with al-Qaida and actively recruits in Europe. Jihadis who do not fit easily into South Asian or Arab militant camps gravitate to groups like Taifatul Mansura which, according to the Pakistani official, is made up of Turkic-language speaking Central Asians, as well as Turks and European Muslims, notably from Germany."
Al-Qaida fishes for Turks seeking jihad
Reuters, 31 October 2010

"That the public might not have known that an accused Chechen separatist leader had been living openly in Britain for years before his arrest in Poland is hardly surprising; the Zakayev case was given some coverage in the European press at the time, but after having been seized while attending a Chechen rebel congress in Copenhagen, Danish authorities decided against extraditing him because of 'insufficient evidence' that he was involved in murder and kidnapping. He ended up in London, where again Britain refused to extradite him to Russia. What this case, and the many other instances of Chechen militants living openly in the heart of Europe points to is the fundamental hypocrisy underlying the US-led, NATO-enforced, Western-backed 'war on terror' paradigm; just as the self-same Afghan mujahedeen could be called 'freedom fighters' by one American president and 'evildoers' by another, so, too, authorities can use the 'freedom fighter' excuse to justify looking the other way when Islamic extremists from the Northern Caucasus set up base in Europe. Upon closer examination, however, the West has not been involved in merely tacit support of the terrorists in the Caucasus, but in active funding, training and protection of these terrorists. The charge has been made openly by the Chechen president for years now. Indeed, as revealed by FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds in a landmark interview with The Corbett Report last week, the information in the public record only reaffirm what she discovered while translating intercepts and communications for the FBI: that the west has been actively and openly supporting, funding and financing terrorists in the caucasus region for years, and are continuing to do so. In 2008, Russia’s Channel One televisions station aired a documentary alleging that the financing for the Chechen militants was coming from a Turkish construction company, ENKA. The documentary, entitled 'The Caucasus Plan,' alleged intimate Western involvement in support of the Chechen separatists: that Germany printed the country’s new currency; that France produced new passports; and that the entire operation was being coordinated by the US. A particular object of suspicion in the documentary were Turkish companies like ENKA, Alarka and Gama, which were accused of financing the Chechen rebels. The documentary was immediately denounced by anonymous Turkish officials, and prompted an official denial from ENKA. As Sibel Edmonds noted in our interview, this is in fact a favored avenue of investment for the CIA and the US State Department’s black operations: to substantially overpay legitimate companies for no-bid contract work for the US government on the understanding that a percentage of the funds will be diverted to US operations in the area. According to Edmonds, this is exactly what happened in the case of ENKA. The notion that the US is interested in the Caucasus region in general or would be interested specifically in helping to wrest control of the area from Kremlin-friendly groups is neither new nor controversial."
Terror in the Caucasus: US sponsored, EU hosted, Turkey channeled
Corbett Report, 6 December 2011

"Russian intelligence officials assert that Osama bin Laden donated at least $25 million and dispatched numerous fighters to Chechnya, including Ibn Khattab, a Saudi who led one of the best-trained contingents."
How Jihad Made Its Way to Chechnya
Washington Post, 26 April 2003

"Islamist infiltration of the Albanian-speaking areas in the Balkans began even before the U.S.-led Kosovo intervention of 1999.... The upsurge of armed struggle for Kosovo independence in 1998 was accompanied by the unexpected emergence of Saudi-financed radicalism in the Albanian-majority zone of western Macedonia.  The syndrome is too widespread to be coincidental. Wherever local Muslim-majority communities resist post-Communist abuses – including Kosovo and Macedonia – Islamist radicals show up (beards, short pants, and all), allegedly in emulation of the Prophet Muhammad. The religious extremists assault moderate Muslims and Christians, dividing the forces of national freedom. The worst example has been that of Chechnya, where Saudi agents diverted a legitimate movement for autonomy within the Russian Federation in a jihadist direction, associating the cause of the Caucasian Muslims with al Qaeda.  Chechens have not consistently demanded complete separation....Macedonia, Kosovo’s southern neighbor, has also had to recognize its Wahhabi problem. A major daily in that country, Vecer (Evening) has reported that the three most prominent and historic mosques in the capital, Skopje, have been taken over by Wahhabi clerics. The paper disclosed that Wahhabis are active throughout Skopje.  As previously noted, such foreign penetration has been visible in Macedonia since 1998, and while the Kosovar Albanians have resisted such infiltration, Macedonian leaders have allowed it to grow."
Kosovo Sees Continued Infiltration by Islamists
Weekly Standard (Blog), 2 February 2010

"Moscow first sent tanks to Chechnya, to topple its separatist leaders and curb organised crime, at the end of 1994. The Russian forces were routed in their first battle and were ultimately driven out of Chechnya in August 1996. They were sent back in 1999 by Vladimir Putin - then prime minister, later president - after 300 people died in a chain of bombings blamed on Chechens. Chechen rebels had also provoked Moscow by inciting an Islamist uprising in the neighbouring republic of Dagestan."
BBC Quick Guide: The Chechen conflict

The Role Of Saudi Arabia

During the Afghan war of the 1980s against Russia (then in the form of the USSR) Mujahadeen imported from other parts of the Islamic world were used by NATO (primarily America and Britain) to destabilise the country. The key proxies for this purpose were Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

A similar campaign has been conducted against the Russians in Chechnya during the post cold-war period. Key proxy roles have been played not only by Turkey, but again by Saudi Arabia.

nlpwessex.org

"Saudi Arabia has secretly offered Russia a sweeping deal to control the global oil market and safeguard Russia’s gas contracts, if the Kremlin backs away from the Assad regime in Syria. .... Leaked transcripts of a closed-door meeting between Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan shed an extraordinary light on the hard-nosed Realpolitik of the two sides. Prince Bandar, head of Saudi intelligence, allegedly confronted the Kremlin with a mix of inducements and threats in a bid to break the deadlock over Syria. ....  The details of the talks were first leaked to the Russian press. A more detailed version has since appeared in the Lebanese newspaper As-Safir, which has Hezbollah links and is hostile to the Saudis. As-Safir said Prince Bandar pledged to safeguard Russia’s naval base in Syria if the Assad regime is toppled, but he also hinted at Chechen terrorist attacks on Russia’s Winter Olympics in Sochi if there is no accord. 'I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us,' he allegedly said.  Prince Bandar went on to say that Chechens operating in Syria were a pressure tool that could be switched on an off. 'These groups do not scare us. We use them in the face of the Syrian regime but they will have no role in Syria’s political future.'"
Saudis offer Russia secret oil deal if it drops Syria
Telegraph, 27 August 2013

"A diplomatic report about the 'stormy meeting' in July between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan concluded that the region stretching from North Africa to Chechnya and from Iran to Syria — in other words, the entire Middle East — has come under the influence of an open US-Russian face-off and that 'it is not unlikely that things [will] take a dramatic turn in Lebanon, in both the political and security senses, in light of the major Saudi decision to respond to Hezbollah’s involvement in the Syrian crisis.' The report starts by presenting the conditions under which the Russian-Saudi meeting was convened. It states that Prince Bandar, in coordination with the Americans and some European partners, proposed to Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz that Bandar visit Moscow and employ the carrot-and-stick approach, which is used in most negotiators, and offer the Russian leadership political, economic, military and security enticements in return for concessions on several regional issues, in particular Syria and Iran.... Bandar then visited Putin’s house on the outskirts of the Russian capital, where they held a closed-door bilateral meeting that lasted four hours.... Bandar relayed the Saudi king’s greetings to Putin and the king’s emphasis on the importance of developing the bilateral relationship. He also told Putin that the king would bless any understanding reached during the visit. Bandar also said, however, that 'any understanding we reach in this meeting will not only be a Saudi-Russian understanding, but will also be an American-Russian understanding. I have spoken with the Americans before the visit, and they pledged to commit to any understandings that we may reach, especially if we agree on the approach to the Syrian issue.' .... Bandar told Putin, '.... I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics in the city of Sochi on the Black Sea next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us, and they will not move in the Syrian territory’s direction without coordinating with us. These groups do not scare us. We use them in the face of the Syrian regime but they will have no role or influence in Syria’s political future.'...... Putin thanked King Abdullah for his greetings and Bandar for his exposition, but then he said to Bandar, 'We know that you have supported the Chechen terrorist groups for a decade. And that support, which you have frankly talked about just now, is completely incompatible with the common objectives of fighting global terrorism that you mentioned. We are interested in developing friendly relations according to clear and strong principles.'... Then Bandar discussed the potential cooperation between the two countries if an understanding could be reached on a number of issues, especially Syria. He discussed at length the matter of oil and investment cooperation.... At the end of the meeting, the Russian and Saudi sides agreed to continue talks, provided that the current meeting remained under wraps. This was before one of the two sides leaked it via the Russian press."
Russian President, Saudi Spy Chief Discussed Syria, Egypt
As-Safir/Al-Monitor/(English Translation0, 22 August 2013


Why Is NATO Backing Chechen Independence?
'It's The Pipeline Corridors Stupid'

"Oil is never far from the surface of the war in Chechnya.... oil financed the Chechen struggle for independence 10 years ago
and
the Caspian Sea oilfields and control of pipelines through the Caucasus were a major factor behind Moscow's use of force against the [Chechen] rebels."
Back garden 'oil barons' spring up in Chechnya
Daily Telegraph, 7 June 2002

Ukraine-Caspian.jpg (113480 bytes)

Russian Language Map of Pipeline Network Between Ukraine And Caspian Sea
Ukraine = Top Left (west)
Caspian Sea = Far Right (east)

Black Sea, including Novorossiisk = Bottom Left
Chechnya (Capital Grozny)  = Orange
Dagestan = To east of Chechnya

"As Boston and U.S. security agencies congratulate themselves over the apparent neutralization of a pair of Chechens that bombed the Boston Marathon, troubling questions are beginning to arise. First and foremost is, why a pair of Chechens, born in the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan, apparently committed the attack? For possible answers, one must looks beyond the present and delve into Russia’s and the USSR’s past policies towards Chechnya, and since 1991, U.S. policy in the Caucasus, which since the 1991 implosion of the USSR had a single focus – the exploitation of the Caspian’s massive energy reserves. It is a history that makes for deeply uncomfortable reading, but one that may eventually provide some answers to seemingly intractable questions.... Few today remember that Putin’s first job when appointed Prime Minister on 9 August 1999 by Russian President Boris Yeltsin was to build an oil pipeline bypassing Chechyna, as Transneft, Russia’s pipeline monopoly, controlled the Baku-Novorossiisk line, the sole export route for Azerbaijani 'early' oil exports, which crossed 95 miles of Chechen territory, a region which had been at war with the Kremlin since 1994. Following Putin’s appointment Yeltsin held a council of war over Dagestan and Putin made a rash promise that he could end a crisis caused by the incursion of 2,000 rebels from Chechnya into Dagestan in 'a week and a half or two weeks.' Work began on the bypass line on 26 October 1999. The conflict combined with other issues reduced Azeri exports via Baku-Novorossiisk in early 2000 to an average of only 10,000 barrels per day (bpd.) In April 2000 construction finished on the $140 million, 204-mile Baku-Novorossiisk bypass via Dagestan to Tikhoretsk. The bypass had a potential capacity of 120,000 bpd, but by then Azerbaijan already had other plans, having worked with neighboring Georgia to develop an alternative pipeline route to Georgia’s Black Sea port of Supsa, completely outside of Russian control. When Yeltsin resigned on 31 December 1999 Putin became acting President and has continued to lead the Russian state ever since, eiher as Prime Minister or President. For Putin, quite aside from issues of pride, An independent Chechnya could not only lead to a loss of revenue from the republic’s modest oil production (of such quality that Chechen oil was used to light lamps in the Vatican) and ruin plans to extract transit fees for Azeri 'early oil,' but lead to a significant potential loss of Caspian reserves once the sea’s waters and seabed were divided, if Chechnya aligned itself with neighboring Dagestan..... U.S. penetration of Azerbaijan’s and Kazakhstan’s energy sectors continued apace during the conflict. As reported by EC-TACIS, for the period 1994-1999 the main sources of foreign direct investment in Azerbaijan were the United States with 28 percent, followed by Britain with 15 percent. FDI in Azerbaijan exploded from only $30 million in 1994 to $827 million in 1999, about 17 percent of Azerbaijan's GDP, with approximately 90 percent of FDI concentrated in the country's hydrocarbons sector, while Kazakhstan FDI accounted for $1.6 billion in the same period, but which now exceeds $160 billion of foreign FDI. Russia was clearly losing the battle to develop Caspian energy, and an independent Chechen-Dagestani state would make Moscow's position untenable and hence had to be stopped at any cost. U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney observed the year before Putin’s appointment, 'I can't think of a time when we've had a region emerge as suddenly to become as strategically significant as the Caspian.' In 2005 the western consortium attempting to cut Russia out of the Caspian energy loop achived its goal. The $3.6 billion, one million barrel per day, 1,092-mile Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline, which ships Azeri Caspian oil to Turkey’s Mediterranean Ceyhan port, began operations in May 2005, transiting high-quality crude from Azerbaijan's offshore Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli fields to Turkey's deep-water Mediterranean terminus at Ceyhan. Accordingly, the Chechen conflict dovetailed perfectly not only into Washington’s plans, to bog down the Russian military in a long, drawn-out conflict in the Caucasus, but provide Western energy companies with an alternative route as Chechnya was slowly ground down by the Russian military. Oil that would have otherwise moved northwards to Russia, providing lucrative transit fees. Chechnya proved ground zero for both Western political and business interests. All of the above history, virtually unknown in the U.S., is deeply known to every Chechen. The shadow war between Moscow and Washington for the Caspian’s energy riches saw Chechnya squarely caught in the middle, leaving the Chechen homeland virtually destroyed, something to remember when reading the increasingly contradictory news reports coming out of Washington about the blood shed in Boston by the Tsarnaev brothers, as the U.S. is hardly blameless about the carnage visited on their ancestral homeland."
Boston Marathon Attacks, Chechnya and Oil – the Hidden U.S. Connection
Oil Price.com, 22 April 2013

"At the end of the 19th century, half of the oil in the world was produced in Azerbaijan, whose oil fields around the capital, Baku, were developed by the Nobel brothers, famed for dynamite and prizes. This is where they made their fortune. I had the pleasure of dining at their mansion a few years ago, a guest of government officials. Whatever others might have thought in that elegant house, I thought of Hitler urgently trying to reach Baku and its oil, and the fact that his disaster at Stalingrad was actually part of his attempt to seize Azerbaijan's oil fields. Azerbaijan was once the prize of empire. It is now independent in a very dangerous place. ... Since I continue to regard Azerbaijan as critical both in the struggle emerging in the Caucasus and to the United States, I continue to visit and continue to enjoy dinners that never end and rounds of toasts that test my liver. But I never forget one thing: Hitler risked everything to get to Baku and its oil. He failed to reach it, and the history of our time turns on that fact..... My latest trip had to do with a conference on U.S.-Azerbaijani relations. There are a small number of people in the United States who care about Azerbaijan and most of them were there, along with some congressmen, state representatives and a large numbers of Azeris. Compared with my first encounter with Azerbaijan, the number of people interested in the country has risen dramatically. Conferences on subjects like this are global. You can be in Washington, Singapore or Baku and it all looks the same. When you are in my business, you meet the same people several times a year.... In The Next 100 Years I forecast a number of events, beginning with the serious weakening of the European Union and the increase in relative power of Russia. Russia had its own problems, but between Europe's dependence on Russian energy and the fact that Russia had cash available to buy assets in Europe, the decline of Europe meant a more powerful Russia. The countries that would feel that power would be those bordering the former Soviet Union -- a line from Poland to Turkey and then from Turkey to Azerbaijan, the eastern anchor of Europe on the Caspian Sea. I wrote that the United States, withdrawing from its wars in the Islamic world, would be increasingly cautious and uncertain. The United States would continue to be the dominant power in the world, economically the most viable and with the most powerful military, but an adolescent power without foresight or balance in its actions.... The United States won the Cold War because the Soviets knocked themselves out. But a win is a win and the United States stood alone, really amazed to be where it was, talking about New World Orders, but truly clueless as to what it would do later. First it imagined that war had been abolished and that it was all about making money.... The point is that the United States is the world's global power but is lurching from conflict to conflict and from concept to concept. It takes awhile to understand how to use power. The British had to lose America before they started to get the idea. The United States is fortunate. It is rich and isolated, and even if terrorists kill some of us, we will not be occupied like France or Poland. We have time to grow up. This makes the rest of the world very uncomfortable. Sometimes the United States does inexplicable things. Sometimes it fails to do necessary things. When the United States makes a mistake it is mostly other countries that suffer or are placed at risk. So some of the world wishes the United States would disappear. It won't. Other parts of the world wish the United States take responsibility for their security. It won't.... This brings us back to Azerbaijan. It is a country that borders both Russia and Iran. In Russia it borders Dagestan; in Iran it borders the Iranian Azeri region. The bulk of Azeris live in Iran, where they are the largest ethnic minority group in the country (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is an Azeri). Azerbaijan is a predominantly secular country. It feels threatened by Iranian Shiite terrorism and by Sunni Islamic terrorism in the north.... Azerbaijan finds itself in a tough place, and the country's position between Russia and Iran makes it critical. A secular Muslim state in this region hostile to both Iran and Russia is not all that common. Azerbaijan has another strategic virtue from the American point of view: energy. The Russian strategy has been to maintain and deepen European dependence on Russian energy, on the theory that this would both increase Russian influence and decrease the risk to Russian national security. The second phase of this strategy has been to limit alternatives for the Europeans, including Turkey. The complex tension over oil and natural gas pipelines boils down to the fact that the Russians do not want significant energy sources that are outside of Russian control to be available to Europe. It is in the American interest to try to limit Russian influence around its periphery in order to stabilize the pro-Western states there at a time when Europe is weak and disorganized.... a country doesn't go from being a Soviet republic to having an economy without corruption in a little more than 20 years.... Azerbaijan matters to the United States not because of its moral character. It matters because it is a wedge between Russia and Iran. Any regime that would follow the current one would likely be much worse in a moral sense and might be hostile to the United States. The loss of Azerbaijani oil to either Russia or Iran would increase the pressure on Turkey and eliminate energy alternatives along the periphery of Russia. The United States must adopt a strategy of early and low-risk support for strategic partners rather than sudden, spasmodic military responses to unanticipated crises. An independent Azerbaijan is a bone in Russia's and Iran's throat and an energy source for Turkey. And Azerbaijan pays cash for weapons that will be used by Azerbaijani troops and not by Americans... Both Hitler and Stalin understood that control of Baku meant control of the Eurasian landmass. The realities of energy have shifted but not to the extent that Baku doesn't remain critical."
George Friedman, Chairman of Stratfor - Geopolitical Journey: Azerbaijan and America
Stratfor, 11 June 2013

"President Putin has drawn a line in the mountains of the North Caucasus beyond which Russia will not withdraw.... Mr Putin has also added into this complex mix the spectre of international (by which he means Islamic) terrorism and an accusation that unnamed foreign countries want to break bits off Russia.... An oil pipeline from Azerbaijan used to run through Chechnya, but it was by-passed after earlier fighting and now goes through Dagestan. There is oil and gas to be developed in the Caspian Sea and Russia wants a stable area through which to pass supplies."
Chechnya: Why Putin is implacable
BBC Online, 6 September 2004

"While it would be a distortion of history to claim that the struggle between Russia and Chechnya arises solely because of the of the jockeying for control of the Chechen oil deposits, refineries as well as the crucial pipeline which passes through Grozny, there is no doubt that petroleum has played a central role in the dispute. Given the potential of what seem to be vast untapped deposits in the Caspian Sea and the fact that the best if not only pipeline route from the Caspian through Russia to the West runs through Grozny, the odds are that tensions between Russia and Chechnya will not soon disappear. That will be the case even if constitutional matters dealing with regional rights and the integrity of the Russian Republic can be resolved.... Much more important in today's world is the fact that that Grozny is at the hub of Russia's pipeline network from the Caucasus' and most important to the vast deposits in the Caspian sea off Azarbajian........ If Russia's only concern was the Chechan rebellion, Russia would not be so anxious about the development of mineral reserves in the Caspian. However, in the aftermath of the breakup of the USSR, and the emergence of a newly assertive 'independent' Azerbaijan, Russian oil policy has suddenly taken on a new importance. This is due to the fact that there is a real possibility that Russia may find itself looking on from the outside as Azerbaijan, not Russia, becomes the recipient of billions of dollars worth of royalties from the sale of Caspian oil. Given the growing likelihood of such a development, the Caucasus, the Caspian Sea and the Chechan pipeline have suddenly become matters of international power politics, not only in the Kremlin, but because of the intense interest in the area by American oil companies, by the Washington White House.... It is easy to understand the Russian concerns. Oil from Caspian Sea deposits were first developed in the days of the czars and expanded in the Soviet era. Why should other governments now become the beneficiary of this initial work.... This hardening of attitudes is part of the growing suspicion by the Russians of western intentions. It is not just that oil companies from Russia's former enemies have been gathering data and control over what was once the Soviet Union's most valuable resources, but that their efforts seem to be part of a strategy to cut Russia off completly from the Trans Caucasus. How else can the United States support of Chechnya and 'The Confederation of Mountain Peoples' be explained..... As if all this were not threatening enough, the United States and its obedient oil companies have also begun to insist on the opening of a second pipeline route from the Caspian Sea....The real reason the American oil companies want to ship through Georgia they insist is to deprive the Russians of the transit fees and insure that the Russians will lose monopoly control over the pumping and shipping of Caspian Oil."
Marshall I. Goldman, Associate Director, Russian Research Center, Harvard University
Petroleum, Pipelines and Paranoia in the Caucasus
International Conference on 'International Law and the Chechen Republic', Cracow, Poland, Dec.1995

"The vast expanses of the former Soviet Union harbor oil and gas riches which will be crucial in fueling the global economy in the next century. The huge oil reserves, estimated at over 25 billion barrels, under the Caspian Sea and in the Central Asian republics of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan are similar to those in Kuwait and larger than those in Alaska's Northern Slope and the North Sea combined. Control over these energy resources and export routes out of the Eurasian hinterland is quickly becoming one of the central issues in post-Cold War politics. Like the 'Great Game' of the early 20th century, in which the geopolitical interests of the British Empire and Russia clashed over the Caucasus region and Central Asia, today's struggle between Russia and the West may turn on who controls the oil reserves in Eurasia. The world now faces a choice between the cooperative exploitation by the East and West of natural resources or a wasteful struggle that could cost a fortune in blood and treasure. Regional conflicts in the Caucasus and Central Asia threaten to deny Western access to the vital oil and gas reserves the world will need in the 21st century. .......The U.S. needs to ensure free and fair access for all interested parties to the oil fields of the Caucasus and Central Asia. These resources are crucial to ensuring prosperity in the first half of the 21st century and beyond. Access to Eurasian energy reserves could reduce the West's dependence on Middle East oil and ensure lower oil and gas prices for decades to come..... the West has a paramount interest in assuring that the Caucasian and Central Asian states maintain their independence and remain open to the West. Otherwise, Moscow will capture almost monopolistic control over this vital energy resource, thus increasing Western dependence upon Russian-dominated oil reserves and export routes.... The U.S. should support a pipeline route through the territory of Georgia and Turkey that will bring oil from Eurasia to a Mediterranean port such as Ceyhan in Turkey..... One of the main goals of the Russian attack on Chechnya in December of 1994 was to ensure control of the oil pipeline which runs from Baku, via Grozny, the Chechen capital, to the Russian city of Tikhoretsk. The pipeline ends at the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiysk, designed by Russia to be the terminal for the proposed Kazakh and Azerbaijani pipelines. In addition, Grozny boasts a large refinery with a processing capacity of 12 million tons per year.... Russia launched a massive but covert military action in the fall of 1994 to support opponents of Dudayev. In 1994, Dudayev turned to radical Islamic elements in the Middle East and Central Asia for support. This exacerbated the religious aspect of the conflict between the Muslim Chechens and Christian Orthodox Russians.... Another conflict affecting potential oil routes is occuring in the Caucasus republic of Georgia. Russia wants to prevent oil from Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan from going the 'Western' route through Georgia to Turkey. Moscow's support of civil strife in Georgia is directly connected to its goal of perpetuating conflict in the Caucasus.... Another dangerous conflict is smoldering in Abkhazia, a breakaway region in Georgia. The bitter war in Abkhazia, which began in 1992, has claimed over 35,000 lives. It was precipitated by the Russian military backing the Abkhaz separatist minority against the Georgian government in Tbilisi. One purpose of the Russian intervention was to weaken Georgia and curb Turkish and Western influence in the region. But more important was the Russian goal of controlling access to oil. By acting as it did, Russia gained de facto control over the long Black Sea coastline in Abkhazia. Moscow also was protecting the Russian Black Sea ports of Novorossiysk and Tuapse and moving closer to the Georgian oil exporting ports in Poti, Supsa, and Batumi. In August 1995, Georgia's beleaguered President Shevardnadze agreed to place four Russian military bases on Georgian soil, thus assuring Russia's control of the oil exporting routes via the Black Sea coast.....The conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh is important because of the immense oil reserves controlled by Azerbaijan. Since the late 19th century, the oil in Azerbaijan has played a key role in the economies of the Russian empire and the Soviet Union, as well as in the global energy market. International business interests, such as the Nobel and Rothschild families, and even conquerors like Adolf Hitler have all vied at different times for control of Azerbaijan's oil. Even after 100 years of Russian imperial and Soviet exploitation, Azerbaijan still has some of the largest reserves in the world..... On October 9, 1995, the Azerbaijani International Oil Consortium (AIOC) announced that 'early' oil (approximately 80,000 barrels a month) would be split between two pipelines. The northern line would go to the Russian port of Novorossiysk (via unstable Chechnya) and the western line to the Georgian port of Supsa in two separate pipelines. This was a compromise decision supported by the Clinton Administration and aimed at placating Moscow, but it failed to do so.... Moscow has gone beyond words to establish its power in the Caucasus. The Russians are setting up military bases in the region in order to gain exclusive control over all future pipelines. Georgia now has four Russian bases and Armenia has three, while Azerbaijan is still holding out under severe pressure from Moscow. In addition, members of the Commonwealth of Independent States are required to police their borders jointly with Russian border guards, and thus are denied effective control over their own territory..... The struggle to reestablish a Russian sphere of influence in the Caucasus and Central Asia started in early 1992. While not a full-scale war, this struggle employs a broad spectrum of military, covert, diplomatic, and economic measures. The southern tier of the former Soviet Union is a zone of feverish Russian activity aimed at tightening Moscow's grip in the aftermath of the Soviet collapse. The entire southern rim of Russia is a turbulent frontier, a highly unstable environment in which metropolitan civilian and military elites, local players, and mid-level officers and bureaucrats drive the process of reintegration...... Much is at stake in Eurasia for the U.S. and its allies. Attempts to restore its empire will doom Russia's transition to a democracy and free-market economy. The ongoing war in Chechnya alone has cost Russia $6 billion to date (equal to Russia's IMF and World Bank loans for 1995). Moreover, it has extracted a tremendous price from Russian society. The wars which would be required to restore the Russian empire would prove much more costly not just for Russia and the region, but for peace, world stability, and security..... Eurasian oil resources are pivotal to economic development in the early 21st century. The supply of Middle Eastern oil would become precarious if Saudi Arabia became unstable, or if Iran or Iraq provoked another military conflict in the area.... The oil and gas reserves of the Caucasus and Central Asia are vital to Western geostrategic and economic interests in the 21st century..... A major campaign to assert influence in the Russian 'near abroad' would be a setback for U.S. interests. In addition, control of the Caucasus and Central Asia would allow Russia geographical proximity to, and closer cooperation with, the anti-Western regimes in Tehran and Baghdad. Together, an anti-Western Russia, Iran, and Iraq, if they desired, could pursue a common interest in driving up the price of oil...."
The New 'Great Game': Oil Politics in the Caucasus and Central Asia
The Heritage Foundation, 25 January 1996

"This is about America's energy security. It's also about preventing strategic inroads by those who don't share our values. We're trying to move these newly independent countries toward the west. We would like to see them reliant on western commercial and political interests rather than going another way. We've made a substantial political investment in the Caspian, and it's very important to us that both the pipeline map and the politics come out right."
Bill Richardson 1998, US energy secretary,
on US policy on the extraction and transport of Caspian oil

'A discreet deal in the pipeline - Nato mocked those who claimed there was a plan for Caspian oil'
Guardian, 15 February 2001

"I just want to get back to Russia.  No matter how you might try to soft-pedal it, isn't the real significance of this is that this is a long-term strategic triumph over Russia's historic aspirations and interests in Central Asia?  And how will that strategic defeat for Russia, do you think, affect U.S.-Russian relations?  I mean, you talked about the intensity of opposition, nationalist opposition, in Russia to this project....... On the second of the two early pipelines you mentioned, one that's been shut down due to the fighting in Chechnya.  Could you tell us what the points -- where that pipeline begins and ends, how much oil it moves, when it opened and when it got shut down?....."
Question Asked At

White House Press Briefing by Senior Administration Official
On Caspian Sea Diplomacy and the Baku-Ceyhan Pipeline

Conrad International Hotel, Istanbul, Turkey, 17 November 1999

"The Druzhba system supplies much of the Russian energy, mainly gas, on which the EU has become dependent, and while the EU is keen to keep its Russian energy flowing - attaching great importance to maintaining good relations with Moscow - Western governments and companies also regard themselves as being in territorial and commercial competition with Russia. The West has a distinct preference for transit routes which avoid Russian territory or regions under heavy Russian influence, as well as being keen to secure energy markets which are currently, or potentially, lucrative for the Russian energy companies, mainly the giant Gazprom. This company already has the lion's share of the east European market - inherited from the communist era - which is set to grow significantly and which will increase the EU's energy dependency on Russia as these countries accede to the EU. Competition with Gazprom to secure the Turkish gas market is also raging. A crucial piece of this geopolitical jigsaw is the limited capacity of Turkey's Bosphorus Straits to handle the increasing oil tanker traffic from the eastern Black Sea ports out towards the Mediterranean and world markets. This has dictated the need for overland pipelines which bypass this shipping lane: southerly across Turkey (the Baku-Ceyhan plan) or westerly from the Black Sea ports of Bulgaria and Romania. However, for the last decade transit problems closer to source have presented the greatest hurdles, in particular those facing the BP Amoco-led AIOC in its need for an 'early oil' pipeline from Azerbaijan to a Black Sea port. While most of a pipeline route north-westwards to the Russian port of Novorossiisk was already in place, it passed right through Grozny, the war in Chechnya rendering the pipeline often unusable until the Russians built a bypass pipeline around the war zone. Greater investment and time were required for an alternative route through Georgia to its Black Sea port of Supsa, but highlighted the merits of a diverse, multiple pipeline strategy:"
A Meeting of Blood and Oil: The Balkan factor in Western energy security
Journal of Southern Europe and the Balkans, Vol.4, No.1, May 2002, pp.75-89

"Why would a group of leading American neo-conservatives, dedicated to fighting Islamic terror, have climbed into bed with Chechen rebels linked to al-Qaeda? The American Committee for Peace in Chechnya (ACPC), which includes Pentagon supremo Richard Perle, says the conflict between Russia and Chechnya is about Chechen nationalism, not terrorism.  The ACPC savaged Russia for the atrocities its forces have committed in the Caucuses, said President Vladimir Putin was 'ridiculous', claimed Russia was more 'morally' to blame for the bloodshed than Chechen separatists and played down links between al-Qaeda and the 'Chechen resistance'. The ACPC's support for the Chechen cause seems bizarre, as many of its members are among the most outspoken US policymakers who have made it clear that Islamist terror must be wiped out. But the organisation has tried to broker peace talks between Russia and Chechen separatists. The ACPC includes many leaders of the neo-conservative think-tank, Project for the New American Century (PNAC), which advocates American domination of the world.... ACPC executive director Glen Howard said the continuation of the 'brutalising tactics' of Russian forces would only lead to 'the resistance employing more brutal tactics' like the assault on School Number One in Beslan...... The nurturing of Chechen fighters against Russia recalls America's support for the Mujahideen in Afghanistan - an act that went on to spawn al-Qaeda and the Taliban.... Howard said hardliners like Richard Perle were backing Chechnya as they 'understood what it feels like to be under the Russian yolk'.  Some critics believe the support for the Chechens may be a cold war hangover or part of a policy to keep Russia weak through bloodletting in the Caucuses.... According to Howard, due to the vast energy resources in the Caucuses, the West, which is heavily dependent on foreign energy, has strategic interests in the area to which it cannot afford to turn a blind eye."
US neo-cons: Kremlin is 'morally' to blame for the school massacre
Sunday Herald - 12 September 2004

"An enormous head of steam has built up behind the view that President Putin is somehow the main culprit in the grisly events in North Ossetia. ... There have been numerous editorials encouraging us to understand - to quote the Sunday Times - the 'underlying causes' of Chechen terrorism (usually Russian authoritarianism), while the widespread use of the word 'rebels' to describe people who shoot children shows a surprising indulgence in the face of extreme brutality....On closer inspection, it turns out that this so-called 'mounting criticism' is in fact being driven by a specific group in the Russian political spectrum - and by its American supporters. The leading Russian critics of Putin's handling of the Beslan crisis are the pro-US politicians Boris Nemtsov and Vladimir Ryzhkov - men associated with the extreme neoliberal market reforms which so devastated the Russian economy under the west's beloved Boris Yeltsin - and the Carnegie Endowment's Moscow Centre. Funded by its New York head office, this influential thinktank - which operates in tandem with the military-political Rand Corporation, for instance in producing policy papers on Russia's role in helping the US restructure the 'Greater Middle East' - has been quoted repeatedly in recent days blaming Putin for the Chechen atrocities. The centre has also been assiduous over recent months in arguing against Moscow's claims that there is a link between the Chechens and al-Qaida. These people peddle essentially the same line as that expressed by Chechen leaders themselves, such as Ahmed Zakaev, the London exile who wrote in these pages yesterday. Other prominent figures who use the Chechen rebellion as a stick with which to beat Putin include Boris Berezovsky, the Russian oligarch who, like Zakaev, was granted political asylum in this country, although the Russian authorities want him on numerous charges. Moscow has often accused Berezovsky of funding Chechen rebels in the past. By the same token the BBC and other media sources are putting it about that Russian TV played down the Beslan crisis, while only western channels reported live, the implication being that Putin's Russia remains a highly controlled police state. But this view of the Russian media is precisely the opposite of the impression I gained while watching both CNN and Russian TV over the past week: the Russian channels had far better information and images from Beslan than their western competitors. This harshness towards Putin is perhaps explained by the fact that, in the US, the leading group which pleads the Chechen cause is the American Committee for Peace in Chechnya (ACPC). The list of the self-styled 'distinguished Americans' who are its members is a rollcall of the most prominent neoconservatives who so enthusastically support the 'war on terror'. They include Richard Perle, the notorious Pentagon adviser; Elliott Abrams of Iran-Contra fame; Kenneth Adelman, the former US ambassador to the UN who egged on the invasion of Iraq by predicting it would be 'a cakewalk'; Midge Decter, biographer of Donald Rumsfeld and a director of the rightwing Heritage Foundation; Frank Gaffney of the militarist Centre for Security Policy; Bruce Jackson, former US military intelligence officer and one-time vice-president of Lockheed Martin, now president of the US Committee on Nato; Michael Ledeen of the American Enterprise Institute, a former admirer of Italian fascism and now a leading proponent of regime change in Iran; and R James Woolsey, the former CIA director who is one of the leading cheerleaders behind George Bush's plans to re-model the Muslim world along pro-US lines.....Although the White House issued a condemnation of the Beslan hostage-takers, its official view remains that the Chechen conflict must be solved politically. According to ACPC member Charles Fairbanks of Johns Hopkins University, US pressure will now increase on Moscow to achieve a political, rather than military, solution - in other words to negotiate with terrorists, a policy the US resolutely rejects elsewhere. Allegations are even being made in Russia that the west itself is somehow behind the Chechen rebellion, and that the purpose of such support is to weaken Russia, and to drive her out of the Caucasus. The fact that the Chechens are believed to use as a base the Pankisi gorge in neighbouring Georgia - a country which aspires to join Nato, has an extremely pro-American government, and where the US already has a significant military presence - only encourages such speculation. Putin himself even seemed to lend credence to the idea in his interview with foreign journalists on Monday."
John Laughland, trustee of the British Helsinki Human Rights Group
The Chechens' American friends
Guardian, 8 September 2004

"A brief visit to the [Pankisi] Gorge, about three hours drive from Tbilisi, made it clear that the area was completely out of Georgian control. The escort, from the local police headquarters, admitted that he had been in the village — the edge of the village anyway — a few weeks ago, when he was called in to examine the severed head of a local 'bandit,' he explained. The visit did not explain who was really hiding there. It is obviously a haven for Chechen fighters and bandits, and senior European diplomats say it is an increasingly significant staging post for the manufacture and export of heroin from Afghanistan. But the U.S. government believes that on any one day between 10 and 80 international terrorists with links to al-Qaeda are in the Gorge. Most are from Saudi Arabia or Jordan, with possibly some Algerians. Washington will not say what al-Qaeda is doing there, but stresses they are neither stragglers from Afghanistan, nor there by accident. They are in the valley with ill intent. Some have arrived since the collapse of the Taliban....As a result of the U.S. announcement about al-Qaeda in the Pankisi — which came as something of a surprise, said Defense Minister David Tevzadze in an interview — the first of up to 200 U.S. trainers will be arriving in a week or two. Their task is to create, from a demoralized and bedraggled army, a combat-ready force of about 1,500 men. Georgian officials hope that the $64 million program will just be the beginning of a close alliance with the U.S."
The Forbidden Valley
TIME, 25 March 2002

"Some Russian analysts argue that Turkey and the US are supporting the Ceyhan [rival pipeline] project [which passes through Georgia] so as to elbow Russia off the Caspian. Furthermore, Ankara's quiet support to the Chechen militants has been said to be designed to sustain volatility in the northern Caucasus - which would make it impossible for the competing CPC [Russian pipeline] project to proceed."
CONFLICT-CAUCASUS: Petrodollars Behind the Chechen Tragedy
Inter Press Service - 7 Dec 1999

"Forget the war on terrorism. The United States is once again supporting the drug dealers, gangsters and warlord fundamentalists. The other day a State Dept. official met Chechnya’s self-declared foreign minister, Ilyas Akhmadov. The Russians were dismayed. Having thrown their lot in with the supposed common struggle against terrorism, they find the Americans giving support to terrorists. Last month, after a post-Sept. 11 lull, the U.S. stepped up its criticism of human rights abuses in Chechnya. The Russians professed to be 'amazed' that the United States, as Agence France Presse reported, would meet with Chechens, 'whose direct links with Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda are being proven with constantly emerging, irrefutable evidence' ... Chechnya has always been seen here as a rerun of Kosovo, which itself was a rerun of Afghanistan.... Consider Kosovo: The U.S. is currently brokering a deal on the distribution of power. Leaders of the three leading Kosovo Albanian parties recently met the head of the U.S. office in Pristina, John Menzies, and it was proposed that the job of prime minister should go to Hashim Thaci’s Democratic Party of Kosovo (DPK). Thaci is the leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). Its links to Islamic terrorism and bin Laden have been amply documented.... The KLA-NLA terrorists are funded by U.S. military aid, the UN peacekeeping budget, Al Qaeda and by drug trafficking and prostitution. If everything goes according to plan, their leader is about to be appointed prime minister thanks to U.S. efforts. O what a lovely war! Now on to Central Asia..... Washington now has 13 bases in nine countries ringing Afghanistan and in the Gulf..... Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz says the bases will serve to facilitate cooperation and training with the local military. In other words, the U.S. will, as in the Balkans, play the Islamists and anti-Islamists off against each other and reduce the countries to abject dependence. If the fates of Kosovo and Macedonia are anything to go by, the Soviet Union era will soon seem like a glorious one. "
TAKI'S TOP DRAWER
New York Press, 6 February 2002

"Of the many issues baffling Western observers about Russia's intervention in Chechnya, the question of timing -- why now? -- has gone unanswered. The reason is simple: oil. Chechnya, as many correspondents have noted, has considerable oil reserves of its own that Moscow clearly wants to hold onto. But this would not explain the timing. Indeed, oil production in Chechnya has been dropping drastically -- by some 71 percent since 1991. Much more significant is the fact that control of Chechnya enables Russia to control the flow of natural resources, mainly oil and gas, from its former Soviet republics. The small mountain region sits astride a critical pipeline that links the oil-rich republics of Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan (on the landlocked Caspian Sea) with the Russian port of Novorossiysk on the Black Sea. Over recent months, a series of seemingly unrelated developments threatened to eliminate that strategic leverage, upping the ante on Yeltsin as he sought to contain the Chechnya movement for independence. Last September, in a deal that went virtually unnoticed except by a few oil executives in the West, Azerbaijan signed what it called 'the deal of the century' -- an $8 billion oil deal with a broad consortium of Western oil companies. The contract, worked out over months of hard bargaining, called for building a new pipeline that would skirt Russia to channel Azeri oil through Turkey or Iran to Western buyers. Although Moscow managed to strongarm its way into a 10 percent cut of the deal, it stands to gain far greater control of both the licensing fees and the spigot if Kazakh oil flows along the existing pipeline from the landlocked Caspian Sea through a Russian-controlled Chechnya to the West. Another important deal is soon to be signed among Kazakhstan, Russia and a Western consortium led by British Gas to develop the giant Karachaganak natural gas field in Kazakhstan. Originally, this plan -- which comes on the heels of even larger deals Kazakhstan signed with Chevron and other U.S. firms to develop its vast oil fields -- did not include direct Russian participation. But Moscow has made it evident it wants equity participation in all energy export deals planned by its former republics. Upcoming negotiations will focus on the terms for Gazprom's -- Russia's state-owned natural gas company -- participation, and arrangements for transporting the Kazakh gas and liquid condensate across Russian territory. All told, these foreign deals with Central Asian states that border Chechnya total nearly $28 billion, far too much money for a cash-strapped Russia to ignore for the sake of risking another blotch on its inglorious record on human rights. Yeltsin has cited numerous other factors to explain the military imbroglio in Chechnya, ranging from the domino effect it could have on other republics, to Chechen criminality to the dreaded spread of Islam through the Caucasus and Central Asia. But more clues have surfaced recently pointing to the oil imperative. Yeltsin recently named a former Soviet oil minister, Salambek Hajjiev, as head of the so-called Chechen 'Government of National Rebirth' and has vowed to install him once the rebel leader Dzhokhar Dudayev is subdued. In a letter dated Dec. 21, 1994, written by Yeltsin's increasingly influential bodyguard, Gen. Alexander Korzhakov, to Prime Minister Victor Chernomyrdin, Korzhakov warned against giving Westerners too much control of Russia's raw materials. He further instructed the prime minister to review his recent agreements with the World Bank aimed at liberalizing oil exports on the grounds that they would prove 'profitable to the World Bank, but not for Russia.' Until now, the general's letter -- mysteriously leaked to the press -- was treated as a bizarre act in Russia's palace politics. But with Yeltsin's bodyguard assuming a kind of Rasputin role, his missive looks more and more like the smoking gun behind the Chechen invasion. At the least, it reveals the premium Yeltsin places on retaining control of oil flowing from all the former Soviet republics."
What does Russia see in Chechnya? Oil
By Andrew Meier
Date: January 20, 1995

"U.S. post-Cold War era foreign policy has designated Central Asia and the Caucasus as a 'strategic area.' Yet this policy no longer consists of containing the 'spread of communism', but rather in preventing Russia and China from becoming competing capitalist powers . In this regard, the U.S. has increased its military presence along the entire 40th parallel, extending from Bosnia and Kosovo to the former Soviet republics of Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, all of which have entered into bilateral military agreements with Washington. The 1999 war in Yugoslavia and the subsequent outbreak of war in Chechnya in September 1999 was a crucial turning point in Russian-American relations. It also marked a rapprochement between Moscow and Beijing, and the signing of several military cooperation agreements between Russia and China. U.S. covert support to the two main Chechen rebel groups (through Pakistan’s ISI) was known to the Russian government and military. (For further details, see Chapter II.) However, it had previously never been made public or raised at the diplomatic level. In November 1999, the Russian Defence Minister, Igor Sergueyev, formally accused Washington of supporting the Chechen rebels. Following a meeting held behind closed doors with Russia’s military high command, Sergueyev declared that: 'The national interests of the United States require that the military conflict in the Caucasus [Chechnya] be a fire, provoked as a result of outside forces', while adding that 'the West’s policy constitutes a challenge launched to Russia with the ultimate aim of weakening her international position and of excluding her from geo-strategic areas'. In the wake of the 1999 Chechen war, a new 'National Security Doctrine' was formulated and signed into law by Acting President Vladimir Putin, in early 2000. Barely acknowledged by the international media, a critical shift in East-West relations had occurred. The document reasserted the building of a strong Russian State, the concurrent growth of the Military, as well as the reintroduction of State controls over foreign capital. The document carefully spelled out what it described as ' fundamental threats' to Russia’s national security and sovereignty. More specifically, it referred to 'the strengthening of military-political blocs and alliances' [namely GUUAM], as well as to 'NATO’s eastward expansion' while underscoring 'the possible emergence of foreign military bases and major military presences in the immediate proximity of Russian borders.' The document confirms that 'international terrorism is waging an open campaign to destabilize Russia.' While not referring explicitly to CIA covert activities in support of armed terrorist groups, such as the Chechen rebels, it nonetheless calls for appropriate 'actions to avert and intercept intelligence and subversive activities by foreign states against the Russian Federation.' The cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy has been to encourage — under the disguise of 'peace-keeping' and so-called 'conflict resolution' — the formation of small pro-U.S. States which lie strategically at the hub of the Caspian Sea basin, which contains vast oil and gas reserves...."
The Anglo-American Military Axis
Centre For Research On Globalisation, 10 March 2003

"Russia's main pipeline route transits through Chechnya and Dagestan. Despite Washington's perfunctory condemnation of Islamic terrorism, the indirect beneficiaries of the Chechen war are the Anglo-American oil conglomerates which are vying for control over oil resources and pipeline corridors out of the Caspian Sea basin. The two main Chechen rebel armies (respectively led by Commander Shamil Basayev and Emir Khattab) estimated at 35,000 strong were supported by Pakistan's ISI, which also played a key role in organizing and training the Chechen rebel army......Following his training and indoctrination stint, Basayev was assigned to lead the assault against Russian federal troops in the first Chechen war in 1995. His organization had also developed extensive links to criminal syndicates in Moscow as well as ties to Albanian organized crime and the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). In 1997-98, according to Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) 'Chechen warlords started buying up real estate in Kosovo... through several real estate firms registered as a cover in Yugoslavia'.Basayev's organisation has also been involved in a number of rackets including narcotics, illegal tapping and sabotage of Russia's oil pipelines, kidnapping, prostitution, trade in counterfeit dollars and the smuggling of nuclear materials..."
Who Is Osama Bin Laden?
Centre for Research on Globalisation, 12 September 2001

"From the start of the Beslan hostage crisis, President Putin drew clear parallels with 9/11. He asked the United Nations Security Council to condemn the siege under Resolution 1373, which Washington pushed through on September 28, 2001.... Sergei Lavrov, his Foreign Minister, asked Britain and the US to extradite prominent Chechen separatists. Driving the point home, Mr Lavrov even met Rudolph Giuliani, who was Mayor of New York in September 2001. But, say analysts, the parallels end there....  The Kremlin accuses Britain and the US of double standards for granting political asylum to Chechen rebel representatives and advocating negotiations with moderate separatist leaders. Several hundred people joined a rally outside the British Embassy yesterday demanding that Britain extradite the rebel representative Akhmed Zakayev, who was granted asylum last year. 'Blair, prove that you are against terrorism! Extradite Zakayev!' read one banner. Another rally was held at the US Embassy to demand the extradition of the Chechen separatist, Ilyas Akhmadov."
Siege fallout deepens Russia's rift with the West
London Times, 11 September 2004

"Russia summoned Washington's envoy on Friday to protest a U.S. television network's airing of an interview with a Chechen rebel leader that threatened to add to strains between the two countries. In the interview, broadcast by ABC on Thursday night, warlord Shamil Basayev accused Russia of killing thousands of civilians and defended his own raids -- the bloodiest of the 10-year Chechen war -- as part of a struggle for independence. 'We invited the deputy chief of mission to express our views over the broadcasting of an interview with a terrorist. ... We expressed our strong indignation,' a Foreign Ministry spokesman said. 'The TV channel has shown outrageous neglect of the standards of responsible journalism and general human values.' The United States condemned Basayev as a terrorist but said it could not dictate what interviews U.S. networks aired. 'This is a constitutional right of an American media outlet to broadcast an interview, and we did not have any role to play in the decision to air the interview,' State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters. Washington has criticized some Arab media for interviews with militants and, after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, asked U.S. networks to consider whether statements by al Qaeda leaders contained hidden messages before broadcasting them..... Basayev organized the attack on a school in Beslan in September, when 330 hostages -- more than half of them children -- died after a three-day siege. The warlord, who has spearheaded Chechen resistance for a decade and has a $10 million price on his head, has also sent hostage-takers and suicide bombers into Moscow and other Russian towns in operations that have killed hundreds.Russia accuses him of links to al Qaeda and says the Chechen war is part of the global struggle against terrorism.It is quick to criticize any Western sympathy for the Chechen cause as proof of "double standards" in the fight, and has previously slammed the United States and Britain for refusing to extradite rebels. 'These notorious double standards and double approaches continue to exist. ... Undoubtedly, this sours our cooperation (with the United States) and gives a boost to terrorist activists,' Anatoly Safonov, President Vladimir Putin's special representative for the war against terrorism, told Interfax news agency.... Basayev happily admitted he was a terrorist in the ABC interview, but said the Russians were worse. 'If they are the keepers of constitutional order, if they are anti-terrorists then I spit on all these agreements and nice words,' he said."
Russia summons U.S. envoy over Basayev interview
Reuters, 29 July 2005

An empire's fraying edge
Feb 10th 2005 | BESLAN, NALCHIK, NAZRAN AND VLADIKAVKAZ
From The Economist print edition

The creeping destabilisation of the north Caucasus, and what it means for the future of Russia

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"The Caucasus is among the most vital regions of the world for the United States, said Commander of the United States European Command James Jones..... At the hearings in the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services on March 1 General Jones presented an analytical report on the current and future military strategic interests of the United States in the world. 'Caucasus is increasingly important for our interests,' he said. This region is a key one in the process of spreading democracy and market economy to the countries of Central and Southeast Asia, Mr. Johns said. In the coming five years Caspian oil running across the Caucasus may account for 25% of the world increase in oil production, he said. It has been estimated by the U.S. military that the Caucasian oil and gas will ensure a diversification of the energy sources for Europe, the general said, according to a RIA Novosti report."
U.S. Commander-in-Chief in Europe: Caucasus is vital for U.S.
Pravda, 4 March 2005

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North Caucasus: At a glance

Dick Cheney to take fight against Russia's oil dominance to Azerbaijan
Telegraph, 2 September 2008

[Extract]

"Dick Cheney, the US vice-president will arrive in the Caucasus on a mission to prevent Russia from gaining a stranglehold over Central Asia's vast reserves of energy.

As he starts a tour of Georgia, Azerbaijan and Ukraine, Mr Cheney will try to allay fears that Russia's campaign in Georgia has fatally damaged a cornerstone of the West's energy policy.

That message will be particularly potent in Azerbaijan's capital Baku, once the capital of the Soviet oil industry and now a pivotal ally of the United States.

The Caucasus region, between the gas-rich Caspian Sea and Turkey, provides the only energy pathway from Central Asia to Europe that does not traverse Russia or Iran.

'If Azerbaijan tilts to Russia there goes 15 years of US energy diplomacy,' said a Western diplomat in Baku. 'Cheney has the history and personal clout to make this trip clearly focused on energy.'

Mr Cheney's unparalleled reputation as a defender of US interests and close ties to the oil industry means the vice president is uniquely placed to deliver a tough message to Russia.

John Hannah, his national security advisor said: 'The overriding priority, especially in Baku, Tbilisi and Kiev, will be the same: a clear and simple message that the United States has a deep and abiding interest in the well-being and security of this part of the world.'

After European leaders bickered over how to deal with Russia at a summit on Monday, Mr Cheney will have to shore up Azerbaijan's confidence in Western support.

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, the Georgian prime minister Lado Gurgenidze said that without efforts by Gordon Brown, the EU position would have been weaker.

'We are aware that the document perhaps would have read differently if it had not been for the efforts of the British delegation,' he said.

The vulnerability of pipelines running from Azerbaijan to Turkey was dramatically illustrated by Russia's war in Georgia, when exports were halted and expatriate energy workers evacuated.

'Russia didn't need to attack the pipelines running through Georgia but by stopping the flow west it ensured that the great fears over the system have been realised,' said Andrew Neff, an analyst at research firm, Global Insight. 'Cheney must ensure that Azerbaijan doesn't take the wrong message from events in Georgia.'

Supplies of Azeri gas are crucial to European efforts to build the 2,000 mile Nabucco pipeline through Turkey to Austria by 2013. Its inauguration would erode Russian's dominant role in energy supplies to Central and Eastern Europe.

America has been a strong proponent of the project. 'Without Azeri gas, the Nabucco pipeline is dead on the drawing board,' said Mr Neff, who concluded that Russia's campaign in Georgia had given it a 'de facto veto' over energy flows through Georgia.

Russia has already attempted to coax Azerbaijan away from its Western backers. President Dmitry Medvedev used a visit to Baku in the spring to herald 'co-operation prospects' between the two states.

Gazprom, the large Russian oil firm, has offered to pay market rates for its gas, which at a time of rising prices is more attractive than the long-term supply deal prices proposed by the West.

Ilham Aliyev, Azerbaijan's president, has been solidly pro-Western since succeeding his father in 2003.

However, despite its rapid economic growth, Azerbaijan remains vulnerable to Russia intervention in the breakaway enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh. As in the Georgian territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, separatists in Nagorno-Karabakh rely on Russian backing.....

Senior American conservatives have rallied behind Mr Cheney's trip, possibly his last significant act before President George W Bush's term ends in January. 'The security of Georgia and Azerbaijan are vital American interests for a variety of reasons,' said John Bolton, a former US ambassador to the United Nations. 'Including the critical corridor they provide to get oil and natural gas out of the Caspian Basin region without transiting Russia or Iran. Europe should also understand this key point.'"


Transatlantic Covert Operations
In Chechnya

"I can tell you that there is a role in my mind, a proper role, for covert action to continue. And I would not call it 'paramilitary'. I would call it 'pure covert action'. And that would be things happening to the benefit of national security that just seem to happen. And there is not an American flag on them. And if somebody came to the President of the United States, he would be able to say, 'I don't know what you're talking about.'"
Porter Goss, former director of the CIA
Ship of Spies
BBC Radio 4, 15 January 2011

"The Clinton administration followed up by providing strong support to the KLA, even though it was known that the KLA supported the Muslim mujahadeen. Despite that knowledge, then Secretary of State Madeleine Albright had the KLA removed from the State Department list of terrorists. This action paved the way for the United States to provide the KLA with needed logistical support. At the same time, the KLA also received support from Iran and Usama bin Laden, along with 'Islamic holy warriors' who were jihad veterans from Bosnia, Chechnya and Afghanistan. Swiss journalist Richard Labeviere, in his book, 'Dollars for Terror,' said that the international Islamic networks linked to bin Laden received help from U.S. intelligence community. Indeed, Chechen sources claim that U.S. intelligence also aided them in their opposition to Russia. Given that U.S. policy in the post-Cold War period has not only been anti-Russian but anti-Iranian, the United States worked closely with Pakistan's predominantly Sunni Inter-Services Intelligence organization. Through ISI, the United States recruited Sunni mujahadeen by staging them in Chechnya to fight in Bosnia and later in Kosovo."
Michael Maloof, Post 9/11 Pentagon Counterterrorism Adviser
Iran subversion in Balkans
G2 Bulletin, 25 September 2006

"Delivering one of his most scathing attacks on the US, Mr Gorbachev told The Daily Telegraph that a US military build-up was under way to contain a resurgent Russia. From Nato's expansion plans in the former Soviet Union to Washington's proposals for a bigger defence budget and a missile shield in central Europe, the US was deliberately quashing hopes for permanent peace with Russia, Mr Gorbachev said. 'We had 10 years after the Cold War to build a new world order and yet we squandered them,' he said..... 'I sometimes have a feeling that the United States is going to wage war against the entire world.'...Relations have further deteriorated after Nato promised eventual membership to Georgia and Ukraine, a move interpreted by Mr Gorbachev as an attempt to extend America's sphere of influence into Russia's backyard.  ‘The Americans promised that Nato wouldn't move beyond the boundaries of Germany after the Cold War but now half of central and eastern Europe are members, so what happened to their promises? It shows they cannot be trusted.’ ....Gorbachev.....quoting a Russian documentary on state television, suggested that Margaret Thatcher had supplied weapons to Chechen terrorists."
Gorbachev: US could start new Cold War
Daily Telegraph, 7 May 2008

"Russia triggered a new spying row with Britain last night when a senior diplomat in Moscow was accused of working for British Intelligence. The allegation against Chris Bowers, the British Embassy’s acting director of trade and investment, follows weeks of antagonism and growing tension between London and Moscow. Interfax news agency quoted an unnamed source within Russia’s intelligence services, who claimed that Mr Bowers was a high-ranking secret service officer who had also worked under cover in the 1990s as a BBC reporter in Uzbekistan. 'The activities of Christopher Bowers, a counsellor at the British Embassy in Russia, and probably, simultaneously a senior officer with British Intelligence, are giving rise to questions among Russian intelligence services,' the agency reported its source as saying. It was claimed that Mr Bowers had been engaged in 'suspicious' meetings with what it called Russia’s radical opposition and human rights activists from the North Caucasus, including Chechnya. An embassy spokesman confirmed that Mr Bowers was a diplomat responsible for trade and investment but declined to say more."
Moscow names British diplomat Chris Bowers as spy
London Times, 11 July 2008

"Why would a group of leading American neo-conservatives, dedicated to fighting Islamic terror, have climbed into bed with Chechen rebels linked to al-Qaeda? The American Committee for Peace in Chechnya (ACPC), which includes Pentagon supremo Richard Perle, says the conflict between Russia and Chechnya is about Chechen nationalism, not terrorism.  The ACPC savaged Russia for the atrocities its forces have committed in the Caucuses, said President Vladimir Putin was 'ridiculous', claimed Russia was more 'morally' to blame for the bloodshed than Chechen separatists and played down links between al-Qaeda and the 'Chechen resistance'. The ACPC's support for the Chechen cause seems bizarre, as many of its members are among the most outspoken US policymakers who have made it clear that Islamist terror must be wiped out. But the organisation has tried to broker peace talks between Russia and Chechen separatists. The ACPC includes many leaders of the neo-conservative think-tank, Project for the New American Century (PNAC), which advocates American domination of the world.... ACPC executive director Glen Howard said the continuation of the 'brutalising tactics' of Russian forces would only lead to 'the resistance employing more brutal tactics' like the assault on School Number One in Beslan...... The nurturing of Chechen fighters against Russia recalls America's support for the Mujahideen in Afghanistan - an act that went on to spawn al-Qaeda and the Taliban.... Howard said hardliners like Richard Perle were backing Chechnya as they 'understood what it feels like to be under the Russian yolk'.  Some critics believe the support for the Chechens may be a cold war hangover or part of a policy to keep Russia weak through bloodletting in the Caucuses.... According to Howard, due to the vast energy resources in the Caucuses, the West, which is heavily dependent on foreign energy, has strategic interests in the area to which it cannot afford to turn a blind eye."
US neo-cons: Kremlin is 'morally' to blame for the school massacre
Sunday Herald - 12 September 2004

"As the intelligence newsletter Stratfor -- which Time magazine ranked as the nation's top intelligence site in 2003, and which Barron's described as 'a private quasi-CIA' -- pointed out a few months ago, with Ukraine now firmly in the West's orbit, America, with NATO and the EU, has managed to succeed exactly where Hitler and Napoleon failed: it has dismantled the Russian empire, leaving the rump state exposed, weakened and essentially at the West's mercy....  In the wake of the Beslan massacre in September, 2004, in which hundreds of children were killed during a Chechen separatist seizure of a school in southern Russia, President Putin went on television and blamed certain foreign powers for supporting the terrorists with the aim of defanging Russia for good, breaking it apart, and seizing its valuable resources. He did not name the United States, but it was clear whom he meant. .....Stratfor, whose politics could be described as something between patriotic-American and realpolitik, agreed. According to its Kremlin sources, Putin specifically named the U.S. and Great Britain during private meetings. And as Stratfor noted in its April report, there is plenty of evidence to support the Kremlin's claim. In the first place, while Muslim separatist militants from other conflict zones are shunned and even violently pursued by the U.S., the Chechen separatist representatives are routinely given haven and official voice in both the U.K. and America. ... As Stratfor notes, the British connection to the Chechen separatists goes farther back. 'During the first Chechen war -- from 1994 to 1996 -- retired U.K. special forces officers trained British Muslim recruits in British territory to fight in Chechnya,' Stratfor claims, echoing reports out of Russia. 'Some militants who attended that training and were later captured told the Russian government.' After Chechnya gained de facto independence, a scandal apparently erupted in Russia-U.K. relations when de-mining instructors from a private security firm, which included American ex-military personnel, were caught 'training Chechen militants how to launch mine and bombing attacks against Russian troops,' according to Stratfor.."
Dividing Russia
AlterNet, 29 June 2005

"Over the years, some dissidents suspected by foreign governments of involvement in terrorist acts have been protected by the British government for one reason or another from deportation or extradition.... In the past, terrorism experts say, Britain benefited significantly from its willingness to extend at least conditional hospitality to a wide range of Arab dissidents and opposition figures .... Mustafa Alani, a terrorism expert at the Royal United Services Institute for Defense Studies, a London think tank, said [Anas] al-Liby was probably left in legal limbo by the British government, allowing him to be used or discarded as circumstances permitted.... According to a renegade officer for the British intelligence service MI5, David Shayler, British intelligence plotted with Islamic extremists [including al-Liby] to assassinate Gaddafi in early 1996..."
Britain a Refuge for Mideast Dissidents - Some With Suspected Ties to Bin Laden Resist Extradition
Washington Post, 7 October 2001

"As several UK university campuses are on alert to guard against extremist Muslim groups, possible connections with the Hamburg students involved in US terrorist attacks are emerging. Student leaders warned this week that several campuses are being targeted by the Al-Muhajiroun...leading figures have claimed that around 1,800 British Muslims take part in 'military service' each year, recruited at mosques and university campuses across the country.... The Al-Muhajiroun was formed in 1996 as breakaway group of the Hizb ut Tahrir, itself a militant Muslim organisation banned from UK universities. The Al-Muhajiroun attracted Hizb at-Tahrir's more radical college and university-based supporters.... It is thought that the Al-Muhajiroun sends young Muslim men from Britain to 'holy war' training camps, including those run by Osama bin Laden, the chief suspect wanted in connection with the US terrorist attacks. The military camps are normally run by Muslim soldiers who have defected from their national armies. They train the recruits as well as providing them with free food and board. The route the recruits take to the military camps from countries like Britain are complicated, full of stops and changes to prevent authorities from tracing them. The camps are situated in remote areas of Pakistan, often in the mountainous areas near the Afghan border. Afterwards, some recruits volunteer for active service in regions like Kosovo, Chechnya and Kashmir, while others return to Britain to help recruit others to the cause. Earlier this year Russian officials called on Britain to ban the organisation under the Terrorism Act. They claimed that 'mercenaries' from the London School of Economics had been recruited to fight in Chechnya in a 'holy war' against the Russian army in the Caucasus."
Muslim student group linked to terrorist attacks
Guardian, 19 September 2001

"During an interview on Fox TV this summer, the former US federal prosecutor John Loftus reported that British intelligence had used the al-Muhajiroun group in London to recruit Islamist militants with British passports for the war against the Serbs in Kosovo. Since July Scotland Yard has been interested in an alleged member of al-Muhajiroun, Haroon Rashid Aswat, who some sources have suggested could have been behind the London bombings."
Britain now faces its own blowback
Guardian, 10 September 2005

"Now we knew about this guy Aswat. Back in 1999 he came to America. The Justice Department wanted to indict him in Seattle because him and his buddy were trying to set up a terrorist training school in Oregon... we've just learned that the headquarters of the US Justice Department ordered the Seattle prosecutors not to touch Aswat... apparently Aswat was working for British intelligence."
Interview with former US Federal Prosecutor John Loftus
Fox TV, 29 July 2005

"As a potential mastermind of the London attacks, Aswat has connections and a past that are almost too neat a fit. Now 31, he was brought up in Dewsbury, near Leeds, where Mohammad Sidique Khan, one of the London bombers, lived. He left the area 10 years ago and is believed to have travelled to training camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan. He is said to have told investigators in Zambia that he was once a bodyguard for Osama Bin Laden. When Aswat returned to Britain he attended the Finsbury Park mosque in north London, which was a hotbed of radicalism in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Reda Hassaine, an Algerian journalist who worked as an informant for the British and French security services, witnessed Aswat recruiting young men at the mosque to the cause of Al-Qaeda.... Aswat also showed potential recruits videotapes of the mujaheddin in action in Bosnia and Chechnya.... Senior Whitehall officials also deny 'any knowledge' that he might be an agent for either MI5 or MI6."
Tangled web that still leaves worrying loose ends
Sunday Times, 31 July 2005

Covert Operations And The 'Covenant Of Security'

"Britain had tolerated the presence of hardline Islamists in a stance that angered France, Spain and European countries. In return, radicals preached that Muslims lived in Britain under a 'covenant of security' meaning that no jihadi attacks would occur here."
Islamist cleric declared war on Britain six months ago
London Times, 12 July 2005

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Omar Bakri Muhammed addresses an al-Muhajiroun rally in Trafalgar Square, London (Abu-Hamza, right)

The British Government ran a 'Covenant Of Security' with radical Islamic groups like Al-Muhajiroun leaving them free to recruit for terrorist missions abroad as long as they did not attack targets in Britain. During the 1990s British intelligence used al-Muhajiroun to carry out attacks against Serbia as part of strategy  to dismember the former Yugolsavia. Al-Muhajiroun withdrew from the covenant following the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq in 2003, leaving it free to support attacks on the United Kingdom such as those carried out in July 2005.

nlpwessex.org

"It is becoming clear that al-Muhajiroun (ALM), the group formed by Bakri in London less than a decade ago, has played a pivotal role in radicalising young Britons who have gone on to wreak terror in Britain and across the world.... Last November Bakri announced that ALM was disbanding. Three months later he said the 'covenant of security' was no longer in force. Experts note that the London bombings followed four months later."
Terror links of the Tottenham Ayatollah
London Times, 24 July 2005

"A sophisticated internet sting has provided fresh evidence linking Abu Hamza, the British radical Islamic cleric, to terror camps, claim anti-terrorist police. Hamza is said to have been so convinced by a British undercover investigator posing as an extremist website operator that he allegedly sent him several secret propaganda films designed to attract new recruits. The videos were used, say investigators, to convince British Muslims to undergo jihad training at camps in Afghanistan and Bosnia. The tapes and e-mails were obtained by Glen Jenvey, a 38-year-old freelance counterintelligence investigator from Wiltshire, over a period of more than a year. As the evidence flowed in, Jenvey forwarded it to the FBI, which is now building a case to extradite Hamza to America. Last week Scotland Yard confirmed that anti-terrorist branch officers had taken a statement from Jenvey and sent a copy to the FBI. The evidence is being marshalled by US government prosecutors in New York, where Hamza is part of a grand jury investigation into a plot to provide weapons training to American mujaheddin on a cattle ranch in Bly, Oregon.... One tape starts by showing a training camp in Bosnia and scenes of urban combat training. Jihad anthems play in the background and a voice in English says: Make ready to continue to terrorise the enemy of Allah. The tape later cuts to Hamza speaking to a private audience in London about so-called suicide bombers. He appears to use the Koran to justify the tactic. It is to inflict suffering, it is in the time, in the methodology of suicide, it is there and at its peak, says Hamza. In another tape, three British volunteers are interviewed in Bosnia about their experiences. All three urge Muslims at home to undergo jihad training and criticise those who are content to merely donate money or lend moral support.  The first volunteer identifies himself as being from north London. He says he is a third-year medical student at Birmingham University. Hiding his face behind a black scarf, he holds an assault rifle aloft as he speaks to the camera and talks about the satisfaction of seeing hundreds of dead bodies in Bosnia.  Another tape opens with scenes of what appears to be a massacre of Serbian civilians in a village in Bosnia. The camera roves around the scene, focusing on corpses that litter the ground. Some of the bodies are being taken away on stretchers by distraught relatives. A jihad anthem plays in the background.... Jenvey continued to monitor Hamza’s website. In April this year he noticed a film showing Russian soldiers being blown up by Chechnyan terrorists.... According to court papers, Hamza provided letters of introduction or sponsorship for people to enter Al-Qaeda camps. The documents say he sent two emissaries to help Ujaama set up the Bly training camp. Despite his activities, Hamza is still at liberty in Britain..."
Web sting links Hamza to terror camps
Sunday Times, 21 July 2003

"Earlier this year Russian officials called on Britain to ban Al-Muhajiroun under the Terrorism Act. They claimed that 'mercenaries' from the London School of Economics had been recruited to fight in Chechnya against the Russian army. Al-Muhajiroun representatives say that five Muslim students and graduates have left Manchester of their own accord in the past year to train and fight with militia groups in Chechnya and Palestine."
Campuses wary of extremist Muslim group
Guardian, 18 September 2001

"As several UK university campuses are on alert to guard against extremist Muslim groups, possible connections with the Hamburg students involved in US terrorist attacks are emerging. Student leaders warned this week that several campuses are being targeted by the Al-Muhajiroun...leading figures have claimed that around 1,800 British Muslims take part in 'military service' each year, recruited at mosques and university campuses across the country.... The Al-Muhajiroun was formed in 1996 as breakaway group of the Hizb ut Tahrir, itself a militant Muslim organisation banned from UK universities. The Al-Muhajiroun attracted Hizb at-Tahrir's more radical college and university-based supporters.... It is thought that the Al-Muhajiroun sends young Muslim men from Britain to 'holy war' training camps, including those run by Osama bin Laden, the chief suspect wanted in connection with the US terrorist attacks. The military camps are normally run by Muslim soldiers who have defected from their national armies. They train the recruits as well as providing them with free food and board. The route the recruits take to the military camps from countries like Britain are complicated, full of stops and changes to prevent authorities from tracing them. The camps are situated in remote areas of Pakistan, often in the mountainous areas near the Afghan border. Afterwards, some recruits volunteer for active service in regions like Kosovo, Chechnya and Kashmir, while others return to Britain to help recruit others to the cause. Earlier this year Russian officials called on Britain to ban the organisation under the Terrorism Act. They claimed that 'mercenaries' from the London School of Economics had been recruited to fight in Chechnya in a 'holy war' against the Russian army in the Caucasus."
Muslim student group linked to terrorist attacks
Guardian, 19 September 2001

"... people used to come to us if they wanted to join Jihads abroad.... legally speaking, all our activities were permissible during that period."
Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed
23 April 2004

Did Omar Bakri Attract Jihadi Sympathisers Within The Law,
And Then MI6 Recruited Them For Its Covert Wars Abroad Using People Like Aswat?


The Jamestown Foundation

Al-Muhajiroun in the UK: an Interview with Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed

[Excerpt]

BakriInterviewS.jpg (3752 bytes)

03/23/2004 - Jamestown Special Correspondent from London Mahan Abedin speaks with Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed, founder of Hizb-ut-Tahrir in the United Kingdom.

Bakri Mohammed later started the Al-Muhajiroun organization, which he now heads. He also acts as Supreme Judge of the Sharia Court of the United Kingdom and the Principal of the London School of Sharia. Mahan Abedin conducted this interview on March 10, 2004 at Bakri Mohammed’s private residence in northeast London......

Q: Okay, I want to move on now and address some of your recent activities. You told the Birmingham Sunday Mercury in December 2000 that Muhajiroun recruits people for Jihad in places like Afghanistan, Chechnya and Kashmir. Did you have the organization in place to recruit and direct these people to those theatres of conflict?

A: That is not true. I never recruited people to go abroad and fight against anyone. However, people used to come to us if they wanted to join Jihads abroad but soon discovered that we are merely Jihad sympathisers. Anyway, legally speaking, all our activities were permissible during that period. We did not breach any laws as we were helping suffering people overseas.

Q: Were you involved in sending young men to theatres of conflict?

A: No, I was not. I used to encourage people to go to Bosnia to help their Muslim brothers and sisters, when the law in the UK permitted that type of intervention. But when the law forbade it, we stopped these activities altogether.

Q: To which law are you referring here?

A: The new law against terrorism.

Q: The one introduced straight after September 11, 2001?

A: Yes.

Q: To which location did you direct most of the young men who came to your organization?

A: We used to help mostly in Bosnia and Kosovo as part of a broader humanitarian effort.


What Kind Of Humanitarian Effort?


Young Britons heed the call to arms for holy war
Daily Telegraph, 29 December 2000

[Exerpt]

"... Although dismissed as 'the equivalent of the IRA' by the moderate Islamic Conference Centre yesterday some extremist Muslim groups are prepared to offer an outlet for their anger. Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed, leader of the London-based Al-Muhajiroun group, explained the process by which young Muslims in Britain come to forsake comfortable Western lives to follow the romantic notion of fighting a Jihad, or holy war.

'We find young men in university campuses or Mosques, invite them for a meal and discuss the situation for on-going attacks being suffered by Muslims in Chechnya, Palestine or Kashmir. We . . . make them understand their duty to support the Jihad struggle verbally, financially and, if they can, physically in order to liberate their homeland.'

The efforts of Al-Muhajiroun are co-ordinated through the internet with sites which promise to answer the prayers and questions of zealous young Muslims who wish to 'travel abroad'.

One such site yesterday included the FAQ (frequently asked question): 'I want to go and fight in Chechnya. How do I get there?'. Potential recruits were advised first to train and then contact members of their own communities.

Mindful of increased surveillance by security services, the instructions read: 'You will know these people and they will know you . . . you should only speak in confidence to those whom you trust.' Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed, who says he has worked as an activist in Britain for almost 15 years, was open yesterday about the volunteers who seek training abroad.

'We estimate that between 1,800 and 2,000 go abroad for military training every year. They either go for national service in Pakistan or to 'private camps' in South Africa, Nigeria or Afghanistan where they learn of weapons and explosives.

'The recruitment really began when Muslims in Britain saw what was happening to their brothers in Bosnia.' More recently, he added, America, with its liberal gun laws, had become a favoured destination. 'If we go to Afghanistan you in the West call us 'terrorists', but when we go to America for the same purpose we are 'tourists'. We have no military training in Britain.'"

Which Would Explain What Aswat Was Doing In Oregon

"Now we knew about this guy Aswat. Back in 1999 he came to America. The Justice Department wanted to indict him in Seattle because him and his buddy were trying to set up a terrorist training school in Oregon... we've just learned that the headquarters of the US Justice Department ordered the Seattle prosecutors not to touch Aswat... apparently Aswat was working for British intelligence."
Interview with former US Federal Prosecutor John Loftus
Fox TV, 29 July 2005

Why Would MI6 Encourage Such Recruiting?
Why Would The British Government Not Ban Al-Muhajiroon After 9/11?

"In the spring a close colleague of President Vladimir Putin of Russia labeled Al-Muhajiroun an agency for recruiting Muslim students in London to fight against Russian troops in Chechnya."
British Student Union Enforces Ban Against Campus Activities by Militant Islamic Group
Chronicle of Higher Education
, 20 September 2001

Because The War On Terror Is Bogus

"One group that no longer feels the need to conceal its intentions is Hizb ut-Tahrir (HUT) ...  Based in Britain and claiming to be active in 40 countries, a recent Heritage Foundation report described the group as an 'emerging threat to U.S. interests.' The group has been banned in Germany and many other countries for its extreme views and is listed as a terrorist organization in Russia.  In June, Russia's Federal Security Service, the successor to the KGB, arrested 51 HUT members in a raid in Moscow and recovered a cache of weapons and explosives. The group's founding leader is the radical Muslim cleric Omar Bakri Muhammad, who now heads a hard-line Islamic group in Britain called Al Muhajiroun, which has been dubbed the 'north London Taliban.' Muhammad is a key supporter of bin Laden and regularly shares platforms at meetings with Abu Hamza al-Masri, a fellow cleric who is wanted as a terrorist suspect in the United States. The group is active in 30 British cities and its members often boast about their recruitment activity. It is known in the intelligence community to be a prime supplier of foreign recruits to al Qaeda. 'Sure, [the Al Muhajiroun] are a major recruiter for terrorists. It is common knowledge among counterterrorism operatives and agents that they are a front for bin Laden,' said a U.S. government security and defense analyst. 'There are clear al Qaeda ties by way of religious, criminal and foreign mujahideen links. Al Muhajiroun, being the bin Laden front in the UK, essentially connects all the dots.'"
Al Qaeda uses Web sites to draw recruits, spread propaganda
Washington Times, 10 September 2003

Why Does The Anglo-American World Want The Islamists To Break Chechnya Away From Russia?
It's Oil (As Usual) Stupid

"The vast expanses of the former Soviet Union harbor oil and gas riches which will be crucial in fueling the global economy in the next century. The huge oil reserves, estimated at over 25 billion barrels, under the Caspian Sea and in the Central Asian republics of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan are similar to those in Kuwait and larger than those in Alaska's Northern Slope and the North Sea combined. Control over these energy resources and export routes out of the Eurasian hinterland is quickly becoming one of the central issues in post-Cold War politics. Like the 'Great Game' of the early 20th century, in which the geopolitical interests of the British Empire and Russia clashed over the Caucasus region and Central Asia, today's struggle between Russia and the West may turn on who controls the oil reserves in Eurasia. The world now faces a choice between the cooperative exploitation by the East and West of natural resources or a wasteful struggle that could cost a fortune in blood and treasure. Regional conflicts in the Caucasus and Central Asia threaten to deny Western access to the vital oil and gas reserves the world will need in the 21st century. .......The U.S. needs to ensure free and fair access for all interested parties to the oil fields of the Caucasus and Central Asia. These resources are crucial to ensuring prosperity in the first half of the 21st century and beyond. Access to Eurasian energy reserves could reduce the West's dependence on Middle East oil and ensure lower oil and gas prices for decades to come..... the West has a paramount interest in assuring that the Caucasian and Central Asian states maintain their independence and remain open to the West. Otherwise, Moscow will capture almost monopolistic control over this vital energy resource, thus increasing Western dependence upon Russian-dominated oil reserves and export routes.... The U.S. should support a pipeline route through the territory of Georgia and Turkey that will bring oil from Eurasia to a Mediterranean port such as Ceyhan in Turkey..... One of the main goals of the Russian attack on Chechnya in December of 1994 was to ensure control of the oil pipeline which runs from Baku, via Grozny, the Chechen capital, to the Russian city of Tikhoretsk. The pipeline ends at the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiysk, designed by Russia to be the terminal for the proposed Kazakh and Azerbaijani pipelines. In addition, Grozny boasts a large refinery with a processing capacity of 12 million tons per year.... Russia launched a massive but covert military action in the fall of 1994 to support opponents of Dudayev. In 1994, Dudayev turned to radical Islamic elements in the Middle East and Central Asia for support. This exacerbated the religious aspect of the conflict between the Muslim Chechens and Christian Orthodox Russians.... Another conflict affecting potential oil routes is occuring in the Caucasus republic of Georgia. Russia wants to prevent oil from Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan from going the 'Western' route through Georgia to Turkey. Moscow's support of civil strife in Georgia is directly connected to its goal of perpetuating conflict in the Caucasus.... Another dangerous conflict is smoldering in Abkhazia, a breakaway region in Georgia. The bitter war in Abkhazia, which began in 1992, has claimed over 35,000 lives. It was precipitated by the Russian military backing the Abkhaz separatist minority against the Georgian government in Tbilisi. One purpose of the Russian intervention was to weaken Georgia and curb Turkish and Western influence in the region. But more important was the Russian goal of controlling access to oil. By acting as it did, Russia gained de facto control over the long Black Sea coastline in Abkhazia. Moscow also was protecting the Russian Black Sea ports of Novorossiysk and Tuapse and moving closer to the Georgian oil exporting ports in Poti, Supsa, and Batumi. In August 1995, Georgia's beleaguered President Shevardnadze agreed to place four Russian military bases on Georgian soil, thus assuring Russia's control of the oil exporting routes via the Black Sea coast.....The conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh is important because of the immense oil reserves controlled by Azerbaijan. Since the late 19th century, the oil in Azerbaijan has played a key role in the economies of the Russian empire and the Soviet Union, as well as in the global energy market. International business interests, such as the Nobel and Rothschild families, and even conquerors like Adolf Hitler have all vied at different times for control of Azerbaijan's oil. Even after 100 years of Russian imperial and Soviet exploitation, Azerbaijan still has some of the largest reserves in the world..... On October 9, 1995, the Azerbaijani International Oil Consortium (AIOC) announced that 'early' oil (approximately 80,000 barrels a month) would be split between two pipelines. The northern line would go to the Russian port of Novorossiysk (via unstable Chechnya) and the western line to the Georgian port of Supsa in two separate pipelines. This was a compromise decision supported by the Clinton Administration and aimed at placating Moscow, but it failed to do so.... Moscow has gone beyond words to establish its power in the Caucasus. The Russians are setting up military bases in the region in order to gain exclusive control over all future pipelines. Georgia now has four Russian bases and Armenia has three, while Azerbaijan is still holding out under severe pressure from Moscow. In addition, members of the Commonwealth of Independent States are required to police their borders jointly with Russian border guards, and thus are denied effective control over their own territory..... The struggle to reestablish a Russian sphere of influence in the Caucasus and Central Asia started in early 1992. While not a full-scale war, this struggle employs a broad spectrum of military, covert, diplomatic, and economic measures. The southern tier of the former Soviet Union is a zone of feverish Russian activity aimed at tightening Moscow's grip in the aftermath of the Soviet collapse. The entire southern rim of Russia is a turbulent frontier, a highly unstable environment in which metropolitan civilian and military elites, local players, and mid-level officers and bureaucrats drive the process of reintegration...... Much is at stake in Eurasia for the U.S. and its allies. Attempts to restore its empire will doom Russia's transition to a democracy and free-market economy. The ongoing war in Chechnya alone has cost Russia $6 billion to date (equal to Russia's IMF and World Bank loans for 1995). Moreover, it has extracted a tremendous price from Russian society. The wars which would be required to restore the Russian empire would prove much more costly not just for Russia and the region, but for peace, world stability, and security..... Eurasian oil resources are pivotal to economic development in the early 21st century. The supply of Middle Eastern oil would become precarious if Saudi Arabia became unstable, or if Iran or Iraq provoked another military conflict in the area.... The oil and gas reserves of the Caucasus and Central Asia are vital to Western geostrategic and economic interests in the 21st century..... A major campaign to assert influence in the Russian 'near abroad' would be a setback for U.S. interests. In addition, control of the Caucasus and Central Asia would allow Russia geographical proximity to, and closer cooperation with, the anti-Western regimes in Tehran and Baghdad. Together, an anti-Western Russia, Iran, and Iraq, if they desired, could pursue a common interest in driving up the price of oil...."
The New 'Great Game': Oil Politics in the Caucasus and Central Asia
The Heritage Foundation, 25 January 1996

Secret Affairs: Britain's Collusion with Radical Islam - Chapter 11: Pakistan's Surge Into Central Asia
By Mark Curtis, former Research Fellow at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) and former Head of Policy at ActionAid and Christian Aid
Serpent's Tail (Profile Books Ltd), 2012 Edition
[Excerpts]

"In the early 1990s it was not only Saudi Arabia that bolstered the rise of radical Islamist groups which emerged from the Afghanistan war..... Islamabad undertook a new wave of operations by using Pakistani, Afghan and other Sunni jihadists to promote its foreign policy goals both in Kashmir and across Central Asia - a big push the consequences of which are still with us.

Moreover, Britain armed and trained the Pakistani military at this time while deepening commercial relations. London not only turned a blind eye to the Pakistani push but conducted covert activities of its own, its eyes set on new oil and gas reserves in the Central Asia region. Just as Britain had sponsored Islamic radicals to destabilise the Soviet regime in the past, now Pakistan's backing of these forces was useful to Britain in countering communist governments that emerged after the collapse of the Soviet empire, and to reduce Russian influence in the region. Islamabad's surge in Central Asia coincided with a new jihad in Bosnia from 1992, backed by Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Iran as well as Britain and the US ... These concurrent episodes constituted a second wave in the development of global terrorism after the first wave in Afghanistan the previous decade.

Even after the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989, Muslim volunteers for jihad continued to flow into Pakistan and Afghanistan. Throughout the early 1990s Pakistan's intelligence service, the ISI, trained around 20,000 militant volunteers at a special training school north of Peshawar.... The school's founder was Abdul Sayyaf, the pro-Saudi mujahideen leader during the Afghan war, and its funders were mainly Saudi Arabia and Osama Bin Laden. Pakistan's secret services also continued to run some of the Afghan training camps, and funded training by another mujahideen commander, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, of militants from the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HUM), the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM) and the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET) groups. It was from this infrastructure of terrorism that the Taliban would soon emerge and which Bin Laden would draw on after arriving back in Afghanistan in 1996...

During the 1990s, some groups operating in Kashmir with ISI support turned to terrorism in places such as Tajikistan, Bosnia, Chechnya and the Philippines. The HUA [Harkat-ul-Ansar] expanded its focus from Afghanistan and Kashmir and participated in the Bosnian war from 1992, kidnapping US and British nationals in New Delhi in 1994, and was involved in kidnapping Westerners in Kashmir the following year. The HUA also set up a network of activists in the US and began to raise funds from members of the Muslim community in Britain. By now, the Pakistani military and intelligence community also had its sights set on another target well beyond Kashmir - Central Asia.

The Pakistani strategy to 'recover' Kashmir was part of a broader campaign to exert influence over the Central Asian Silk Road to China, which would benefit the country economically and enable it to act as a strategic power between Iran and China. It soon involved covert operations in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to Pakistan's north, and the Russian republic of Chechnya to its west. By 1994, the military under Benazir Bhutto's government was training hundreds of Chechens, Uzbeks and Tajiks at camps in Afghanistan in techniques of guerilla warfare, the aim being to export Islamist revolution in the region and reduce Russian influence.

There is simply no British criticism of this Pakistani surge in the public record, in sharp contrast to regular condemnations of Ayatollah Rafsanjani's Iran, an official enemy, for its sponsorship of terrorism at this time. Islamabad's Islamist adventures were useful in hastening the break-up of the Soviet Union and countering its successors, both the communist governments that arose in the Commonwealth of Independent States, declared in December 1991, and Russia itself. The main prize being fought over was the huge oil and gas reserves of the region - notably in the Caspian Basin and its surrounding countries of Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan - which the British oil company BP later stated were on a scale of those in Britain's North Sea 'and thus of significant global interest'. The area was seen by the regional powers, and Britain and the US, as a resource-rich new frontier ripe for exploitation by foreign companies. This great power competition was a re-run of the nineteenth-century Great Game and, from the British perspective, and extension of the Afghan War to counter Moscow's influence in the region. Islamist forces were, one again, useful as the shock troops to help secure the prize.....

.... By the end of the decade, BP would have a major stake in big oil projects in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, while another British company, Monument, had a predominant position in Tukmenistan. BP would thank the Foreign Office for 'securing [its] commercial positions in these countries'.

Pakistan's new push into Central Asia beyond Kashmir began in Tajikistan in late 1990. Cross-border raids from Afghanistan of the kind promoted by the CIA and MI6 in the mid-1980s were carried out by hundreds of Pakistani-trained mujahideen forces under Ahmed Shah Massoud and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, both of whom continued to received CIA aid up to 1992, along with money from Saudi Arabia. Their principal aim was to promote unrest against the still communist government, the Tajik Supreme Soviet, in the dying days of the Soviet Union. After the Tajik regime proclaimed independence in 1991, and maintained itself in power following the collapse of the Soviet Union later that year, a civil war ensued between a coalition of Islamic and secular factions against the communist government; by the time a peace accord was signed in 1997, 20,000 people had been killed, 600,000 were displaced and the economy wrecked.

In the mid-1990s, Pakistan's ISI [Inter Services Intelligence] was also supporting Islamist insurgents in the Adolat (Justice) movement in Uzbekistan, which also received funds from Saudi Arabia and some Gulf states....

Chechnya was another territory subject to Pakistani-sponsored attack. In 1994 al-Qaida had begun sending fighters into Chechnya from bases in Afghanistan. In April that year the ISI began training a young Chechen warlord, Shamil Basayev, and other Chechen militants, at a camp in Afghanistan run by Hekmatyar. After graduating, Basayev and the other Chechens were sent to another camp in Pakistan to undergo training in guerilla tactics, where Basayev met several ISI generals. Basayev's jihad began in earnest in 1995 when a battalion of Afghan mujahideen stationed in Pakistan were sent into combat in Chechnya. The ISI retained tactical control over these forces and helped turn what began in the early 1990s as an anti-Soviet struggle for self-determination into an Islamic jihad. In 1996, the ISI and Bin Laden decided to fund and arm hundreds more militants to be sent to Chechnya. By 1998, several hundred Chechens were being trained by ISI-sponsored camps in Afghanistan, while others were being trained by the ISI in Pakistan in 'sophisticated terrorism and urban warfare'.

Alongside these operations by Britain's key ally, there was one country in which Britain played a very direct destabilising role alongside Islamist forces: Azerbaijan, a country which was emerging from Soviet control and possessed much of the Caspian region's untapped oil and gas resources. British policy-makers set themselves the goal of getting a large slice of the cake. In the early 1990s, in order to curry Azeri government favour and secure a massive oil deal, the British government helped funnel arms to the Azeris and promoted two coups to establish a pro-Western business environment in the country.

From the evidence that has emerged, it was a group of Americans who began the covert operation in Azerbaijan, just as the Soviet republic was proclaiming its independence from the Soviet Union in late 1991. At this time a US company, run by three career air force officers with CIA links and a past record of involvement in covert operations, set up a office in the Azeri capital, Baku. The company, called Mega Oil, was approached by the Azeri government to recruit and train mercenaries to help fight its war in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh in the western part of Azerbaijan. What was to become a two-year operation then began to recruit 2,000 Afghan jihadists and procure weapons for them; many were recruited in Peshawar, Pakistan by being offered $2,000 dollars each. The weapons procurement programme was to amount to some $20 million worth, while training was provided by retired US special forces officers....

....According to Russian intelligence, around 1,500 Afghan veterans entered Azerbaijan in the Autumn of 1993, their numbers rising to 2,500 the following year. Some of these militants had been recruited by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, still an ally of Bin Laden, who in turn established an office in Baku around this time which acted as a base for jihadist operations in Dagestan and Chechnya....

The British government was also covertly helping to arm Azerbaijan. The Independent reported in January 19904 that London had 'given tacit support to an illegal scheme to supply Azerbaijan with military backing in its war with Armenia.'.....

British policy was, once again, based on pure political expediency, with London again finding itself on the same side as mujahideen forces - any regime was suitable, whether led by an anti-communist democratic figure such as Elchibey in 1992 or a former communist tyrant such as Aliev in 1993, as long as it promoted British business interests."

"A 'NEAR verbatim' copy of a secret US assessment of the breakaway Chechnya region of Russia during the civil war earlier this year was given to Moscow by the CIA 'mole' Harold Nicholson two months after an official request for help was made to the FBI..... Nicholson had on his laptop computer a top secret report by CIA operatives on the whole situation in Chechnya, including assessments of spy satellite photographs. In addition, he twice tried computer hacking methods to break into data bases relating to the region to which only the highest-ranking CIA officers were cleared for access. The CIA is now assuming a 'worst case' scenario in the affair, with Nicholson betraying to Moscow the identities of everyone passing through his hands during two years."
CIA mole leaked Chechnya dossier
Daily Telegraph, 21 November 1996

"Hundreds of Arab nationals of Chechen ancestry had joined the 6,000 plus jihadi mercenary force raised by the CIA through the ISI in the 1980s for fighting against Soviet troops and had fought in Afghanistan under Osama bin Laden.  They maintained their links with bin Laden after the withdrawal of the Soviet troops from Afghanistan in 1988. Some of them were taken by bin Laden into his Al Qaeda and IIF and they used to work as instructors in the training camps in Afghan territory. They were also used by the ISI for  training the Taliban army after 1994 and for assisting the Taliban in its fight against the Northern Alliance. Many others were sent to Chechnya by bin Laden after 1994 to assist the indigenous Chechen groups in their fight for an Islamic Caliphate."
Chechnya Continues To Bleed
South Asia Analysis Group, 30 December 2002

"Field commander Rizvan Chitigov has been killed in Chechnya during a raid carried out by pro-Moscow security forces and the republic’s Interior Ministry troops, the Itar-Tass news agency cited the republic’s first deputy prime minister Ramzan Kadyrov.... Chitigov, aka American or Suraka, born 1965, was placed on the federal wanted list on suspicion of being involved in kidnappings. In the early 1990s Chitigov visited the United States and upon his return he oversaw military intelligence in Aslan Maskhadov’s government. The FSB, Russia’s domestic security service, suspected that Chitigov had been maintaining ties with foreign intelligence services and was himself a CIA agent, former FSB spokesman Aleksandr Zdanovich said in April 2001. According to some reports, Chitigov had a green card — a permanent residence permit in the U.S."
Russia Says Kills Chechen Rebel With Links to CIA
Moscow News, 23 March 2005

"Rezvan Chitigov, who I have named and whose photo I have shown you from the computer, lived in the USA for a long time. There are very serious grounds for suspecting him to be a CIA agent. He leads one of the most cruel group of terrorists. He is virtually Khattab's security service head. I would say, in this respect, that he was a very well-trained person. Khattab would not have appointed a person to such a post if had not undergone some kind of professional training."
Interview with Aleksandr Zdanovich head of Russia's Federal Security Service directorate for cooperation programs
Russian Security Service Claims CIA Agent in Chechnya
Russia Today, 19 April 2001

"Some Russian analysts argue that Turkey and the US are supporting the Ceyhan [rival pipeline] project [which passes through Georgia] so as to elbow Russia off the Caspian. Furthermore, Ankara's quiet support to the Chechen militants has been said to be designed to sustain volatility in the northern Caucasus - which would make it impossible for the competing CPC [Russian pipeline] project to proceed."
CONFLICT-CAUCASUS: Petrodollars Behind the Chechen Tragedy
Inter Press Service - 7 Dec 1999

How

"Forget the war on terrorism. The United States is once again supporting the drug dealers, gangsters and warlord fundamentalists. The other day a State Dept. official met Chechnya’s self-declared foreign minister, Ilyas Akhmadov. The Russians were dismayed. Having thrown their lot in with the supposed common struggle against terrorism, they find the Americans giving support to terrorists. Last month, after a post-Sept. 11 lull, the U.S. stepped up its criticism of human rights abuses in Chechnya. The Russians professed to be 'amazed' that the United States, as Agence France Presse reported, would meet with Chechens, 'whose direct links with Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda are being proven with constantly emerging, irrefutable evidence' ... Chechnya has always been seen here as a rerun of Kosovo, which itself was a rerun of Afghanistan.... Consider Kosovo: The U.S. is currently brokering a deal on the distribution of power. Leaders of the three leading Kosovo Albanian parties recently met the head of the U.S. office in Pristina, John Menzies, and it was proposed that the job of prime minister should go to Hashim Thaci’s Democratic Party of Kosovo (DPK). Thaci is the leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). Its links to Islamic terrorism and bin Laden have been amply documented.... The KLA-NLA terrorists are funded by U.S. military aid, the UN peacekeeping budget, Al Qaeda and by drug trafficking and prostitution. If everything goes according to plan, their leader is about to be appointed prime minister thanks to U.S. efforts. O what a lovely war! Now on to Central Asia..... Washington now has 13 bases in nine countries ringing Afghanistan and in the Gulf..... Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz says the bases will serve to facilitate cooperation and training with the local military. In other words, the U.S. will, as in the Balkans, play the Islamists and anti-Islamists off against each other and reduce the countries to abject dependence. If the fates of Kosovo and Macedonia are anything to go by, the Soviet Union era will soon seem like a glorious one. "
TAKI'S TOP DRAWER
New York Press, 6 February 2002

"Ties between Chechen radicals and Al Qaeda stretch back to the first Chechen war (1994-1996). A radical element - spurred by would-be clerics who traveled to Saudi Arabia to learn about the Salafi fundamentalist strain of Islam - began to develop in the late 1990s. By 1999, when Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev invaded Russian territory in Dagestan - prompting a second war - it became clear that Islamic radicals dominated Chechen rebel groups. 'Chechnya began to attract [Al Qaeda] emissaries, adventurers, and finances,' says Alexander Iskandaryan, head of the Center for Caucasian Studies in Yerevan, Armenia. 'After 1999, the radical tendency grew strong, and became more internationalized.'"
Al Qaeda among the Chechens
Christian Science Monitor, 7 September 2004

"As a potential mastermind of the London attacks, Aswat has connections and a past that are almost too neat a fit. Now 31, he was brought up in Dewsbury, near Leeds, where Mohammad Sidique Khan, one of the London bombers, lived. He left the area 10 years ago and is believed to have travelled to training camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan. He is said to have told investigators in Zambia that he was once a bodyguard for Osama Bin Laden. When Aswat returned to Britain he attended the Finsbury Park mosque in north London, which was a hotbed of radicalism in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Reda Hassaine, an Algerian journalist who worked as an informant for the British and French security services, witnessed Aswat recruiting young men at the mosque to the cause of Al-Qaeda.... Aswat also showed potential recruits videotapes of the mujaheddin in action in Bosnia and Chechnya.... Senior Whitehall officials also deny 'any knowledge' that he might be an agent for either MI5 or MI6."
Tangled web that still leaves worrying loose ends
Sunday Times, 31 July 2005

Al-Muhajiroun Has Been An Important Source Of Recruits For The War Against Russia In Chechnya
A Conflict Covertly Supported By Britain And America

"From the start of the Beslan hostage crisis, President Putin drew clear parallels with 9/11. He asked the United Nations Security Council to condemn the siege under Resolution 1373, which Washington pushed through on September 28, 2001.... Sergei Lavrov, his Foreign Minister, asked Britain and the US to extradite prominent Chechen separatists. Driving the point home, Mr Lavrov even met Rudolph Giuliani, who was Mayor of New York in September 2001. But, say analysts, the parallels end there....  The Kremlin accuses Britain and the US of double standards for granting political asylum to Chechen rebel representatives and advocating negotiations with moderate separatist leaders. Several hundred people joined a rally outside the British Embassy yesterday demanding that Britain extradite the rebel representative Akhmed Zakayev, who was granted asylum last year. 'Blair, prove that you are against terrorism! Extradite Zakayev!' read one banner. Another rally was held at the US Embassy to demand the extradition of the Chechen separatist, Ilyas Akhmadov."
Siege fallout deepens Russia's rift with the West
London Times, 11 September 2004

"Russia's main intelligence agency has accused a British mine-clearing charity, sponsored by the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, of spying in Chechnya. The Halo Trust, which was promoted by the princess during a 1997 trip to Angola shortly before her death, was alleged to have spied on Russian forces and trained Chechen rebels in planting land mines. The Federal Security Service (FSB), the KGB's main successor, said in a statement on Thursday that Halo Trust workers gathered descriptions of Russian weapons from Chechen-held territory until last November for the British secret services. 'Representatives of Halo collected intelligence of a military-political character, and with these aims maintained close contacts with Chechen leaders and ... established a many-pronged network of informers from the local population,' the statement said. The FSB also said that Halo had trained its Chechen staff to both clear and plant land mines. Halo Trust 'is training demolition specialists for international terrorist groups fighting Chechnya,' it said. The FSB said Halo opened its office in Chechnya in 1997 with the help of Chechnya's President Aslan Maskhadov without permission from Russian authorities.... The trust recruited about 150 Chechens to help its small contingent of international staff working in the breakaway republic after the 1994-96 war between Chechen separatists and Russia."
Russia accuses British charity of spying
CNN, 10 August 2000

"A British mine clearing organisation, the HALO Trust has begun a five year project in the Jaffna peninsula, Sri Lankan state media reported Thursday. Halo’s activities will begin with a six month survey of northern Sri Lanka, the charity said... 'We have requested the assistance of the Security Forces and discussed the operation plans with the Defence Ministry,' said Boulter. The initial program will cost four million US dollars. The BBC says HALO is partly funded by the UK Government.... The Daily News said HALO has teams in Afghanistan, Cambodia, Mozambique, Angola, Eritrea, Somalia and Georgia and has almost completed operations in Kosovo and has conducted assessment missions in Bosnia, Vietnam, Laos, South Sudan, Tajikistan and South Lebanon. Last August Russian intelligence accused the HALO Trust of spying against Russia and aiding rebel fighters in Chechnya, British media reports said. FSB, Russia’s domestic intelligence service, also alleged that several HALO Trust employees were undercover British intelligence agents or army officers, The Guardian newspaper said. 'Under cover of mine-clearing operations, [the HALO Trust] ..... carried out full-scale topographic surveillance of Chechnya, fixing Chechen villages to the NATO frame of reference. ... Representatives of HALO collected intelligence of a military-political character, and with these aims maintained close contacts with Chechen leaders and established a many-pronged network of informers from the local population,' the FSB alleged. The British charity's director, Guy Willoughby, a former British Army Coldstream Guards officer, flatly dismissed the Russian charges."
Veteran British mine clearers in Jaffna
TamilNet, 21 June 2002

"The Federal Security Service on Thursday accused a British nonprofit mine-clearing agency of spying on Russian forces in Chechnya and training rebels in the breakaway republic."
FSB: English Mine Clearers Are Spies
Associated Press, 11 August 2000

"Russia's federal security service, the FSB, accused the Halo Trust - the world's biggest mine-clearing charity, which was supported by Diana, Princess of Wales - of spying on Russia since 1998....the FSB claimed that Halo had not only trained its Chechen staff to clear mines, but also to plant them..... The trust opened its office in Chechnya in 1997 with the help of Chechnya's President, Aslan Maskhadov, and without permission of Russian authorities, the FSB said. 'People trained by high-level Halo Trust officials weakened Russian positions, which in turn permitted Chechen rebels to attack federal troops,' Kremlin spokesman Sergei Yastrzembsky said....The Foreign Office said it did not comment on intelligence matters but it has raised its concern with Moscow."
Mine charity rejects spy charges
BBC Online, 11 August 2000

"Andrew Fulton, once MI6's man in Washington, has become the first high-profile former spy to join a listed UK company. Mr Fulton, 62, is to join Armor Group, the security company where the MP Sir Malcolm Rifkind is non-executive chairman. He has been hired as a 'corporate strategy adviser' at its security consulting arm. While at the Foreign Office, Mr Fulton was posted to Vietnam, Rome, East Berlin and Oslo. He was seconded to the United Nations in 1992 before taking the Washington job. Seven years ago, he was forced to quit his diplomatic post when he was exposed on a website by renegade agent Richard Tomlinson. He also had to step down from the Lockerbie Trial Briefing Unit, set up to offer independent legal opinion on the Pan Am air crash. Armor, which also offers training in removing mines, has recently opened a secure 'office' in Kabul. Since standing down, Mr Fulton has taken on a portfolio of roles. He is chairman of the corporate private eye GPW, established by former Kroll employees."
'Spy in Washington' takes security role
Daily Telegraph, 21 August 2006

"The London-based Islamic cleric Abu Qatada, accused by America of being a key member of Osama bin Laden's network, claims British security services offered him a chance to escape to Afghanistan. Abu Qatada, whose Bolton bank account was frozen last week when he was named on a US list of suspected terrorists, told The Observer that MI5 approached intermediaries to offer him a passport and an Iranian visa so he could leave the country....Intelligence sources in Pakistan claim.... to have proof that Abu Qatada is consulted by al-Qaeda. They allege that a pamphlet he wrote on 'holy war' was commissioned by them to help resolve a dispute with another extreme terror group, Takfir-wal-Hirja."
MI5 wanted me to escape, claims cleric
Observer, 21 October 2001

"A senior al-Qaeda leader is reportedly being looked after by British intelligence at a safe house in northern England - but security sources are denying the claim. Abu Qatada is accused by the United States, Spain, France and Algeria of being a key influence in the 11 September attacks on the US.... senior European intelligence officials have reportedly told Time Magazine that Mr Qatada and his family are being lodged, fed and clothed by British intelligence services. 'The deal is that Abu Qatada is deprived of contact with extremists in London and Europe but can't be arrested or expelled because no one officially knows where he is,' says the source, whose claims were corroborated by French authorities according to the magazine.... Baltasar Garzon, a Spanish National High Court judge charged with leading Spain's al-Qaeda crackdown, called the Muslim cleric the 'spiritual head of the mujahideen in Britain'. Judge Garzon, who questioned al-Qaeda suspects in Madrid last year, said Mr Qatada was the most important British contact of Spain-based terror suspect Abu Dahdah. Dahdah, whose real name is Imad Eddin Barakat Yarbas, was one of eight suspected members of a group charged with preparing and carrying out the 11 September attacks. Judge Garzon added that Mr Qatada had links with terror suspects in Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, Britain and Spain. Following the judge's comments, Mr Qatada told BBC Radio 4's Today programme Bin Laden 'had a point' in his desire to rid his home country, Saudi Arabia, of any American influence. 'I believe in Jihad,' he said. 'And I believe in the necessity of liberating our nation and freeing it from bondage.'"
Britain 'sheltering al-Qaeda leader'
BBC Online, 8 July 2002

"Abu Qatada is one of the ten men that the Government is now struggling to deport. If he reveals as part of his appeal that MI5 tried to recruit him, the service will be highly embarrassed. And he may not be the only one to do so. The whispers are that several of these characters have as much on the intelligence services as they have on them.  In the 1990s Britain made a fatal decision, against the advice of other governments, to try to use these people rather than shut them down."
Lack-of-intelligence services
London Times, 18 August 2005

Moscow Publicly Continues Accusations In 2001

"Russia's FSB domestic security service on Thursday accused a British anti-landmine charity of teaching Chechen rebels explosives techniques and of spying on Moscow's military. The allegations, which came two days after a bomb killed eight people in a Moscow underpass, were denied by the Halo Trust mine clearance agency, which dubbed them a smear campaign. Some officials have blamed the Moscow bomb on Chechen rebels. The FSB, a successor body to the Soviet-era KGB, said in a statement: 'The FSB has reliable information about the training of mine and explosives experts for armed groups of international terrorists fighting in Chechnya. 'One group which is secretly carrying out such operations inside Russia is the international non-governmental organisation, the Halo Trust.' The FSB said the Halo Trust held courses to train 'specialists in mines and explosives' inside rebel Chechnya on Russia's southern rim and harboured British secret agents.... The FSB said it had found 15 Halo Trust workers inside Chechnya last November when searching for rebels as part of its now 11-month-old war against separatist guerrillas in the region. 'We have information that most of them are members of various British military structures and the leader, Matthew Middlemiss, is a staff military spy,' the FSB said, adding that it was holding an unspecified number of the charity's workers.... The Halo Trust started working in Chechnya after the 1994-96 war which ended in a Russian rout and left much of the land scattered with deadly anti-personnel mines. The charity said it was not working in Chechnya now and only did so with proper Russian visas and documentation. It said it had trained 150 Chechens to clear mines. The FSB said 100 had been trained as specialists in mines and explosives."
UK charity teaching Chechens to make bombs, say Russians
Reuters, 1 January 2001

And In 2004

"As the intelligence newsletter Stratfor -- which Time magazine ranked as the nation's top intelligence site in 2003, and which Barron's described as 'a private quasi-CIA' -- pointed out a few months ago, with Ukraine now firmly in the West's orbit, America, with NATO and the EU, has managed to succeed exactly where Hitler and Napoleon failed: it has dismantled the Russian empire, leaving the rump state exposed, weakened and essentially at the West's mercy.... The threat of Russia's disintegration is real. It is losing territory and power just as Bolotnikovo lost its lake. In the process, the Kremlin has become increasingly paranoid, reflecting not so much inherent Soviet evil as fear and desperation. This leads to the most important, and dangerous, question: is Russia simply disintegrating, or is America breaking it apart? In the wake of the Beslan massacre in September, 2004, in which hundreds of children were killed during a Chechen separatist seizure of a school in southern Russia, President Putin went on television and blamed certain foreign powers for supporting the terrorists with the aim of defanging Russia for good, breaking it apart, and seizing its valuable resources. He did not name the United States, but it was clear whom he meant. Shortly after Putin's speech, the state-run TV media picked up where he left off, with some of the most famous news personalities specifically accusing the US of being behind the Chechen raid. Mikhail Leontyev, the pseudo-scruffy state Channel One commentator and noted Kremlin waterboy, starkly noted, 'It is time to name that power which is trying to break Russia apart. It has a name, and that name is the United States.' Stratfor, whose politics could be described as something between patriotic-American and realpolitik, agreed. According to its Kremlin sources, Putin specifically named the U.S. and Great Britain during private meetings. And as Stratfor noted in its April report, there is plenty of evidence to support the Kremlin's claim. In the first place, while Muslim separatist militants from other conflict zones are shunned and even violently pursued by the U.S., the Chechen separatist representatives are routinely given haven and official voice in both the U.K. and America. Ilyas Akhmadov, the separatist group's 'ambassador' to the U.S., was granted asylum just last year, while Akhmed Zakayev was given asylum in the U.K. in late 2003. While the U.S. has moved to crack down on militant Islamic charities that are linked to other areas of the world, it has allowed several foundations to operate in the U.S. which are believed to funnel money to Chechen rebels, including the American Committee for Chechnya, Chechen Relief Expenses, International Relief Association and others. This is part of the policy shift ushered in by the Bush Administration, when, in February 2001, a ranking State Department official, John Beyrle, met with Akhmadov, the highest ranking U.S. official to ever receive a Chechen separatist. It was deliberate, and the Russians reacted furiously.... As Stratfor notes, the British connection to the Chechen separatists goes farther back. 'During the first Chechen war -- from 1994 to 1996 -- retired U.K. special forces officers trained British Muslim recruits in British territory to fight in Chechnya,' Stratfor claims, echoing reports out of Russia. 'Some militants who attended that training and were later captured told the Russian government.' After Chechnya gained de facto independence, a scandal apparently erupted in Russia-U.K. relations when de-mining instructors from a private security firm, which included American ex-military personnel, were caught 'training Chechen militants how to launch mine and bombing attacks against Russian troops,' according to Stratfor. It was through humanitarian assistance that Fred Cuny, the famous 'swashbuckling' American aid worker, became a key figure, and later a martyr, in the first Chechen War. Cuny was killed in Chechnya in 1995. When Russian reports labeled him a spy, it was dismissed in the US media as 'conspiracy theory' and 'paranoia.' But as it turned out, Cuny did indeed have both military and intelligence connections. Stratfor, along with many in the Kremlin and the Russian elite, believe that the U.S. and Britain have supported Chechen separatism precisely because it weakens Russia, advances U.S. power in the vital Caspian Sea region, and cripples a potential future rival. As Stratfor notes, since Bush's re-election, the West has increased pressure on Putin to come to a peace agreement. Such an agreement, leading to the withdrawal from Chechnya, would represent 'complete defeat in Chechnya and the Caucasus.' Meanwhile, the U.S. has massively increased its own military presence in both the Caucuses and Central Asia ... but more on that later. Sympathy for the Chechen cause in America has, to say the least, very suspicious motives. The main lobbying group pushing for Chechen independence in the U.S. is a group called The American Committee for Peace in Chechnya (ACPC), which describes itself as 'The only private, nongovernmental organization in North America exclusively dedicated to promoting the peaceful resolution of the Russo-Chechen war.' That might sound fuzzy and warm, until you look at who sits on its board. It is a Who's Who list of right-wing imperialist warmongers, including Richard Perle, architect of the recent Iraq war; Elliot Abrams, who engineered Reagan's bloodbath in Central America and who served in Bush's National Security Council; and former Carter National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, a leading American imperialist hawk who needs no introduction in Russia. Normally, these guys hate Islamic militants; but for some strange reason, their maternal instincts suddenly light up for the Chechen cause. This might be excused as a rare case of ogres showing humanity, unless you consider their motives. Many of the ACPC's members also served on the Project for the New American Century, which had also pushed for militant American global hegemony, rolling back Russia and invading Iraq.... What drives Brzezinski, what drives the support of regime change on Russia's borders, and within its borders, isn't just Old School Russophobia. It's oilophilia. The Caspian Sea basin holds the world's biggest untapped fossil fuel resources. Estimates range from 85 to 190 billion barrels of oil, worth up to $5 trillion. Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan alone might hold over 130 billion barrels, more than three times the US reserves. As Vice President Dick Cheney said in a speech in 1998, when he was CEO of Halliburton, 'I cannot think of a time when we have had a region emerge as suddenly to become as strategically significant as the Caspian.' In 2001, Cheney, who sat on the Kazakhstan's Oil Advisory Board, advised President Bush to 'deepen [our] commercial dialogue with Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and other Caspian states.'... While it's true that Russia's state-controlled television is filled with paranoid anti-American conspiracy theories and ranting, the depressing fact is that much of the parnoia is grounded in fact. The current power-mad American elite saw an opportunity as the Soviet Union teetered, and it seized it. They wanted oil, and hegemony, and the only thing standing in the way of it was Russia -- both the current crippled Russia, and the future possibility of a resurgent Russia. The prize is the oil and gas reserves in the Caspian Sea. In order to control the oil, Russia had to be diverted, particularly after the less-friendly Putin came to power. This is why normally bloodthirsty, anti-Islamic hawks like Richard Perle, Elliot Abrams and Zbigniew Brzezinski all found time to squirt a few for the Chechen cause. It has served as the perfect crippling diversion while America gained control over the Caspian Sea oil, and at the same time, having Russia bogged down in Chechnya allowed the West to pry away key states, particularly Ukraine, from Russia's orbit, ensuring that it will likely never challenge America's position -- or its dominance of Caspian oil -- in our lifetime. This is what Stratfor meant when it said that America succeeded where Hitler and Stalin had failed. The only question is, how long will the strategy work, and how will it eventually end up."
Dividing Russia
AlterNet, 29 June 2005

"Russia summoned Washington's envoy on Friday to protest a U.S. television network's airing of an interview with a Chechen rebel leader that threatened to add to strains between the two countries. In the interview, broadcast by ABC on Thursday night, warlord Shamil Basayev accused Russia of killing thousands of civilians and defended his own raids -- the bloodiest of the 10-year Chechen war -- as part of a struggle for independence. 'We invited the deputy chief of mission to express our views over the broadcasting of an interview with a terrorist. ... We expressed our strong indignation,' a Foreign Ministry spokesman said. 'The TV channel has shown outrageous neglect of the standards of responsible journalism and general human values.' The United States condemned Basayev as a terrorist but said it could not dictate what interviews U.S. networks aired. 'This is a constitutional right of an American media outlet to broadcast an interview, and we did not have any role to play in the decision to air the interview,' State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters. Washington has criticized some Arab media for interviews with militants and, after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, asked U.S. networks to consider whether statements by al Qaeda leaders contained hidden messages before broadcasting them..... Basayev organized the attack on a school in Beslan in September, when 330 hostages -- more than half of them children -- died after a three-day siege. The warlord, who has spearheaded Chechen resistance for a decade and has a $10 million price on his head, has also sent hostage-takers and suicide bombers into Moscow and other Russian towns in operations that have killed hundreds. Russia accuses him of links to al Qaeda and says the Chechen war is part of the global struggle against terrorism. It is quick to criticize any Western sympathy for the Chechen cause as proof of 'double standards' in the fight, and has previously slammed the United States and Britain for refusing to extradite rebels. 'These notorious double standards and double approaches continue to exist. ... Undoubtedly, this sours our cooperation (with the United States) and gives a boost to terrorist activists,' Anatoly Safonov, President Vladimir Putin's special representative for the war against terrorism, told Interfax news agency.... Basayev happily admitted he was a terrorist in the ABC interview, but said the Russians were worse. 'If they are the keepers of constitutional order, if they are anti-terrorists then I spit on all these agreements and nice words,' he said."
Russia summons U.S. envoy over Basayev interview
Reuters, 29 July 2005

Drugs, ISI, Oil, And Covert Sponsor Western Sponsorship
Of Islamic Terrorism In Chechnya

"During the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s, the US funded large numbers of jihadists through Pakistan's secret intelligence service, the ISI. Later the US wanted to raise another jihadi corps, again using proxies, to help Bosnian Muslims fight to weaken the Serb government's hold on Yugoslavia. Those they turned to included Pakistanis in Britain. According to a recent report by the Delhi-based Observer Research Foundation, a contingent was also sent by the Pakistani government, then led by Benazir Bhutto, at the request of the Clinton administration. This contingent was formed from the Harkat-ul- Ansar (HUA) terrorist group and trained by the ISI. The report estimates that about 200 Pakistani Muslims living in the UK went to Pakistan, trained in HUA camps and joined the HUA's contingent in Bosnia. Most significantly, this was 'with the full knowledge and complicity of the British and American intelligence agencies'. As the 2002 Dutch government report on Bosnia makes clear, the US provided a green light to groups on the state department list of terrorist organisations, including the Lebanese-based Hizbullah, to operate in Bosnia - an episode that calls into question the credibility of the subsequent 'war on terror'. For nearly a decade the US helped Islamist insurgents linked to Chechnya, Iran and Saudi Arabia destabilise the former Yugoslavia. The insurgents were also allowed to move further east to Kosovo. By the end of the fighting in Bosnia there were tens of thousands of Islamist insurgents in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo; many then moved west to Austria, Germany and Switzerland.  Less well known is evidence of the British government's relationship with a wider Islamist terrorist network. During an interview on Fox TV this summer, the former US federal prosecutor John Loftus reported that British intelligence had used the al-Muhajiroun group in London to recruit Islamist militants with British passports for the war against the Serbs in Kosovo. Since July Scotland Yard has been interested in an alleged member of al-Muhajiroun, Haroon Rashid Aswat, who some sources have suggested could have been behind the London bombings. According to Loftus, Aswat was detained in Pakistan after leaving Britain, but was released after 24 hours. He was subsequently returned to Britain from Zambia, but has been detained solely for extradition to the US, not for questioning about the London bombings. Loftus claimed that Aswat is a British-backed double agent, pursued by the police but protected by MI6."
Michael Meacher, former UK Environment Minister
Britain now faces its own blowback
Guardian, 10 September 2005

'Chechnya: The Mujahideen Factor'
Joseph Bodansky, Director of the Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare of the U.S. Congress
Special Strategic Studies Supplement, Freeman Centre For Strategic Studies, Houston, Texas, January 1998


[Extracts]

.... Islamabad became directly involved in the active support for the Chechen Jihad already in the spring of 1994. At that time, the ISI-sponsored Taliban offensive endangered the flow of Heroin from Afghanistan which served to finance the Chechen revolt. Islamabad intervened to ensure the continued flow of drugs, as well as capitalize on the relationship between the Chechens and ISI-sponsored Afghans, then maintained via Gulbaddin Hekmatyar's Hizb-i-Islami as a front, in order to expand the ISI's direct relations with the Chechen leadership. Consequently, between April and June 1994, a high-level Chechen delegation headed by a lieutenant of Dudayev's named Shamil Basayev visited the ISI-sponsored terrorist training infrastructure in both Pakistan and Afghanistan. In Afghanistan, the Chechens visited the ISI's training facilities in the Khowst area, then run under the banner of Gulbaddin Hekmatyar's Hizb-i-Islami. In Pakistan, the Chechens had a series of high level meetings with the Pakistani leadership -- particularly with Gen. Babar, Defense Minister Gen. Aftab Shahban Mirani, and General Javid Ashraf of the ISI (who was presented as the head of the ISI branch in charge of support for, and sponsorship of, Islamist causes). These three officials became the patrons of the Chechen Jihad, arranging for the establishment of a comprehensive training and arming program for the Chechens in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Chechens also met with former ISI Chief, General Hamid Gul, and an aid of his named Col. Imam, who would assist the Chechens in arranging for local connections and contacts for their drugs and weapons smuggling operations. Moreover, Gen. Babar intervened with the Taliban leadership already in early 1994 to ensure the uninterrupted flow of Heroin from the Helmand valley. However, the Heroin was now shipped northwards to the airfield near Chitral from where the drugs, as well as a growing number of Chechens and 'Afghan' volunteers, were flown to Chechnya.

The training of the Chechens began immediately. The first hundred or so Chechens were added to the ISI-run training camps near Khowst where between two and three hundred Uzbeks and Tajiks were already being trained in guerrilla warfare and prepared for the export of the Islamist revolution into their homelands. Most important were the advanced sabotage and guerrilla warfare courses provided to a select few Chechens in the Markaz-i-Dawar center in Pakistan. In the Fall of 1994, in order to expedite the flow of expertise to Chechnya, the ISI organized mixed detachments made of recently trained Chechens and veteran Pakistani operatives, most of them with long combat experience in the ranks of the Mujahedin in Afghanistan. These forces brought with them large quantities of weapons and ammunition. In addition, fighters from an ISI battalion of Afghan Mujahedin stationed in Pakistan were also dispatched to Chechnya in late 1994 to bolster the Pakistani-Chechen detachments. These Pakistani-led detachments saw combat already around the first of 1995. Significantly, the ISI retained combat and tactical control over these detachments. The Pakistani commanders maintained radio communications with their HQ in Pakistan, not dissimilar to communications maintained between the Islamist forces in Kashmir and their rear bases in Pakistan. ................

By now, however, Dudayev was most alarmed by the rise of the Islamist factor. In the Spring of 1995, his earlier call for an anti-Russian Jihad was being increasingly answered as Pakistan and Iran began sponsoring the Chechen revolt. Their active support was reinforced with arrival of growing numbers of volunteers, including Arab 'Afghans' and Islamist educators, weapons supplies, and funds. The elite forces of the Chechens were now becoming increasingly Islamist. The Islamist message of all-Caucasian Jihad, as distinct from a Chechen national liberation struggle, was increasingly popular. ................

Thus, by mid 1996, the war in Chechnya was fully integrated into the global struggle strategy, and not only of the Islamic Bloc, but of the Trans-Asian Axis as well. Grozny is the oil pipeline juncture for transporting Caspian Sea oil to European Russia and for export via Novorossiysk. The disconnection of this oil pipeline will expedite the transferring of this oil to the proposed Trans-Caspian pipeline and its export eastwards in the PRC's Pan-Asia Continental Oil Bridge. Militarily, a marked escalation in the fighting in Chechnya will serve more than just a containment of Russia -- a drain on manpower, supplies and resources. Politically, a prolonged unpopular war will make Moscow reluctant to confront, let alone intervene in, other conflicts in the near abroad so that the Islamists' escalation in Central Asia can take place with a lesser risk of Russian intervention.

Meanwhile, the integration of the Chechen revolt into the state-sponsored Islamist struggle continues to evolve and expand. This development is best reflected in the flow of Mujahedin from Afghanistan and Pakistan, Bosnia and the Middle East, in the further increase in the training of Chechens in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, and Turkey (Northern Cyprus). The allocation of drugs from the Golden Crescent for funding the Chechen war, as well as the laundering and handling of Chechen funds by Islamist front companies and financial institutions in the West, are other expressions of support by the Islamist leadership. Moreover, the international support functions, especially in the US and Western Europe, are being run by the main Islamist organizations controlled by Iran, Pakistan, and their proteges.

The magnitude of the Chechen drug smuggling and other organized crime activities is immense. By the mid 1990s, the network of smuggling routes used by the Islamists to deliver Mujahedin and weapons into Chechnya were also used for the smuggling of drugs out of Chechnya in order to finance the Jihad and enrich its commanders.

For example, the "Abkhaz route" that is operating since late 1993 under the control of the brothers Shamil and Shirvan Basayev. Shamil Basayev was the leader of the Chechen volunteers in Abkhazia and established excellent relations with the Muslim rebels there. Using Mi-6 helicopters, the Basayev brothers are shipping drugs acquired in Pakistan and Afghanistan from the Vedenskiy Rayon of Chechnya to the heliport in New Athens, using bases set up in Dzheyrakh Gorge in Kabardino-Balkariya as their intermediate landing points. Then, from New Athens, Abkhaz smugglers deliver the drugs by truck to Port Sukhumi on the Black Sea. From there, the drugs are carried by Turkish ships to the port of Famagusta in Northern Cyprus where local drug dealers take over. On the return routes, the ships, truck and helicopters carry arms and munitions acquired by Turkish intelligence for Basayev's forces. .........

The marked increase in the Chechen's aerial activities has taken place since early 1995. Back in early December 1994, Usman Imayev -- a close aide of Dudayev, who was the head of the National Bank of Ichkeriya as well as Chechnya's minister of justice and prosecutor general -- reached an agreement with representatives of the Turkish intelligence on the supply of weapons to Dudayev's forces from and via Turkey, the latter mainly from Pakistan. The ISI agreed to provide the Chechens with stockpiles dating back to the days of the Afghan Jihad. The Turks purchased large quantities of Soviet-era weapons and ammunition from Germany, from the ex-DDR arsenals, and transferred some of them to the Chechens. ....

By the Fall of 1997, several hundreds of Chechens were being trained in ISI-sponsored camps near Warsaj (Takhar), Jabal ol-Saraj (Parwan), Khowst (Paktia), and other smaller sites. Some 250 Chechens were undergoing clandestine training in a camp near Peshawar by ISI operatives and expert terrorists from Egypt and Sudan. Some 100 Chechens were being trained by the ISI in the Lahore area in sophisticated terrorism and urban warfare. A VEVAK-run terrorism training base in Ziarat Jah (Herat) was transferred to Gorgan (Mazandaran, Iran) in the Fall of 1995 because of the fighting. Chechens now attend other Islamist higher terrorism schools in Iran under the control of al-Quds forces. Several hundreds Mujahedin, mainly Afghans and Chechens, were being trained by Iranian intelligence and the HizbAllah in Sudan. Moreover, in the spring of 1996, in anticipation for a marked escalation, about 400 Chechens were sent to HizbAllah training camps in the Biqaa, Lebanon, to undergo the six-month advance courses run by Iranian Pasdaran instructors. These training programs still continue in early 1998, with new classes made of young Chechens replacing the graduates that returned Chechnya. Ultimately, the mere presence of Chechens in these terrorism schools is indicative of Tehran's and Islamabad's trust.

Meanwhile, the intelligence services of Iran, Pakistan and Turkey also continue to prepare, train and ship foreign volunteers to Chechnya. In Afghanistan, Shaykh Muhammad Ali Akhund organized a Taliban force for deployment to Chechnya. Most important are the Islamist commanders and instructors from Afghanistan, Pakistan and numerous Arab states -- all of them veteran 'Afghans' and 'Balkans', as well as Middle East terrorists -- who build a new generation of Chechen Mujahedin. They also constitute the core of the elite terrorist and special operations units of the Chechens. As well, they train cadres from other Caucasian states and nationalities. If the current build-up continues, Chechnya will become a center for Islamist regional and international terrorism comparable to Afghanistan or Lebanon.

Ultimately, given the Islamists' headway in Tajikistan, and Central Asia as a whole, one can foresee the emergence of an Islamist radical belt stretching from Afghanistan to Chechnya. Such a belt will be controlled and sponsored by Iran and Pakistan. Both will use it for furthering their global and regional aspirations. The availability of weapons of mass destruction in the former Soviet Union makes this prospect all the more harrowing. ....

Meanwhile, the specifics of the impending escalation in Chechnya were decided upon back in late August in the summit of the senior commanders of the HizbAllah International, held in Mogadishu, Somalia. Among the participants were Usamah bin-Ladin and the Iranian Commander of the al-Quds Forces based in Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia and Yemen. The summit decided to deploy between 500 and 700 'Afghan' Mujahedin (Arabs, Pakistanis, Afghans, etc.) to Chechnya during the fall. These Mujahedin would come mainly from camps in Afghanistan (particularly ISI-run camps under the nominal supervision of Abdul Rasul Sayyaf), as well as Sudan (mainly Arab 'Afghans') and Lebanon (a combination of the recently-trained Chechen-HizbAllah, and HizbAllah veterans from Persian Gulf states and Bosnia). The ISI was also directly responsible for the transportation, logistics and the transfer of "special means" (or "special weapons") to Chechnya. General Ashraf of the ISI -- who was presented to Shamil Basayev in the Spring of 1994 as the head of the ISI branch in charge of support for, and sponsorship of, Islamist causes, and who has been involved in supporting the Chechens since then -- is personally in charge of the Pakistani part of this operation. Additional funds were moved to Chechnya from Saudi Arabia and Persian Gulf states via Western Europe. Follow up decisions on the accelerated implementation of these designs were reached in late September in the follow-up summit of the senior commanders of the HizbAllah International that was also held in Magadishu, Somalia.

The implementation of these resolutions began immediately. In mid October 1966, at least 200 of the Mujahedin were already deployed to Chechnya from camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Pakistani Minister of Interior, Maj.Gen. (ret.) Naserullah Khan Babar, personally arranged for safe-conduct for these Mujahedin through both the Taliban and Ahmad Shah Massud lines, as part of the Pakistani mediation effort in Afghanistan. From north-eastern Afghanistan, these Mujahedin were transported eastward on the supply route established for the sustaining of the Afghan Mujahedin during the 1980s. The Chechnya bound Mujahedin were taken to camps near Chitral. They were flown to Chechnya from a nearby airport already used by the ISI for traffic in and out of the Commonwealth of Independent States. Meanwhile, the organization a force of over 100 Arab 'Afghans' from bases in Sudan and Yemen was near completion. These Mujahedin reached Chechnya via Iran or Afghanistan in the first half of November. Further more, the first class of Chechen-HizbAllah completed its six-month advance training in the Pasdaran-run HizbAllah camps in the Biqaa in mid November 1996, and its members returned to Chechnya in the early days of 1997. Altogether, some 400 Chechen graduates were dispatched from the Biqaa by the early Spring of 1997. Significantly, by early 1998, the flow of foreign Mujahedin and Chechen graduates of terrorist schools along these routes still continues.

By the Fall of 1996, the leadership of Chechnya was openly advocating the themes raised by the Islamist leadership, particularly the possibility of resumption of fighting. Thus, Chechen leader Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev declares that he "cannot affirm that the war has really ended." Chechen Commander Shamil Basayev concurs that the war "is suspended." Because "Russia has proved that it does not keep its promises," Basayev believes that "the possibility of the war being resumed remains on the cards." ......

By now, Moscow and Grozny were negotiating the fixing of the major oil pipeline crossing Chechnya and the resumption of shipping oil from the Caspian Sea to Russia. In early June, as the pace of the oil negotiations was growing, Maskhadov sought to stress the Islamic identity of Chechnya in order to gain political support from the oil producing states of the Middle East. Hence, Maskhadov dissolved Chechnya's secular courts and left only Islamic tribunals, based on the Sharia, as the legitimate elements of the country's legal system.....

Since late August, 1997, two trends have dominated events in Chechnya: (1) Moscow is increasingly apprehensive about a growing penetration of the US into the Caucasus, in quest for oil and challenging Russia's vital interests. Moreover, the US is using conservative Arab regimes as conduits. (2) Official Grozny is demonstrating unprecedented self-confidence and affluence, including Maskhadov's early September declaration about the building of a new Capital city -- Dzhokar -- rather than attempting to rebuild the devastated Grozny without explaining the source of the funds. Moscow estimates that the money came from the Muslim World under US influence. These trends cast a long shadow over the negotiations on a permanent settlement scheduled to begin in Moscow in late September. Maskhadov was very optimistic about his ability to convince Yeltsin to sign a treaty acceptable to Grozny -- that is, an inter-state treaty recognizing Chechnya's independence......

Again, unfolding activities suggest confidence in the Muslim World in the near term realization of this scenario. Even before the formal political decision on the future of the region, several states have jointly embarked on active economic maneuvering with outright political ramifications. Most important is the effort, blessed by the US and the UK, to create a so-called Caucasian common market that will concentrate on energy development while excluding Russia from its activities. This effort is developing since the Fall of 1997, and is supported by all the states of the Transcaucasus region except Armenia, by major Western oil corporations, and by organizations lobbying their interests, both in the United States and Britain. Moscow is most alarmed by the establishment of a Caucasian-American chamber of commerce because it is led by Khozh-Akhmed Nukhayev -- a leader of a Chechen criminal grouping in Moscow in the early 1990s and subsequently First Deputy Prime Minister in Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev's Government in Chechnya.

Moscow also learned that back in October 1997, a group of prominent businessmen and politicians from Britain, Pakistan, and Hong Kong, signed a protocol of intent regarding the establishment of a Transcaucasian energy company with Aslan Maskhadov as if he was the President of a sovereign state. According to the agreement Chechnya would participate in the project by providing the emerging consortium with a right to rent part of the Baku-Grozny-Novorosiisk oil pipeline with attached enterprises and infrastructure.

Concurrently, aspirant regional powers are making moves in the security and oil realm suggesting confidence in the imminent implementations of their designs. Pakistan is reinforcing the ISI-controlled Afghan security detachments in Azerbaijan. Already in late 1993 and early 1994, the ISI deployed several hundreds strong Hizb-i-Islami forces to Azerbaijan to help fight the Armenians and guard the oil pipelines. Meanwhile, Turkey is planning on taking over parts of the US Air Base at Incirlik that is being evacuated. The new Turkish forces will provide the security of the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline through both stationary and mobile forces.

Thus, Moscow believes, and not without reason, that all of these activities and preparations make sense only in case Russian influence and presence in the Caucasus is drastically reduced. A flare-up of Islamist terrorism and subversion is a prime instrument to achieve this end.

And Moscow has very good reasons to be apprehensive. On January 6, 1998, Pyotr Marchenko, a plenipotentiary representative of the Russian President in Adygei, Dagestan, Kabardin-Balkaria and Karachai-Circassia and also in Stavropol Territory, noted that the Russian security services have accumulated evidence that "the Northern Caucasus is a region of special and enhanced interest for foreign secret services" as well as the terrorist organizations they sponsor. He disclosed that the security services " had detained and were investigating cases of a number of citizens from the West and the Middle East, who took part in reconnaissance and sabotage operations. These operations are aimed at destabilising the situation and, in particular in Dagestan, at kindling internecine strife." The intelligence operatives exposed did not limit themselves to collection of data about Russia or other regional activities. "Overseas secret services," Marchenko stressed, "all but openly organize, train and equip militants at semi-clandestine centers, which is not always actively resisted in the localities." According to Marchenko, the late December 1997 terrorist strike in Buinaksk "had been provoked by precisely such militants." .....

Meanwhile, Moscow is determined to resolutely fight the escalation and intensification of Islamist terrorism in the Caucasus. Hence, resolving the Chechen crisis thus becomes a major challenge and urgent necessity. Given the growing economic and strategic importance of the Caucasus, the future of Chechnya is more than a bilateral issue. Thus, a new struggle for the control of the Caucasus and their rich oil reserves is escalating. And as the Moscow-Grozny negotiations over oil and political issues become even more crucial, given their ramifications for Russia's own vital interests, the expediency of using Islamist terrorism, violence and subversion in order to exert additional pressure on Moscow will only increase. Determined to consolidate their control over the strategically and economically crucial Caucasus, the Islamists and their sponsoring states have already resolved to escalate their terroristic Jihad to achieve what no negotiations can deliver. And herein lies the quintessence of the grim prospects for the Caucasus.".....

"When you land on Khodinka military airfield in Moscow, you see a glass office tower, surrounded by a windowless three-storey fort, overlooking the runway. This glass tower houses the eyes, ears and once feared long arms of the Russian army - the Chief Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian army, known by the abbreviation GRU. During the Cold War these eyes and ears were focused on another glass and concrete fortress - the Pentagon. But now the Russian army is facing a very different threat and the GRU has found a new enemy. The GRU's new nemesis dwells in a grayish concrete office block on the outskirts of Rawalpindi, a bustling Pakistani city near Islamabad. It is the headquarters of the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan's main security service and the grand puppet master behind a host of Islamic insurgent movements all over the world: from Harakat ul-Ansar in Kashmir, Tajikistan, Bosnia, the Taliban in Afghanistan, to Shamil Basayev's forces in Chechnya. GRU's first battle with the ISI was 20 years ago. An elite team of   'spetznaz' (special purpose) commandos boarded a military transport plane on Khodinka airfield and lit an inferno 3,369 kilometres southeast of Moscow by storming the presidential palace in Kabul and assassinating Afghani President Hafezullah Amin. For all nine years and 50 days of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, the ISI, teamed up with the CIA, armed, trained and sheltered different factions of Afghan mujaheddin - most of them radical Islamic groups. When the Soviets finally departed, Pakistan was left with an explosive motley of thousands of armed and zealous men with a lot of time on their hands and who knew nothing but how to fight. Sending these restless young men to die for Islamic causes in faraway lands became at once a practical necessity and a means of achieving the geopolitical objectives of Pakistani leadership: creation of a trans-Asian axis stretching from its eastern border with China through Afghanistan, the former Soviet republics of central Asia to the oil- and gas-rich shores of the Caspian Sea. To do that, Pakistan would have to control all of Afghanistan and drive out of central Asia the last remnants of Russian influence. Russia, however, has designs of its own for central Asia and has done everything in its power to create a buffer between pro-Pakistani Taliban forces and former Soviet republics of central Asia, bordering Afghanistan from the north. By some strange twist of fate, the role of this buffer fell on a man the GRU hunted unsuccessfully for nine years - Uzbek warlord Ahmed Shah Massoud, whose forces now control a narrow strip of land along Afghanistan's northern frontier with Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. If it weren't for the military help Shah Massoud is getting from Russian forces stationed in Tajikistan, he would have never survived the Taliban onslaught. To stop the flow of arms to Ahmed Shah Massoud, Pakistanis needed a diversion that would have forced Russians to switch their attention and resources away from central Asia. That diversion soon presented itself in the form of a brewing conflict between Moscow and its rebel Autonomous Republic of Chechnya, which wanted full independence from Russia. It was a perfect opportunity for the Pakistani intelligence. In 1994, Shamil Basayev, a young Chechen field commander, who a year earlier had distinguished himself in Abkhazia - a breakaway republic of the former Soviet Georgia - caught the attention of Pakistani intelligence stationed in the neighbouring oil-rich Azerbaijan, where about 1,500 Afghan mujaheddin under the command of Pakistani officers were fighting Armenians to reclaim for Azeris the rebel Armenian enclave of Nagorno Karabakh. In April 1994, the Pakistani Inter Services Intelligence arranged for Basayev and his trusted lieutenants to undergo intensive Islamic indoctrination and training in guerrilla warfare in the Khost province of Afghanistan at Amir Muawia camp, set up in the early 1980s by the CIA and ISI and run by famous Afghani warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. In July 1994, upon graduating from Amir Muawia, Basayev was transfered to Markaz-i-Dawar camp in Pakistan to undergo training in advanced guerrilla tactics. In Pakistan, Basayev met the highest ranking Pakistani military and intelligence officers: Minister of Defence General Aftab Shahban Mirani, Minister of Interior General Naserullah Babar, and the head of the ISI branch in charge of supporting Islamic causes, General Javed Ashraf, (all now retired). High-level connections soon proved very useful to Basayev. That same summer, the Pakistan-backed Taliban offensive against the government of the Iranian- backed president of Afghanistan, Burhanuddin Rabbani (later expelled), threatened to cut the Chechen drug trade. The Taliban had taken Amir Muawia and other Khost-area camps, disrupting plans to train hundreds of Chechen fighters there. After personal intervention of General Babar, Taliban and government forces allowed shipments of Chechen drugs through their lines while they were slitting each other's throats. The training of Chechen fighters also went as scheduled in Khost-area camps now controlled by one of the largest Kashmiri terrorist groups, the Harkat ul-Ansar. Pakistani intelligence also sent experienced and battle-hardened officers to train Chechen fighters on site. One of the most prominent Pakistani nationals is Abu Abdulla Jafa, who along with Basayev and Jordanian-born Afghan veteran Khattab (he goes by the one name) has organized a 'terrorist academy' in Chechnya, according to U.S. and Russian sources. Russians also suspect that Abu Abdulla Jafa is a career officer of Pakistan's elite Northern Light Infantry Brigade, and the tactical mastermind behind Basayev's August invasions into Dagestan. Russian security services also suspect that Pakistan supplies Chechens with deadly shoulder-launched Stinger anti-aircraft missiles - leftovers of the Afghan war. Meeting in Mogadishu The Russian air force has already lost at least three SU-25 ground attack planes and a half dozen helicopters to Stingers. But Pakistan's involvement in the Chechen conflict goes far beyond supplying Chechens with weapons and expertise: the ISI and its radical Islamic proxies are actually calling the shots in this war. According to a renowned terrorism expert, Yossef Bodansky, director of the U.S. Congress's Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, the master plan for the latest flare-up in Kashmir and in the Caucuses was prepared in August and September 1996, during a secret summit of HizbAllah International in Mogadishu, Somalia. The summit, according to U.S. anti- terrorism experts, was attended by now infamous Osama bin Ladin and high- ranking Iranian and Pakistani intelligence officers. Pakistani ISI General Javed Ashraf was charged with organizing the logistics of transporting Afghan mudjahedeen and Chechen fighters and their weapons from training camps in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sudan and Lebanon. Saudi terrorist-billionaire bin Ladin undertook the financing of the whole operation. Russian intelligence analysts estimate that the current campaign in Chechnya and Dagestan has cost bin Ladin $25 million. That is one of the reasons that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has so far refused to negotiate with Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov: he knows that the decision to stop fighting is not in the hands of Maskhadov, who one day vows to hand in Basayev and Khattab, but the next day appoints him commander of the eastern front. Russian officials are certain that for the war to stop in Chechnya, the decision must be taken in the gray building in Rawalpindi, by the new military government of General Pervaiz Musharraf."
Who's calling the shots?: Chechen conflict finds Islamic roots in Afghanistan and Pakistan
The Gazette (Montreal), 26 October 1999

(Above article by Levon Sevunts. Since 1990, Levon Sevunts has covered wars and ethnic conflicts in the Caucasus as a freelance war correspondent and reporter with the Armenian TV news program Haylur. In 1992, he moved to Montreal where he is a freelance journalist, writing in English, Russian and Armenian. Sevunts replaces David Manicom in the rotation of Gazette foreign-issues columnists. Manicom, a Canadian foreign-service worker, is on assignment in Beijing.)

"U.S. post-Cold War era foreign policy has designated Central Asia and the Caucasus as a 'strategic area.' Yet this policy no longer consists of containing the 'spread of communism', but rather in preventing Russia and China from becoming competing capitalist powers . In this regard, the U.S. has increased its military presence along the entire 40th parallel, extending from Bosnia and Kosovo to the former Soviet republics of Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, all of which have entered into bilateral military agreements with Washington. The 1999 war in Yugoslavia and the subsequent outbreak of war in Chechnya in September 1999 was a crucial turning point in Russian-American relations. It also marked a rapprochement between Moscow and Beijing, and the signing of several military cooperation agreements between Russia and China. U.S. covert support to the two main Chechen rebel groups (through Pakistan’s ISI) was known to the Russian government and military. (For further details, see Chapter II.) However, it had previously never been made public or raised at the diplomatic level. In November 1999, the Russian Defence Minister, Igor Sergueyev, formally accused Washington of supporting the Chechen rebels. Following a meeting held behind closed doors with Russia’s military high command, Sergueyev declared that: 'The national interests of the United States require that the military conflict in the Caucasus [Chechnya] be a fire, provoked as a result of outside forces', while adding that 'the West’s policy constitutes a challenge launched to Russia with the ultimate aim of weakening her international position and of excluding her from geo-strategic areas'. In the wake of the 1999 Chechen war, a new 'National Security Doctrine' was formulated and signed into law by Acting President Vladimir Putin, in early 2000. Barely acknowledged by the international media, a critical shift in East-West relations had occurred. The document reasserted the building of a strong Russian State, the concurrent growth of the Military, as well as the reintroduction of State controls over foreign capital. The document carefully spelled out what it described as ' fundamental threats' to Russia’s national security and sovereignty. More specifically, it referred to 'the strengthening of military-political blocs and alliances' [namely GUUAM], as well as to 'NATO’s eastward expansion' while underscoring 'the possible emergence of foreign military bases and major military presences in the immediate proximity of Russian borders.' The document confirms that 'international terrorism is waging an open campaign to destabilize Russia.' While not referring explicitly to CIA covert activities in support of armed terrorist groups, such as the Chechen rebels, it nonetheless calls for appropriate 'actions to avert and intercept intelligence and subversive activities by foreign states against the Russian Federation.' The cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy has been to encourage — under the disguise of 'peace-keeping' and so-called 'conflict resolution' — the formation of small pro-U.S. States which lie strategically at the hub of the Caspian Sea basin, which contains vast oil and gas reserves...."
The Anglo-American Military Axis
Centre For Research On Globalisation, 10 March 2003

"Russia's main pipeline route transits through Chechnya and Dagestan. Despite Washington's perfunctory condemnation of Islamic terrorism, the indirect beneficiaries of the Chechen war are the Anglo-American oil conglomerates which are vying for control over oil resources and pipeline corridors out of the Caspian Sea basin. The two main Chechen rebel armies (respectively led by Commander Shamil Basayev and Emir Khattab) estimated at 35,000 strong were supported by Pakistan's ISI, which also played a key role in organizing and training the Chechen rebel army......Following his training and indoctrination stint, Basayev was assigned to lead the assault against Russian federal troops in the first Chechen war in 1995. His organization had also developed extensive links to criminal syndicates in Moscow as well as ties to Albanian organized crime and the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). In 1997-98, according to Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) 'Chechen warlords started buying up real estate in Kosovo... through several real estate firms registered as a cover in Yugoslavia'.Basayev's organisation has also been involved in a number of rackets including narcotics, illegal tapping and sabotage of Russia's oil pipelines, kidnapping, prostitution, trade in counterfeit dollars and the smuggling of nuclear materials..."
Who Is Osama Bin Laden?
Centre for Research on Globalisation, 12 September 2001

"Hundreds of Arab nationals of Chechen ancestry had joined the 6,000 plus jihadi mercenary force raised by the CIA through the ISI in the 1980s for fighting against Soviet troops and had fought in Afghanistan under Osama bin Laden.  They maintained their links with bin Laden after the withdrawal of the Soviet troops from Afghanistan in 1988. Some of them were taken by bin Laden into his Al Qaeda and IIF and they used to work as instructors in the training camps in Afghan territory. They were also used by the ISI for  training the Taliban army after 1994 and for assisting the Taliban in its fight against the Northern Alliance. Many others were sent to Chechnya by bin Laden after 1994 to assist the indigenous Chechen groups in their fight for an Islamic Caliphate."
Chechnya Continues To Bleed
South Asia Analysis Group, 30 December 2002


Chechnya And The Role Of Abu Qatada
The Al Qaeda Leader Whom The Authorities Refuse To Put On Trial In Britain

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Abu Qatada

Despite being described as the most dangerous jihadi ideologue to have operated from Britain, and detained under 'control orders', Abu Qatada was never put on trail for terrorism offences by the UK authorities.  They merely arranged, after a lengthy legal battle lasting years, for his deportation to Jordan.

The question is why?

Known to be an advocate of 'jihad' in Chechnya the French have accused British intelligence of protecting Qatada.

nlpwessex.org

"If there’s one thing that exposes the hypocrisy of the Tories as the so-called party of law and order, it’s human rights. Last Monday it briefed that it would consider temporarily leaving the European Convention of Human Rights – an international treaty which has protected our rights and freedoms for more than 65 years. The reason? Home Secretary Theresa May still can’t deport Abu Qatada to Jordan because he may be tried with evidence obtained under torture....If Abu Qatada is such a dangerous threat why can’t we prosecute him in the UK courts? Is it because any evidence would involve our intelligence services? Maybe this is why the Government now wants to speed ahead to secret courts."
John Prescott - Former British Deputy Prime Minister
Mirror, 28 April 2013

"....'control orders'...These orders were dreamt up by officials in 2005 and allow terror suspects to be placed under house arrest for ever without any semblance of criminal charge or trial. Apart from being profoundly unfair and un-British (the term 'control order' comes from apartheid South Africa), this scheme is profoundly unsafe. A number of its targets have disappeared, and one former 'controlee' had a habit of turning up, complete with plastic tag, at large public meetings attended by members of the present and past Cabinets. Like house arrest, deportation is no substitute for fair criminal trials."
Will Theresa be caught by the securocrats?
London Times, 19 May 2010

"Abu Qatada is one of the ten men that the Government is now struggling to deport. If he reveals as part of his appeal that MI5 tried to recruit him, the service will be highly embarrassed. And he may not be the only one to do so. The whispers are that several of these characters have as much on the intelligence services as they have on them.  In the 1990s Britain made a fatal decision, against the advice of other governments, to try to use these people rather than shut them down."
Lack-of-intelligence services
London Times, 18 August 2005

"Qatada is .... a man 'heavily involved, indeed ... at the centre in the UK of terrorist activities associated with al Qaeda,' according to Mr Justice Collins, chairman of the Special Immigration Appeals Commission. But if that actually is the case, there are plenty of remedies entirely compatible with liberalism and democracy. One might expect Qatada to have been, well, charged. If you can get done under anti-terror laws for photographing a policeman, there must surely be some scope for dragging an 'al Qaeda kingpin' before a jury. The problem, I imagine, is that some of the evidence the jurors would have to hear involves the workings of the intelligence agencies, specifically their contacts with Qatada in the days when they encouraged him and thought him a man they could do business with. That might be embarrassing."
Andrew Gilligan - Better pay out to Qatada than lose our freedoms
Evening Standard, 23 February 2009

"... senior European intelligence officials tell TIME that Abu Qatada is tucked away in a safe house in the north of England, where he and his family are being lodged, fed and clothed by British intelligence services... British security services officials declined to comment."
Sheltering A Puppet Master?
Time Magazine, 7 July 2002

"European security chiefs still regard Britain as a safe haven for al-Qaeda units..."
British 911 Response Abysmal
London Times, 19 Dec 2002

"Abu Qatada, 48, who returned to jail [without trial] in December after spending six months free on bail, is regarded as the most dangerous jihadi ideologue to have operated from Britain and is classified as a high-risk Category A prisoner....Abu Qatada’s influence has extended from Mujahidin groups in Algeria and Chechnya in the past, to Iraq and Afghanistan more recently. As long ago as 1999 he was said to be on the al-Qaeda leadership’s religious affairs committee. He arrived in Britain on a false passport in 1993 and was allowed to continue promoting jihadi ideology worldwide from his West London home and at study circles....Despite being monitored by MI5, he went into hiding after the September 11 attacks and was eventually detained under emergency antiterror laws in October 2002."
Hate cleric, Abu Qatada, issues rallying cry from prison
London Times, 4 April 2009

"He came to the UK in 1993, arriving on false documents and claiming asylum. Sometimes people fleeing unpleasant regimes have no choice but to travel under another name, but once in the country Qatada began using it as a base to call for the murder of non-Muslims. According to the Special Immigration Appeals Commission, he is a 'truly dangerous individual' who is 'heavily involved, indeed at the centre, of terrorist activities associated with al-Qa’ida'.....he’s been described by Baltasar Garzon, the Spanish judge who tried to extradite General Pinochet, as Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man in Europe. The extent of his influence can be gauged from the fact that tapes of his sermons were found in the Hamburg flat of Mohammed Atta, the 9/11 ringleader.....The truth is that Qatada has been a guest of the UK for many years, and he has exploited this country’s long-standing tradition of tolerance to spew out hate-filled rants. He should have been put on trial long ago for offences such as supporting and funding terrorism – huge amounts of cash were found in his house, some of it allegedly destined for Islamic extremists in Chechnya – and soliciting murder. Other extreme clerics such as Abu Hamza have been convicted and jailed for preaching similar things; the fact that Qatada hasn’t been charged is puzzling..."
Joan Smith: Beyond the psychotic drivel, Qatada is serious about jihad

Indpendent On Sunday, 22 February 2009

"European security chiefs have repeatedly named Abu Qatada as 'al-Qaeda’s spiritual ambassador in Europe' and are waiting for David Blunkett, the Home Secretary, to allow them to visit Belmarsh prison where he is held. Britain has refused to acknowledge it has captured him. Investigators such as the Spanish judge, Balthazar Garzon, say London is the hub for logistics and communication and where terrorist groups get much of their money and fake documentation."
Al-Qaeda revenge plot 'for arrests in Britain'
London Times, 18 November 2002

"Qatada is .... a man 'heavily involved, indeed ... at the centre in the UK of terrorist activities associated with al Qaeda,' according to Mr Justice Collins, chairman of the Special Immigration Appeals Commission. But if that actually is the case, there are plenty of remedies entirely compatible with liberalism and democracy. One might expect Qatada to have been, well, charged. If you can get done under anti-terror laws for photographing a policeman, there must surely be some scope for dragging an 'al Qaeda kingpin' before a jury. The problem, I imagine, is that some of the evidence the jurors would have to hear involves the workings of the intelligence agencies, specifically their contacts with Qatada in the days when they encouraged him and thought him a man they could do business with. That might be embarrassing."
Andrew Gilligan - Better pay out to Qatada than lose our freedoms
Evening Standard, 23 February 2009

"One of al-Qaeda’s most dangerous figures has been revealed as a double agent working for MI5, raising criticism from European governments, which repeatedly called for his arrest. Britain ignored warnings — which began before the September 11 attacks — from half a dozen friendly governments about Abu Qatada’s links with terrorist groups and refused to arrest him....  while all along he was setting up a haven for his terror organisation in Britain... He pledged to MI5 that he would not 'bite the hand that fed him'. ..... he was recruiting for al-Qaeda training camps.... Indignant French officials accused MI5 of helping the cleric to abscond. "
Al-Qaeda cleric exposed as an MI5 double agent
London Times, 25 March 2004

"Back in the 90s and even after the 9/11 attacks, Britain allowed radical preachers such as Omar Bakri Muhammad, Abu Hamza and Abu Qatada to promote global jihad. The warnings that community leaders gave at the time largely fell on deaf ears; and we British Muslims failed to stop the growth of this radical fringe, which was galvanised by the tragedy of Bosnia."
Yahya Birt - Don't repeat this mistake
Guardian, 14 September 2009

"Abu Qatada and Abu Hamza, two preachers who lived off state benefits after claiming asylum, are identified by the American authorities as the key recruiters responsible for sending dozens of extremists from throughout the world to Pakistan and Afghanistan via London mosques. The leaked WikiLeaks documents, written by senior US military commanders at Guantánamo Bay, illustrate how, for two decades, Britain effectively became a crucible of terrorism, with dozens of extremists, home-grown and from abroad, radicalised here. Finsbury Park mosque, in north London, is described as a 'haven' for extremists. United States intelligence officials concluded the mosque served as 'an attack planning and propaganda production base'.   The files will raise questions over why the Government and security services failed to take action sooner to tackle the capital’s reputation as a staging post for terrorism, which became so established that the city was termed 'Londonistan'. The documents show that at least 35 detainees at Guantánamo had passed through Britain before being sent to fight against Allied forces in Afghanistan. This is thought to be more than from any other Western nation....Qatada, who was paid compensation under human rights laws for being 'unfairly detained', is described as 'the most successful recruiter in Europe' and a 'focal point for extremist fundraising [and] recruitment'. Hamza is accused of encouraging 'his followers to murder non-Muslims'. Four mosques in London and an Islamic centre are highlighted as places where young Muslim men were radicalised and turned into potential terrorists. Finsbury Park mosque 'served to facilitate and training of recruits,' note the files, adding that it was 'a haven for Islamic extremists from Morocco and Algeria.'... Extremist preachers radicalised the men at London mosques, showing them videos of atrocities committed against Muslims in Bosnia and Chechnya. According to one document, Finsbury Park mosque was 'a key transit facility for the movement of North African and other extremists in London to and from al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan'."
WikiLeaks: Guantánamo Bay terrorists radicalised in London to attack Western targets
Telegraph, 29 April 2011

"Anti-terrorist police are carrying out a new investigation into the radical cleric Abu Qatada after uncovering evidence that may show he could be spreading extremism across the world. Detectives from the counter terrorism command of the Metropolitan police have seized a vast amount of material – including internet and traditional publications – from Qatada's home in north London, it was revealed on Thursday. Deputy assistant commissioner Stuart Osborne – who is senior national coordinator for counter terrorism in the UK — said officers were going through the material, which was in several languages. He said it included many different publications and was a large mass of material. The investigation is examining whether it crosses the criminal threshold to enable a prosecution to be brought against Qatada in Britain for the first time since he was detained in the UK 10years ago.... Abu Qatada, whose real name is Mohammed Othman, has waged a decade long battle against his deportation. He came to the UK seeking asylum more than 20 years ago. Despite the statements made against him he has never been prosecuted or charged with offences in Britain. He has been accused in Siac hearings of not only providing a 'religious justification for acts of violence and terror', but also of being a 'significant international terrorist, with extensive extremist contacts', engaging 'in conduct which facilitates and give[s] encouragement to the commission, preparation and instigation of acts of terrorism', and 'raising funds for terrorist groups'. MI5 has said in evidence to Siac that it has been difficult to prosecute Abu Qatada as he has been careful to disguise his support for terrorist attacks here and abroad, and that he is not 'formally' a member of al-Qaida."
Police investigate publications found in Abu Qatada's home
Guardian, 21 March 2013


Dirty Oil Games In The Caucasus
The Role Of NATO's Covert Operations In The Ukrainian Elections Of 2004

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Find Out How Dirty Games Are Being Played In The Caucacus
As The Oil Makes Its Way From The Caspian To The Coast Of Former Yugoslavia
Via The Black Sea Region
Click Here

The Role Of The Ukraine

Western control of Ukraine offers the prospect of securing an additional transit link between western Europe and the oil and gas reserves of the Caspian Sea region. The Ukrainian landmass lies to the north of the Black Sea reaching as far east as that part of the Caucasus region which forms the southern tip of the Russian Federation. That region includes Chechnya which NATO member states have been trying to covertly destabilise in order to engineer its breakaway from the Federation. A breakaway would result in Chechnya's entry into an growing US zone of influence comprising a wide range of former Soviet 'Newly Independent States' in the Caspian Sea region.

The US gained firm control of Chechnya's neighbour Georgia in 2004 by backing the opposition movement lead by Mikhail Saakashvili which challenged rigged elections. The US was not pleased with previous President Eduard Shevardnaze increasingly looking towards Russia on energy matters. By stark contrast the US did not challenge fraudulent elections in next-door Azerbaijan where its dictatorial and brutal regime was already committed to US exploration and pipeline ambitions.

In order to secure as much as possible of the northern Black Sea-Caspian Sea transit corridor the US and EU (which needs alternatives to Russian/Arabian oil and gas as much as the US) are unlikely to welcome any moves towards the partitioning of the Ukraine as seemed possible following the disputed election of 2004.

The long term objective of the west to bring the whole of the Ukraine within its own orbit.

nlpwessex.org

"U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said on Monday that Ukraine should remain intact and not succumb to pressure to break apart following its disputed presidential election."
U.S. Secretary of State Powell Urges Ukraine to Remain Intact
The Moscow News, 30 November 2004

Subterfuge In The Ukraine
The Role Of NATO Covert Operations In The Elections Of 2004

"On the day of Viktor Yushchenko's inauguration [as President of Ukraine], Tom Mangold reveals the extraordinary story of his rivals' plot to deny him power.... And only now are the astonishing truths of Mr Yushchenko's fight for the leadership he had earned being revealed.....[there] was a series of extraordinary co-ordinated intelligence operations. Those operations involved a breakaway faction of Ukraine's Secret Service, the SBU, Ukraine's military intelligence, with CIA and MI6 officers. They helped by running their own special operations to frustrate corrupt politicians and gangsters who tried to seize power from the newly elected leader. American and British agents used spy satellites, intercept technology and old-fashioned dirty tricks against President Leonid Kuchma, the departing leader, and his allies and cronies. In the end, Mr Kuchma's power and authority simply hemorrhaged away and he was left unable to exercise his authority.... If the Kremlin did have a hand in the events in Ukraine, as most observers now believe, they unwittingly came across a series of Western intelligence operations that simply outsmarted them. By November, an important section of the SBU had veered away from Mr Kuchma's tyrannies and believed the future lay with modernist reformers like Mr Yushchenko. Some of this may have been self-serving, but it was realistic and was encouraged by small teams of CIA and MI6 officers sent to back up their respective stations in Kiev for the most important elections in 20 years. An intelligence net involving Mr Yushchenko's youthful and energetic chief of staff, Oleg Rybachuk, an important faction of the SBU, Ukrainian military intelligence and British and US ambassadors was established. When Mr Rybachuk received SBU warnings of attempts to disrupt the elections or threats to Mr Yushchenko, he reported these to both ambassadors. Spy satellites maintained round-the-clock vigilance and Western teams inside Ukraine established an enormous communications intercept. Slowly it became clear that a substantial number of Mr Kuchma's players were deserting his team.... Western intelligence officers had one overriding aim - to ensure that the thousands of protesters would not be provoked into violence. They believed that if the young people held, the country would hold..... Western intelligence officers had recommended constant music and rock concerts to distract the huge crowd, which virtually owned the heart of Kiev. My conversations with PORA leaders reveal that some of them attended a seminar in the Crimea funded by the American Freedom House Foundation - whose chairman is former CIA chief James Woolsey, and USAID, where these techniques were taught."
The man who survived Russia's poison chalice
The Age (Australia), 23 January 2005

The Spectator, 5 March 2005

One for oil and oil for one

Michael Meacher says that the fuss over Ukraine was about the geopolitics of oil, and the growing conflict between the US and China

Yes, our man (Yushchenko) and our system (democracy) won in Ukraine, and once again good triumphed over bad. Yet this presentation, so characteristic of the Western media, misses the point about what the struggle is really about.

If the issue was fair elections, there would have been an equal furore about the grossly rigged elections by which Ilham Aliyev assumed the presidency of Azerbaijan in 2003 from his father, a ruthless KGB hardman in the former Soviet state. In fact the West turned a blind eye, in order to maintain access to Azerbaijan’s oil supplies after a $13 billion contract had been signed with BP in 1998. Equally, there would have been uproar when the pro-Russian Shevardnadze was ousted as President of Georgia in 2003 and the West’s favoured candidate won 96 per cent of the vote to replace him. But nobody raised any complaint.

If the issue was legitimate government, much more attention would have been focused on Yushchenko’s aides and the tenor of his administration. His closest aide, Julia Timoshenko, known as Ukraine’s ‘gas princess’, and now appointed Prime Minister, has been widely accused by both the Russian and Ukrainian authorities of bribery and embezzlement. Another aide admits that ‘the key people in the Yushchenko team are from the same oligarchic mould as our opponents’. Economic interests, not political principle, pitted them against the Yanukovich camp. Many fear that turning over state power to entrenched oligarchs like these will make Yushchenko’s government little different from its predecessor.

What is really at stake is something quite different, almost entirely unmentioned in the Western media. It is rather more prosaic than a ‘people power’ revolution. It is primarily a battle over oil transit routes from the second largest remaining oil deposits in the world, and, more long term, a US attempt to pre-empt Chinese designs on the key strategic space round the southern rim of the old Soviet Union.

In May 2000 an oilfield containing 20–50 billion barrels of oil was discovered in the Caspian Sea off the Kazakhstan coast, probably the biggest hitherto untapped reserve in the world. But, with major exploration only now getting under way, early seismic studies suggest vast resources of hydrocarbons ranging from 70–200 billion barrels of oil and some 250 trillion cubic feet of gas — less than in the Middle East but much more than in the US and Europe.

The geopolitical problem, however, centres on the fact that the Caspian Sea is landlocked, so that oil and gas have to be transported by pipeline to a terminal on the open sea. One relatively short route runs through Iran, but that is not acceptable to the US. Another plan, from the US oil company Unocal, was to extend Turkmenistan’s existing route through Afghanistan and Pakistan on to the Arabian Sea, and this was a consideration behind launching the war against Afghanistan in 2001. A third alternative is a pipeline westwards from the Caspian port of Baku through Georgia to the Turkish port of Ceyhan on the Mediterranean; but this has been heavily opposed on grounds of environmental destruction. A fourth option is a pipeline from Kazakh to the Black Sea, but this has the severe drawback of tanker congestion in the Bosphorus.

Against this background, Ukraine’s geographical location makes it an ideal corridor for oil and natural gas from the Caspian region to Western markets. The most suitable conduit is the Odessa–Brody pipeline which was completed in 2001 and runs north from Ukraine’s Black Sea port to the city of Brody, and is thence extended to the refinery at Plotsk in Poland and a further link to the Baltic port of Gdansk. However, this has been blocked hitherto by Moscow’s stubborn insistence on operating the pipeline in the reverse direction, to move oil from Russia southwards to tankers in the Black Sea for onward shipping to world markets. Moscow has also tried to drag Ukraine into a customs or even an economic union in the framework of its so-called Integrated Economic Zone. By depriving Ukraine of its European prospects and hence of its opportunity to become more independent economically, the Kremlin has been trying to pull Kiev back into Moscow’s orbit.

What has been at stake in Ukraine is less a fight over democracy than a struggle over the geopolitics of oil and military reach. If Ukraine is absorbed into the Nato orbit, Russia will be deprived of access to its naval bases in the Crimea, and Russian oil and gas exports will be squeezed by a new US straitjacket.

But the significance of the Ukrainian confrontation goes even wider. China remains the sole long-term challenger to US hegemony, and while the Chinese economy has been expanding at a phenomenal rate, its weakness continues to be its energy supply. Once oil-independent, China has over the last decade become increasingly reliant on imports, which now account for 60 per cent of its oil consumption, compared with only 6 per cent in 1993. Within the next five years, according to Beijing, China will be importing 50 million tons of oil and 50 billion cubic metres of gas annually.

Chinese petro-diplomacy already extends worldwide, including Africa, and it is busily establishing surveillance stations, naval facilities and airstrips to safeguard the oil route from the Gulf to the South China Sea. But its main goal in escaping dependence on maritime oil supplies is access to Russian and central Asian oil. Another facet, therefore, of intense US pressure on Ukraine is to forestall any Chinese encroachment on this oil-strategic area in the soft underbelly of the former Soviet Union. Ukraine is in reality a key flashpoint in the new Great Game being played out by the US, not so much with Russia, still a declining force, but with China, the emerging long-term threat.

"Twenty years ago, the United States had little interest in relations with Russia, and certainly not with resetting them. The Soviet Union had collapsed, the Russian Federation was in ruins and it was not taken seriously by the United States -- or anywhere else for that matter. The Russians recall this period with bitterness. In their view, under the guise of teaching the Russians how to create a constitutional democracy and fostering human rights, the United States and Europe had engaged in exploitative business practices and supported non-governmental organizations that wanted to destabilize Russia. The breaking point came during the Kosovo crisis. Slobodan Milosevic, leader of what was left of Yugoslavia, was a Russian ally. Russia had a historic relationship with Serbia, and it did not want to see Serbia dismembered, with Kosovo made independent. There were three reasons for this. First, the Russians denied that there was a massacre of Albanians in Kosovo. There had been a massacre by Serbians in Bosnia; the evidence of a massacre in Kosovo was not clear and is still far from clear. Second, the Russians did not want European borders to change. There had been a general agreement that forced changes in borders should not happen in Europe, given its history, and the Russians were concerned that restive parts of the Russian Federation, from Chechnya to Karelia to Pacific Russia, might use the forced separation of Serbia and Kosovo as a precedent for dismembering Russia. In fact, they suspected that was the point of Kosovo. Third, and most important, they felt that an attack without U.N. approval and without Russian support should not be undertaken both under international law and out of respect for Russia. President Bill Clinton and some NATO allies went to war nevertheless.... When many former Soviet countries experienced revolutions in the 1990s that created governments that were somewhat more democratic but certainly more pro-Western and pro-American, Russia saw the West closing in. The turning point came in Ukraine, where the Orange Revolution generated what seemed to Putin a pro-Western government in 2004. Ukraine was the one country that, if it joined NATO, would make Russia indefensible and would control many of its pipelines to Europe. In Putin's view, the non-governmental organizations helped engineer this, and he claimed that U.S. and British intelligence services funded those organizations. To Putin, the actions in Ukraine indicated that the United States in particular was committed to extending the collapse of the Soviet Union to a collapse of the Russian Federation. Kosovo was an insult from his point of view. The Orange Revolution was an attack on basic Russian interests."
Syria, America and Putin's Bluff
Stratfor, 10 September 2013

Meanwhile In Azerbaijan

" 'There was CIA involvement [in Azerbaijan] through a company called Mega Oil. They were shipping in arms under the cover of oil tools.' The BP executive was explaining to me how the CIA, MI6 and British Petroleum engineered a coup d’état, overthrowing a nation’s elected president who was 'not favorable to BP.' The corporation’s former vice president, Leslie Abrahams, is pictured above, holding an AK-47 in front of BP’s offices in Baku, Azerbaijan. Like most of the other BP executives I spoke with, he proudly added that although he was working for BP, he was also an operative for MI6, British intelligence. This conversation, which took place in 2010, was far from the weirdest I had in my four-continent investigation of the real story of the Deepwater Horizon. ... To understand what really happened in the Gulf of Mexico, and how BP became a corporate creature beyond the reach of the law, British television network Channel 4 sent me on an investigation through a labyrinthine fun house of bribery, lap dancing, beatings, WikiLeaks, a coup d’état, arrests and oil-state terror. I found the cause of the tragedy of the Deepwater Horizon 7,000 miles from the Gulf in the ancient city of Baku, the Central Asian caravan stop on the Silk Road. ... The literal source of Soviet power until 1991, Baku has been exporting petroleum for 3,000 years. As the Soviet Union shattered into pieces that year, BP set its sights on the city. It is now the capital of the new nation of Azerbaijan, which sits atop the biggest untapped oil field in the world, right beneath the Caspian Sea. In 1992, then-BP Chairman Lord Browne flew into Baku as soon as the young state elected its first president, Abulfaz Elchibey. Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher joined him via the 'Iron Lady,' a plane the corporation outfitted especially for her. At a state dinner, Browne handed Abrahams, a BP vice president at the time, a briefcase and showed him the contents: a check for $30 million. Browne then gave the check to the president of Azerbaijan. Still, the new president remained 'not favorable' to BP’s demand for control of the Caspian oil, so MI6, the CIA and the corporation went into action. The spy agencies armed and empowered former Soviet KGB chief Heydar Aliyev, who in 1993 overthrew Azerbaijan’s elected government. Once he became dictator, Aliyev named himself president for life and within four months signed a no-bid deal to give the reserves to BP. BP and MI6 man Abrahams was instructed, he told me, to 'smooth the way' for the deal by taking Azeri officials to London in Browne’s jet for weekends of lap dancing and other entertainment. By Abrahams’ own estimation, he paid over $3 million in additional cash bribes to make certain BP would have no trouble. I should note that Abrahams broke no law: Bribery by a British subject was legal then. BP executives did not deny the payoffs when I questioned them directly, and MI6 officers proudly confirmed the coup’s purpose of locking in the offshore deal for BP.... Robert Ebel, former chief of oil analysis for the CIA, estimates that at least $140 million in payments by BP for Azeri oil has gone unaccounted for. Where did it go? Notably, the Aliyev ruling family lives like pashas despite the president’s official salary of $100 a month.... "
Greg Palast - Lap Dancers, the CIA, Payoffs and BP’s Deepwater Horizon
Truthdig, 18 April 2014

Rogue State Britain
MI6 As Agent For Big Oil
The Hidden Powers Behind British Foreign Policy

John Scarlett's Evil Empire
www.nlpwessex.org/docs/watscarlett.htm
New Allegations Emerge About Post Cold-War
MI6-BP Sponsored Coup D'Etat In Azerbaijan

"Luxury cars cruise down 'Oilman Avenue' past five-star hotels and exclusive boutiques in the capital of Azerbaijan, where President Ilham Aliyev looks sure to be re-elected on Wednesday. While residents of cramped apartments in drab Soviet-era blocks on the outskirts of Baku, may feel excluded from the oil boom that has transformed smarter parts of town, opponents of Aliyev, 51, say controls on dissent mean they have little chance of stopping him winning a third five-year term. That will extend a dynastic rule under which he and his father, former Communist leader Heydar Aliyev, have ruled the mainly Muslim state since 1969, except for a period from 1982 to 1993. Opinion polls show him clearly in the lead. Located between Iran and Russia, Azerbaijan is a vital energy supplier to Europe and a transit route for U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Critics say this has made the West turn a blind eye to shrinking freedoms since Aliyev came to power in 2003. A new generation of Internet users, inspired by the 'Arab Spring' uprisings, sees no chance of ousting Aliyev next week, but problems are growing that they hope he will have to address in his next term - and might one day unseat him. As oil output peaks, discontent is growing over the gap between rich and poor and tensions are rising with neighbouring Armenia in a territorial dispute that caused a war in the 1990s. 'I don't believe change will come to this country through the election as there is no real election in Azerbaijan,' said Adnan Hajizade, a 30-year-old blogger who fell foul of the authorities, sipping ginger tea in a busy Baku cafe.... economic growth has slowed since 2003-2007 when the economy expanded by an average 21 percent per year. The main reason is a slowdown in oil production, raising concerns and prompting Aliyev to accuse operator BP of making 'false promises'."
Azerbaijan's leader set to keep power but problems loom
Reuters, 4 October 2013

"Something funny happened the day before Azerbaijan's presidential election: The election commission announced the winner. On Tuesday, a day before the voting began, the smartphone app of the Central Election Commission released results showing President Ilham Aliyev, whose family has been at the helm of the Caspian Sea nation for four decades, winning 73 per cent of the vote. On Wednesday, the commission said Aliyev had won 85 per cent of the vote. His closest contender, Jamil Hasanli, trailed with six per cent, it said. The commission apologized for the early result on Thursday, saying it was only a test at one polling station conducted by the software developer. It expressed 'deep regret' for the 'misunderstanding.' International monitors said Thursday that the vote that kept the dynasty in power was marred by violations."
Azerbaijan announces election winner 1 day before vote
Associated Press, 10 October 2013

"The Foreign and Commonwealth Office paid for the SAS to train Azerbaijan's special forces in an effort to gain influence with the hardline ex-Soviet regime. According to a leaked document seen by The Sunday Times, members of the UK's elite fighting force taught their counterpart sniper skills and how to storm buildings as part of a six-week training mission. The paper says one of the aims of the deployment in 2006 - codenamed Operation Lanark - was to 'enhance' the FCO's standing in the central Asian republic. Western politicians have long been keen to court Azerbaijan and Ilham Aliyev, its president, because of the vast oil and gas reserves beneath the Caspian Seas. But human rights groups have accused Aliyev's government of seeking to silence opposition by arresting and imprisoning dozens of political activists on bogus charges. The SAS briefing document, drawn up in November 2005, reveals how Azerbaijani special forces were to be taught 'basic room combat', 'multiple room combat,' and 'enhanced shooting capabilities'. .... Special forces sources accused the Foreign Office of 'pimping out' the SAS. 'Operations like this are basically Foreign Office wheeler dealing,' one said.... Britain has significant commercial interests in Azerbaijan. BP, its biggest foreign investor, has signed a deal on a gasfield which could be worth up to £62bn over 25 years."
SAS hired out to woo tyrant of Azerbaijan
Sunday Times, 20 October 2013, Print Edition, P9


Additional News Updates
After The Ukrainian Elections Of 2004

"Another option to ease congestion in Turkish waters would be to extend Ukraine’s Odessa-Brody pipeline to Poland’s Baltic port of Gdansk. Last week, Ukraine’s President Viktor Yushchenko said his country was ready to proceed with the extension and had set up joint structures with Poland and Kazakhstan to work out a plan to complete construction, launching the project in 2006. Kazakhstan has expressed interest in the $600 million plan and the European Union has invested in a feasibility study, which should be ready by the end of the year."
Black Sea Pipelines Look to Bypass Straits
Reuters, 28 November 2005

"Russia's Federal Security Service, or FSB, director Nikolai Patrushev has officially confirmed the death of Saudi national Muhammad bin Abdullah bin Saif Al-Jaabir Al Buayneen Al-Tamimi, also known as Abu Omar as-Seif. The FSB Public Relations Center said in a press release, 'In November, the main representative of al-Qaida in North Caucasus, international terrorism ideologist Abu Omar as-Seif was killed in Dagestan.' The FSB statement confirms the announcement of As-Seif's death as reported on Dec. 1 by the Shura Military Council of Chechnya on the Arabic Web site Qoqaz.com. As-Seif reportedly took over command of foreign mujahideen Chechnya after Saudi national Abd al-Aziz al-Ghamdi, also known as Abu al-Walid, died in an encounter with Russian forces in Vedeno province in April 2004. The Shura statement noted of as-Seif, 'One of the most notable Jihad leaders in Chechnya, the Islamic consultant in the Majlis Ash-Shura Council of the Mujahideen, and the Religious and Sharia source of the Mujahideen in Chechnya, the Sheikh died in a confrontation with Allah's enemies, the Russians.' Russian officials also claimed that they recovered al-Qaida documents after killing as-Seif outlining his group's plan for 'global jihad.' Regnum news agency reported that according to the FSB Osama bin Laden sent as-Seif to the northern Caucasus about 10 years ago. Grani.ru reported that as-Seif financed the September 2004 attack on the school in Beslan in North Ossetia."
UPI Intelligence Watch
United Press International, 21 December 2005

"Ukrainian Prime Minister Yuri Yekhanurov and his Polish counterpart Kazimerz Marcinkiwicz signed in Warsaw on Thursday a declaration on finishing the construction of the oil pipeline 'Odessa-Brody' to Plock (Poland), the press service of the Ukrainian prime minister reported on Friday. 'We want to implement this project to the end,' Marcinkiwicz told journalists after the signing of the declaration, the economic news agency PRIME-TASS reports. According to the Polish premier, during the coming three months, profile ministries will prepare specific proposals, including data on the project self-repayment. As he added, the issue of providing lands for the construction of the section Brody-Plock is a technical one and won’t complicate the implementation of the project. Yekhanurov, in his turn, assured that within 90 days, the Ukrainian side could begin using the oil pipeline Odessa-Brody, which is now used for pumping Russian oil, according to the direct destination."
Uraine, Poland PMs sign declaration on oil pipeline
Itar-Tass, 17 February 2006

"Prime Minister Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz said Thursday that work on the extension of the Odessa-Brody Ukrainian oil pipeline to Plock in central Poland would be speeded up... The new pipeline would transport crude from the Caspian Sea oilfields to Ukraine, Poland and possibly western Europe, thus allowing greater diversification of supply sources and making Poland less dependent on Russian supplies."
Work on Odessa-Brody-Plock oil pipeline to pick up speed
EuroPap, 16 February 2006

"Hizb-ut-Tahrir was established in the United Kingdom by Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed, who joined the party as a teenager in Lebanon during the early 1970s. He also created another organization that aims to create a global Islamic Caliphate, Al Muhajiroun ('The Emigrants,' a name he has said 'refers to the early followers of the Prophet Muhammad.'), which he has led from an office in London. Al Muhajiroun, the Sheikh has said, was established in Mecca but launched publicly in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, with 40 founding members on March 3, 1983, a date chosen because it was 'the 59th anniversary of the destruction of the Ottoman Caliphate.' Expelled from Saudi Arabia for radical political activity, the Sheikh arrived in Great Britain on January 14, 1986. He soon began to establish both Al Muhajiroun and Hizb ut-Tahrir on fertile British soil.... The Sheikh in 1999 became chief sponsor in Great Britain for the International Islamic Front (IIF), a group persuading and assisting young British Muslims to undergo 'guns and live ammunition' combat training and then go overseas to fight Jihad ('Holy War) in Chechnya and the Balkans."
Islamists Down Under
FrontPage Magazine, 24 April 2006

"Media freedom in Russia came under scrutiny yesterday when it emerged that the Government had forced scores of radio stations to stop broadcasting news from the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.... Radio Liberty is thought to have angered the Kremlin last year after it interviewed Shamil Basayev, the Chechen warlord who claimed responsibility for the Beslan school siege."
Voice of America bulletins are forced off the air
London Times, 8 July 2006

"There is now growing acknowledgement in the international intelligence community that Britain has operated within the framework of a 'Covenant of Security' with these networks.... But even this doesn’t fully explain the phenomenon at stake.... The failure of the authorities to act can only be explained in light of the fact these extremist networks were not only tolerated, but were actively protected due to their utility to British foreign policy objectives in the Balkans and elsewhere. "
Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed
7/7: The British Terror Paradigm
Media Monitors Network, 14 July 2006

"Aswat, who used to be Osama bin Laden’s bodyguard, was believed by both British and US investigators to have been the key senior al-Qaeda operative who masterminded the London bombings..... Khan and his colleagues were reportedly members of al-Muhajiroun.... Why is the [British] government downplaying these issues? ......  American and French intelligence officials confirm that Aswat and his colleagues, Abu Hamza and Omar Bakri, were all used in an MI6 operation to recruit British Muslims to fight in Kosovo in the 1990s... The failure of the authorities to act can only be explained in light of the fact these extremist networks were not only tolerated, but were actively protected due to their utility to British foreign policy objectives in the Balkans and elsewhere. The danger is that the government’s overwhelming imperative to conceal these policies from the public are compromising the integrity of the [7/7] criminal investigation. Many of these networks in the UK remain intact. People associated with Bakri and other UK-based operatives linked to terrorism whom I identify in my writing, and who by their own admission have undergone terrorist training and are willing to carry out attacks inside the UK, have not been pursued.... These networks are closely associated with the UK-based operatives linked to the London bombings. For example, in the summer of 2000, Yousef Bodanksy, former Director of the [US] Congressional Task Force on Terrorism, reported that US and British intelligence had held a formal meeting hosted by Azerbaijan to discuss the supply of arms and funds to al-Qaeda mercenaries in the Caucasus, Central Asia and the Middle East. "
Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed
7/7: The British Terror Paradigm
Media Monitors Network, 14 July 2006

Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed is Executive Director of the Institute for Policy Research & Development, London, United Kingdom. He teaches courses in political theory, international relations and contemporary history at the School of Social Sciences and Cultural Studies, University of Sussex, Brighton, United Kingdom. He is the author of 'The London Bombings: An Independent Inquiry'

"The modus operandi, as illustrated in the lives of the London bombers, is simple. Young Muslims fall out of mainstream society and become alienated from their parents and 'stuffy' Islamic culture. Often they turn to petty crime, as did Hussain and Tanweer. Though neither served prison sentences, it is often there, or by associating with low-level criminals, that they get in touch with extremists. Indeed, it was in prison that Richard Reid, the British shoe bomber, met Islamic terrorists, converting to their faith as he did his time. Websites and satellite television channels supply images and incendiary rhetoric from any location on Earth where Muslims are fighting non-Muslims. Once Chechnya was the battlefield of choice for armchair viewing; now Iraq is the focus. Some of these radicals come into contact with veterans of wars or of the Afghan camps, and it is under their influence that fanaticism becomes terrorism.... It was in the maze of red-brick back-to-backs of Beeston, a short drive from Leeds city centre, that Hussain, Tanweer and Khan all became connected. The two younger men were childhood friends who later fell heavily under Khan's influence. But it was in a backstreet bookshop that the trio 'turned religious' about four years ago, says one friend. Their conversion, he claims, coincided with the opening of Iqra, an Islamic bookshop, in Beeston. 'I think the shop is innocent,' the friend says, 'but I think it sold under-the-counter stuff, videos of what was happening in Bosnia, Iraq and Chechnya. Stuff the television could not show. Rapes, murders, mutilation, all saying: 'Look what is happening to your Muslim brothers and sisters.' You see that and you start to get angry. That was the beginning.' The 29-year-old, who refused to give his name, added: 'From that, you feel you want to learn more about religion, about your Muslim brothers and sisters around the world getting murdered.'"
The path to mass murder
Daily Telegraph, 17 July 2006

"The only man convicted in connection with the 9/11 terrorist attacks began plotting the downfall of western society from the austere surroundings of the British Library. Newly released court papers reveal the most detailed account yet of the life of Zacarias Moussaoui, who was once dubbed the '20th hijacker', during his nine years in London.... The evidence, some of which has been declassified for the first time, also confirms that Ramzi Binalshibh, one of the planners of the 9/11 atrocity, flew to London from Germany in December 2000 to meet Moussaoui....Another document, written by an FBI agent before the attacks on New York and Washington, accuses Omar Bakri Mohammed, the radical preacher now barred from Britain, of sending his Al-Muhajiroun supporters to flight training schools in America..... The library confirmed this weekend that Moussaoui was issued with a five-year pass in 1994 after he had enrolled on a master’s degree course in international business at South Bank University. Although Special Branch officers are believed to have made inquiries about his dealings with the library, the books he read there remain a mystery. What is certain, however, is that by the time Moussaoui’s pass expired in July 1999 he was a hardened extremist who had already travelled to Afghanistan and Chechnya to fight with the mujaheddin..... ”
British Library quest of 9/11 plotter
Sunday Times, 6 August 2006

"The Ukrainian and Polish premiers said Wednesday that Ukraine's Odessa-Brody pipeline should be extended to the Polish city of Plock and carry Caspian Sea oil to Poland and Europe, a move that could help lessen the continent's reliance on Russian oil. 'One of the most important projects is to construct the Odessa-Brody-Plock pipeline. We see how to do it and we have the intention to work together in this direction,' Ukraine's Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych said at a joint news conference with his Polish counterpart Jaroslaw Kaczynski. Ukraine has been debating how to use the pipeline for years, with Russia lobbying for it to pump Russian oil in the opposite direction — to the Black Sea port of Odessa for further transport to western markets through Turkey's Bosporus. Western-leaning Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko and the United States have favored using it to pump Caspian oil from other ex-Soviet republics. Kaczynski, who arrived in Kiev for a two-day visit, echoed Yanukovych and said there is sufficient financial support to complete the project... During Kaczynski's meeting with Yushchenko later Wednesday, they called for a quick extension of Odessa-Brody pipeline to Plock, saying it should be a priority in bilateral relations.Yanukovych, who lost to Yushchenko in a 2004 presidential vote following the Orange Revolution but returned to the country's No. 2 job in August, has made improving frayed ties with Moscow a priority."
Ukrainian, Polish premiers urge extension of Odessa-Brody pipeline to Poland
Associated Press, 15 November 2006

What is the significance of the Odessa-Brody-Plock pipeline? - Click Here

"The presidents of Poland and Ukraine have announced plans to build a pipeline which would reduce their dependency on Russian oil. Speaking after talks with Viktor Yushchenko, Poland's Lech Kaczynski said both nations were committed to the extension of the Odessa-Brody pipeline. The pair said they hoped to hold an energy summit in May, with Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Georgia joining in. Both Poland and Ukraine are heavily dependent on Russian oil imports. Mr Yushchenko expressed hopes that the European Union would co-finance the project, but said he counted mostly on the backing of international oil companies. He also voiced his support for the creation of a pipeline energy corridor connecting Asia and Europe. If the plans go ahead, the Odessa-Brody pipeline, currently 670km (410 miles) long, would be extended to Plock, which is home to Poland's main refinery, PKN Orlen. Orlen currently relies entirely on Russian oil supplies. The extension of the Odessa-Brody pipeline could help bring Caspian oil to Poland, thus bypassing the Russian supplier."
Poland and Ukraine make oil plans
BBC Online, 7 March 2007

"The conflict that has erupted in the Caucasus has set alarm bells ringing because of Georgia's pivotal role in the global energy market. Georgia has no significant oil or gas reserves of its own but it is a key transit point for oil from the Caspian and central Asia destined for Europe and the US. Crucially, it is the only practical route from this increasingly important producer region that avoids both Russia and Iran. The 1,770km (1,100 miles) Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, which entered service only last year, pumps up to 1 million barrels of oil per day from Baku in Azerbaijan to Yumurtalik, Turkey, where it is loaded on to supertankers for delivery to Europe and the US. Around 249km of the route passes through Georgia, with parts running only 55km from South Ossetia. The security of the BTC pipeline, depicted in the James Bond film The World is Not Enough, has been a primary concern since before its construction. The first major attack on the pipeline took place only last week - not in Georgia but in Turkey where part of it was destroyed by PKK separatist rebels. Output from the pipeline, which is 30 per cent owned by BP and carries more than 1 per cent of the world's supply, is likely to be on hold for several weeks while the fire is extinguished and the damage repaired. But the threat of another attack by separatists in Georgia itself is very real. Only a few days before the Turkish explosion, Georgian separatists threatened to sabotage the pipeline if hostilities continued. The latest eruption of violence could easily spur fresh attacks. The BTC pipeline, which is buried throughout most of its length to make sabotage more difficult, was a politically highly charged project. It was firmly opposed by Russia, which views the Caucasus as its own sphere of influence and wants central Asian oil to be exported via its own territory. Russia also backs the South Ossetian and Abkhazian separatists in Georgia and relations between Moscow and Tbilisi have curdled into outright hostility in recent months. The BTC pipeline, which cost $3 billion to build, is a key plank of US foreign policy because it reduces Western reliance on oil from both the Middle East and Russia."
Energy pipeline that supplies West threatened by war Georgia conflict
London Times, 8 August 2008

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"The giant Russian energy company, Gazprom, which controls the world's largest reserves of natural gas, has issued a stark warning to the European Union saying it must decide if it wants to continue receiving supplies of Russian gas. Speaking in an interview for the BBC's Newsnight programme, Gazprom deputy chairman Alexander Medvedev warned that Europe was now at a crossroads. 'Only three countries can be suppliers of pipeline gas in the long-term - Russia, Iran and Qatar. So there is no other choice than to deal with these suppliers,' he said. 'Europe should decide how to handle this situation… and if Europe doesn't need our gas, then we will find a way of selling it differently.' The threat comes as the EU scrambles to find alternative energy suppliers following the crisis in January, when Russia shut down the main pipeline into Europe for two weeks in a price dispute with the key transit country, Ukraine. The EU currently relies on Russia for a quarter of its total gas supplies. Of the bloc's 27 member states, seven are almost totally dependent on Russian gas....But is it already too late for Bulgaria and Europe as a whole to escape the addiction to Russian gas?  It is now a vital issue for the EU and it is leading to increasing friction with Moscow in what being described as a new 'Great Game' between Russia and the West over energy supplies. Gazprom is already manoeuvring cleverly in this game, pushing ahead with highly ambitious plans which would strengthen its hold over Europe. Despite the sharp fall in oil and gas prices which have hit Gazprom hard, the company is determined to build two new pipelines to Europe at a total cost of at least $20bn (£12.5bn)....The first pipeline, called Nord Stream, would go from western Russia under the Baltic Sea to Germany, while the second, called South Stream, would go from Russia's south coast under the Black Sea to Bulgaria, eventually ending up in Italy. Gazprom wants to pump gas under the sea directly to Europe so it can avoid transit countries such as Ukraine which lie along the existing land routes. It argues this will improve Europe's energy security. But it will also give Russia the ability to pump much more gas to Europe. Mr Medvedev of Gazprom believes that by 2020, Russia's share of the European gas market will increase from 26% to 33% 'because local production is going down and demand is increasing'...While the Commission seems unconcerned by the long-term implications of Nord Stream, there is real worry about Gazprom's other big pipeline project, South Stream. No construction work has begun on it yet, but Gazprom insists feasibility studies will be completed this year and the pipeline will be built across the Black Sea to Bulgaria and into the heart of Europe by 2015. For Europe this could spell disaster. It could kill off one of its most important schemes for breaking away from its dependency on Russia. For five years, the EU has been pushing for a pipeline to be built from the Caspian region to Austria which would carry gas from Central Asia, the Caucasus and Middle East. Crucially, the pipeline called Nabucco would not go across any Russian territory. But like South Stream it would enter Europe via Bulgaria and possibly use several of the same European transit countries. There are serious doubts that both Nabucco and South Stream are viable. One European Commission official told the BBC that there was now a 'war of gas pipelines' going on with Russia, with 'harsh competition as each side tries to gather support for its plans'....And Moscow itself is now openly saying that competition for energy supplies in areas including Central Asia and the Caspian Sea could lead to military conflicts along its borders over the next decade. A security strategy document, published in May, was signed by the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev."
Energy fuels new 'Great Game' in Europe
BBC Online, 9 June 2009

"On one side are Muslim extremists who want to break away from Moscow’s rule and set up an Islamic state. On the other are the Kremlin-backed forces hell-bent on stopping them. Caught in the middle are countless civilians. It is unreported in Russia and virtually unnoticed by the rest of the world. Yet just five months after the long war in Chechnya was officially declared to be at an end, the northern Caucasus has seen a big upsurge in violence. Five hundred people have been killed so far this year, double last year’s toll. It has become the Kremlin’s most pressing problem after the economic crisis....In Dagestan, home to more than 50 ethnic groups, clan warfare and bitter political rivalries have compounded internal conflict. The interior minister responsible for security, Adilgerei Magomedtagirov, was killed by a sniper as he attended a wedding in June. Two dozen policemen have been murdered in the past year. Russian special forces carry out almost daily raids against those they suspect of being Islamic terrorists."
Dirty war rages on Russia's doorstep
Sunday Times, 20 September 2009

"The controversial Kremlin-backed president of Chechnya claims that militants in the violence-plagued Russian province are backed by U.S. and British intelligence agencies. Ramzan Kadyrov's remark was probably the bluntest claim by a Russian official that insurgents in the restive North Caucasus have Western support. Western officials have dismissed such assertions as nonsense. A statement from Kadyrov's office Wednesday quoted him as suggesting that Western-backed mercenaries are fighting the government in Chechnya. It quotes him as saying, 'We are fighting in the mountains with the American and English special services.' Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin suggested during his presidency that the West was encouraging unrest in the North Caucasus."
Chechen Leader Claims US, Britain Back Rebels
Associated Press, 23 September 2009

"The Kremlin-backed chief of Russia's turbulent Chechnya region said his forces were fighting U.S. and British intelligence services who want to split the country apart, according to an interview published on Thursday. Former rebel-turned-Moscow-ally Ramzan Kadyrov said in comments to Zavtra newspaper reprinted on his official website that he had seen the U.S. driving licence of a CIA operative who was killed in a security operation he led. Chechen authorities have previously said insurgents following the radical Wahabist form of Islam receive support from international Islamist groups sympathetic to al-Qaeda, but have not accused the West of instigating violence. 'We're fighting in the mountains with the American and English intelligence agencies. They are fighting not against Kadyrov, not against traditional Islam, they are fighting against the sovereign Russian state,' he said. The West sought to attack both Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and the country as a whole by targeting the country's weakest regions, Kadyrov said in the comments republished prominently on www.chechnya.gov.ru. Kadyrov was appointed by Moscow as a bulwark against separatist rebels in the mainly Muslim province, but rights activists say he flouts federal laws and is himself responsible for much of the violence that has grown in recent months. 'The West is interested to cut off the Caucasus from Russia. The Caucasus - a strategic frontier of Russia. If they take away the Caucasus from Russia, it's like taking away half of Russia.' Many Chechens have emigrated to Europe, Turkey, and Georgia and some have been recruited as insurgents, said Kadyrov. 'Now they strike a blow against Putin and Russia. Chechnya, Dagestan are weak, vulnerable parts of the Russian state,' Kadyrov said, referring to the neighbouring region, which has also been rocked by violence. Asked if he was saying there were signs of CIA and MI6 participation in the violence, he said 'Of course', he had seen evidence of their direct involvement in an operation he led. 'There was a terrorist Chitigov, he worked for the CIA. He had U.S. citizenship...When we killed him, I was in charge of the operation and we found a U.S. driving licence and all the other documents were also American,' he said."
Russia's Chechen chief blames CIA for violence
Reuters, 24 September 2009

"Asked by the interviewer, Zavtra editor in chief Alexander Prokhanov, why the security situation in the North Caucasus has worsened lately, Kadyrov said that the security bodies in Ingushetia and Dagestan have not been operating effectively. He also said that rebels in the region are 'given narcotics tablets,' turned into zombies, after which they go 'to blow themselves up,' and that 'the hand of the West' is behind all of this. Kadyrov insisted that the rebels in the North Caucasus receive little aid from the 'Muslim world' and that all of their weapons come from Soviet stockpiles in Georgia and Azerbaijan. 'The West is interested in severing the Caucasus from Russia,' Kadyrov told Prokhanov. 'The Caucasus is Russia's strategic frontier. If they take away the Caucasus from Russia it's like taking away half of Russia. In their time, the Americans created Bin Laden, taught him the art of terrorism. Now they are blanketing us with groups of foreigners. These are not ‘freedom fighters' - these are brilliantly trained terrorists. We are fighting in the mountains with the American and English special services. They are fighting not against Kadyrov, not against traditional Islam; they are fighting against the sovereign Russian state. Putin united Russia, pulled it out of chaos, sent off [the Russia tycoons] Berezovsky, Gusinsky, Khodorkovsky. He took away everything from them. Do you think they forgave him? Now a new blow is being struck against Putin, against Russia. Chechnya, Dagestan -they are weak, vulnerable links in the Russian state.' Kadyrov noted that many Chechens emigrated to Europe, Turkey and Georgia. 'It is precisely from these [people] that terrorists are being recruited [and] being sent to us,' he said, adding that they will not succeed and that only a month or a month and a half more is needed to 'smash' the rebels. 'We will not give our territory to the Americans,' Kadyrov said. Asked by Prokhanov if he meant that he had found 'traces' of the CIA and MI6, Kadyrov answered: 'Of course.' The Chechen president added: 'There was a terrorist Chitigov, he worked for the CIA. He had U.S. citizenship. He was a brigadier general under Khattab [the late Arab commander of Chechen rebel forces-EDM]. When we killed him -I was in charge of the operation then- we found a U.S. driving license on him and all the other documents were also American' (www.zavtra.ru, September 23)."
Kadyrov: the West is Behind the North Caucasus Insurgency
Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 6 Issue: 176

"Almost every month for the past two years, Chechen suicide bombers have struck. Their targets can be anything from Russian soldiers to Chechen police officers to the innocent civilians who were killed on the subway in Moscow this week. We all know the horror that people willing to kill themselves can inflict. But do we really understand what drives young women and men to strap explosives on their bodies and deliberately kill themselves in order to murder dozens of people going about their daily lives? Chechen suicide attackers do not fit popular stereotypes, contrary to the Russian government’s efforts to pigeonhole them. For years, Moscow has routinely portrayed Chechen bombers as Islamic extremists, many of them foreign, who want to make Islam the world’s dominant religion. Yet however much Russia may want to convince the West that this battle is part of a global war on terrorism, the facts about who becomes a Chechen suicide attacker — male or female — reveal otherwise. The three of us, in our work for the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism, have analyzed every Chechen suicide attack since they began in 2000, 42 separate incidents involving 63 people who killed themselves. Many Chechen separatists are Muslim, but few of the suicide bombers profess religious motives. The majority are male, but a huge fraction — over 40 percent — are women. Although foreign suicide attackers are not unheard of in Chechnya, of the 42 for whom we can determine place of birth, 38 were from the Caucasus. Something is driving Chechen suicide bombers, but it is hardly global jihad. As we have discovered in our research on Lebanon, the West Bank, Iraq, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and elsewhere, suicide terrorist campaigns are almost always a last resort against foreign military occupation. Chechnya is a powerful demonstration of this phenomenon at work. In the 1990s, the rebels kicked out tens of thousands of Russian troops who had been sent to the region to prevent Chechnya, a republic within the Russian Federation, from declaring independence. In 1999, the Russians came back — this time with more than 90,000 troops — and waged a well-documented scorched-earth campaign, killing an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 civilians out of a population of about 1 million. Ordinary guerrilla tactics and hostage-taking — the keys to ousting the Russians the first time — now got the rebels nowhere. New tactics were employed and women were central from the start. On June 7, 2000, two Chechen women, Khava Barayeva and Luiza Magomadova, drove a truck laden with explosives into a Russian special forces building in Alkhan-Yurt, Chechnya; while the Russians insist only two soldiers were killed, the Chechen rebel claim of more than two dozen fatalities seems more likely. This was the first Chechen suicide attack and showed the many advantages of female suicide bombers. They were deadly, as Chechen female attackers generally are, killing an average of 21 people per attack compared to 13 for males. Perhaps far more important, they could inspire others to follow in their footsteps, women and men alike. Ms. Barayeva made a martyr video, as many suicide bombers do before their attacks. While warning Russia that she was attacking for Chechen independence, she also directed a powerful message clearly meant to provoke men to make similar sacrifices out of a sense of honor. She pleaded for Chechen men to 'not take the woman’s role by staying at home'; so far, 32 men have answered her call. Just as important, Ms. Barayeva is considered responsible for inspiring a movement of 'black widows' — women who have lost a husband, child or close relative to the 'occupation' and killed themselves on missions to even the score. In total, 24 Chechen females ranging in age from 15 to 37 have carried out suicide attacks, including the most deadly — the coordinated bombings of two passenger flights in August 2004 that caused 90 deaths and (according to Russian authorities) the subway blasts on Monday that killed nearly 40. The bombers’ motives spring directly from their experiences with Russian troops, according to Abu al-Walid, a rebel leader who was killed in 2004. 'These women, particularly the wives of the mujahedeen who were martyred, are being threatened in their homes, their honor [is] being threatened,' he explained in a video that appeared on Al Jazeera. 'They do not accept being humiliated and living under occupation.'... Chechen suicide terrorism is strongly motivated by both direct military occupation by Russia and by indirect military occupation by pro-Russia Chechen security forces.”
ROBERT A. PAPE, LINDSEY O'ROURKE and JENNA McDERMIT
What Makes Chechen Women So Dangerous?

New York Times, 31 March 2010

"Russia achieved an important strategic ambition yesterday by striking a deal to keep its Black Sea Fleet in Ukraine until the middle of this century. President Medvedev said that the fleet would remain at its port in Sevastopol for 25 years after its present lease expires in 2017, following talks with Viktor Yanukovych, his Ukrainian counterpart. The agreement allows a further five-year extension to 2047. In return, Ukraine will receive a 30 per cent discount on the price of gas imported from Russia. President Yanukovych said that the concession amounted to $40 billion (£26 billion) in Russian aid over the next decade. The deal is a triumph for the Kremlin two months after the election of the pro-Russian Mr Yanukovych ended Ukraine’s Western-leaning Orange revolution. His predecessor, Viktor Yushchenko, had insisted on closing the base when the lease ended."
Moscow buys sea power with Ukraine gas deal
London Times, 22 April 2010

"It is as if the Orange Revolution never happened. In a breathless few weeks since he came to power, President Yanukovych has undone almost all of the pro-Western policies of his predecessor, Viktor Yushchenko. The pro-Russian leader has been love-bombed by President Medvedev and Vladimir Putin, the Prime Minister, as the Kremlin has taken advantage of American indifference and European Union ineptitude to restore its dominance in Kiev. Mr Yanukovych had ditched aspirations to join Nato before handing Russia’s Black Sea Fleet a 30-year extension on its lease that leaves it secure in Sevastopol until 2047. As opposition wrath filled Ukraine’s parliament with smoke and smashed eggs, he was at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg renouncing another key Yushchenko policy. He declared that the famine that killed millions of Ukrainians in the 1930s was not genocide perpetrated by the Soviet Union but a 'shared tragedy' with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan at the hands of Joseph Stalin. Ukraine depends entirely on Russia for its gas, which it will now get at a discount, and Mr Putin has proposed a merger of their nuclear industries into a shared company as well as joint ventures in shipbuilding and aircraft construction. This is music to the ears of supporters of Mr Yanukovych’s Party of Regions in his Russian-speaking strongholds in the east and south of Ukraine. But it confirms the worst fears of nationalists in western Ukraine, who voted overwhelmingly against him in February’s presidential election. Opposition moves against Mr Yanukovych’s policies threaten to deepen a geographical divide that could mean that western Ukraine rejects him as its president. The EU’s vaunted new foreign policy 'reach' is proving illusory in the rush by individual member states to cut energy deals with Mr Putin. He told a press conference with the Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on Monday that Italian companies had received $2 billion in contracts to build the Nord Stream gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, while France’s EDF would have a 20 per cent stake in the South Stream project that will carry energy to Europe under the Black Sea. Both bypass Ukraine’s pipelines, crushing earnings from transit fees and making the country even more dependent on Moscow."
Kremlin fills the void left by an indifferent America and inept EU
London Times, 28 April 2010

"Ukraine Thursday formally buried pursuit of NATO membership as an aim, its foreign minister declaring the issue had been taken off the policy agenda. It was the most clear-cut statement by the new leadership of President Viktor Yanukovich that the issue was a dead letter in Ukraine for the conceivable future. 'Ukraine will continue developing its relations with the alliance, but the question of membership is now being removed from the agenda,' the foreign minister, Kostyantyn Gryshchenko, was quoted by Interfax news agency as saying."
Ukraine drops NATO membership aim
Reuters, 27 May 2010

"The shootings and bombings in Ingushetia and Dagestan this week rekindled a long-standing, brutal campaign of violence and terrorism in Russia’s Caucasus region – one that has seen more than its share of terror stretching back to the Chechen 'rebellion' of the 1990s. .... The complex network of terrorist organizations that operate under the banners of 'separatism' and 'independence' for the Caucasus region, has been at the center of the destabilization of Russia for the last two decades. Within hours of the deadly attacks, the Kavkaz Center – an organization known to be the propaganda mouthpiece of terrorist leader Doku Umarov – released an article characterizing the attacks as heroic acts and referring to the dead as 'Russian puppets.' Though this would seem to be not in keeping with the Center’s stated mission 'to provide reporting of events…and assistance of journalistic work in the Caucasus,' this is, in fact, very much par for the course for an organization that is funded by the US State Department and Finland’s Foreign Ministry. Kavkaz Center has a long track record of supporting and legitimizing terrorist actions throughout the region, rationalizing atrocities committed in the name of 'resistance.' In fact, Kavkaz engages in perpetual upside-down logic, referring to Russians as 'terrorists' and terrorists as 'heroes.' ....  it is essential to note that Emarat Kavkaz (Umarov’s terrorist organization translated as 'Caucasus Emirate') has been listed by the United Nations as an organization associated with Al-Qaida. Kavkaz Center has been described by Umarov himself as 'the official information organ of the Emarat Kavkaz.' This, of course, supports the claims made repeatedly by Moscow of the connection between Chechen and other extremists in the region and Al Qaida, a claim which, until recently, Kavkaz Center continued to deny. Despite the fact that organs such as Kavkaz Center operate in the service of terrorists who advocate the destruction of Russia, their activity alone is not altogether significant if seen in a vacuum. Rather, it is the association of these types of individuals and organizations with the US State Department and US intelligence that makes them particularly insidious. One such entity that bears scrutiny is the American Committee for Peace in the Caucasus (ACPC), previously known as the American Committee for Peace in Chechnya. As reported by Right Web at the Institute for Policy Studies, 'The ACPC was founded in 1999 by Freedom House, a neoconservative organization that has worked closely with the U.S. government, receiving funds from the National Endowment for Democracy and other U.S. democratization initiatives.' This intimate relationship between the ACPC and the US State Department indicates not merely a confluence of interests, but rather a direct relationship .... The ACPC has taken the lead in championing the cause of separatism and terrorism directed toward Russia, both tacitly and overtly. After having championed the cause of former Chechen Foreign Minister Ilyas Akhmadov in his quest for asylum in the United States – subsequently granted along with a generous taxpayer-funded stipend – ACPC member Zbigniew Brzezinski went so far as to write the foreward to Akhmadov’s book The Chechen Struggle."
America's Long-standing Campaign to Destabilize Russia
Global Research, 22 August 2012

"Flanked by almost 20 men with rifles, Omar Abu al-Chechen kneels on a carpet and delivers a rousing speech urging fellow Muslims to support the 'jihad' against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Dressed almost entirely in black, the militant from Russia's Chechnya region declares an Islamist state is within reach. Fellow fighters from the brigade of foreign militants he leads translate his Russian words into Arabic. His recently distributed video highlights the role militants from the volatile North Caucasus region now play in Syria's civil war, fighting a government that has been backed by Russia and staunchly protected by President Vladimir Putin.... Syrian soldiers and analysts say there are dozens, and possibly 100, fighters in Syria from the North Caucasus, a region where militants wage daily violence to establish an Islamic state. The bloodshed there is rooted in two wars that Moscow fought with Chechen separatists after the Soviet Union's fall and these fighters could pose a security risk for Russia if they return to the North Caucasus.... One Syrian opposition source said the Chechens are the second biggest force of foreigners after Libyans who joined the Syrian uprising after overthrowing and killing Muammar Gaddafi. A rebel source said 17 fighters from the North Caucasus were killed in fighting outside Aleppo last month. Foreign fighters were also present in Chechnya's first war in the mid-1990s."
Militants from Russia's North Caucasus join 'jihad' in Syria
Reuters, 7 March 2013

"While it was speculated and discussed about what he [Alexander Litvinenko] was actually up to over the time of his death, it now comes out in public that yes, he was actually working for MI-6 earning something like 2000 pounds per month as a salary. So, he was quite a regular agent working for the Government. And also it seems he was going to work for the Spanish secret service as well..... Possibly he was involved in some activity involving arms being sold to Chechen paramilitary groups. Certainly it is an allegation I think in the UK but it seems there might be some truth in it. And one of the reasons that seems to be also possible is that just before he died, he converted to Islam and I believe he was buried under Muslim law.... So, I think you wouldn’t do that I think if you are about to die unless you had some sort of firm connection with Islamic culture."
Michael John Smith, former British Soviet spy
Litvinenko converted to Islam and was buried under Muslim law – interview
Voice of Russia, 29 December 2012


Rogue State Britain
MI6 As Agent For Big Oil
The Hidden Powers Behind British Foreign Policy

John Scarlett's Evil Empire
www.nlpwessex.org/docs/watscarlett.htm
AdditionalAllegations Emerge About Post Cold-War
MI6-BP Sponsored Coup D'Etat In Azerbaijan

"Something funny happened the day before Azerbaijan's presidential election: The election commission announced the winner. On Tuesday, a day before the voting began, the smartphone app of the Central Election Commission released results showing President Ilham Aliyev, whose family has been at the helm of the Caspian Sea nation for four decades, winning 73 per cent of the vote. On Wednesday, the commission said Aliyev had won 85 per cent of the vote. His closest contender, Jamil Hasanli, trailed with six per cent, it said. The commission apologized for the early result on Thursday, saying it was only a test at one polling station conducted by the software developer. It expressed 'deep regret' for the 'misunderstanding.' International monitors said Thursday that the vote that kept the dynasty in power was marred by violations."
Azerbaijan announces election winner 1 day before vote
Associated Press, 10 October 2013


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