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Terrorist Attack in Moscow
   
 
 
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Terrorist Attack in Moscow

 
Tuesday, 25 January 2011 16:45
 
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by Debidatta Aurobinda Mahapatra
EPOS Insights

The terrorist attack at Domodedovo airport in Moscow on 25 January 11 can just be characterized as another inhuman act perpetrated by the terrorists. If the reports are to be believed, it is the Chechen terrorists who committed this barbarous act. The Chechen terrorist leader, Doku Umarov has claimed responsibility for this attack, and threatened more such attacks in near future. His words, “the war will come to your streets, and you will feel it in your own lives and on your own skin’’ smacks of violence not only plans and strategies but also in psychology of the disgruntled Chechen separatist leaders. The attack reportedly killed 34 innocent civilians from different nations, besides injuring more than 150 people.

Perhaps the attack and the selection of venue and time were aimed at creating disturbances and infuse fear in the Russian polity and society in a hectic year. This year Russia is going to have parliament elections, and the next year it will have the presidential elections.Domodedovo airport, one of the biggest airports in the world with modern facilities and technologies, was targeted to show that the terrorists are formidable in their designs and strategies, and also by targeting nationals from different countries, the attack probably aimed at reducing the confidence of other countries over the Russian security system.

However, the attack was nothing but another step to show how the terrorists used all kinds of violent methods to make their presence felt.

Reportedly, the terrorists, one man and one woman, came from outside and entered the arrival hall with about five kilograms of explosives in a suitcase. Before detonating the explosive device, the man shouted that ‘I will kill you all.’ The explosion instantly killed nearby people besides injury many. The aftermath of the gory incident brought nothing positive to open, but only death and destruction, loss of innocent lives. And perhaps that was the aim of the terrorists in executing the barbarous act.There cannot be any justification of such violent activities like terrorism, whether perpetrated by a small group or a large group, or even by a state.

A terrorist act is terrorist act, plain and simple. If a terrorist group, like the Chechen terrorists, shelters the ambition to buckle a might state like Russia under pressure by committing such violent activities, then this ambition is simply unfounded. There are many such terrorist groups around the world, who proclaim to espouse noble causes, as in the cases of Chechnya, Kashmir, Xinjiang, Central Asia and other parts of world, but their violent activities cuts to zero their very proclamation. Targeting innocent lives including old aged, women and children can no way be justified as a method to promote one’s objectives. If that is the method of a group, that group can be labelled as a terrorist and nothing else.

In case of Russia the situation appears protracted due to its multi-ethnic and pluralistic nature. In fact it is the case with any country having a multiethnic and pluralistic character. It is natural that in a vast and diverse country like Russia, there will be competing demands from various regions to assert their rights. There is nothing wrong in that. In a federal and pluralistic country, there can be mechanisms to address the grievances for different regions.

Perhaps keeping that in mind, the former Russian President, Boris Yeltsin had signed a special treaty with Tatarstan, another republic of Russian federation, in 1994 to address its concerns. But in case of Chechnya, the situation has become further complicated, mainly owing two factors. First, it is the impact of rising Islamic fundamentalism, and Second, the transformation of the Chechen movement from a home grown movement to an international jihadist movement. As a result, no peace mechanism worked in the case of Chechnya, and various agreements like the Khasavyurt agreement of 2006 failed to achieve any result. Hence, when in 2007 the Chechen radical leader Doku Umarov proclaimed Caucasian Caliphate, it was more motivated by these above two factors, than the genuine concerns of the local people of Chechnya.

In fact, since the last decade the Chechen movement has grown more violent, courtesy its international networks and support from international terrorist organisations. This quotation (part of the statement of Chechen terrorists during the Moscow theatre attack in 2002): “...we will take with us the lives of hundreds of sinners. If we die, others will come/follow us—our brothers and sisters who are willing to sacrifice their lives (in God's way) to liberate their nation,” shows the fundamentalist fervour and violent determination to kill innocent civilians, tragically perceived as ‘sinners.’ The Moscow theatre siege led to death of more than hundred people, and in that gorier incident of Beslan in 2004, hundreds of innocent school going children lost their lives. The Beslan incident rightly brought to the terrorists the tag of ‘child killers.’ But that did not stop the terrorist spirit to carry out devious activities. From the Domodedovo airport in 2004 two flights while on the way were blown up by Chechen terrorists, killing about 90 people. Last year in March the bomb blasts in Moscow metro killed about 40 people.

In fact this trail of death and destruction carried by terrorists pushes them away from any modicum of understanding any civil society could have sheltered for them. Multiethnic and pluralistic countries like Russia or India have suffered the terrorist menace to the hilt. The terrorists may kill some more innocent people in coming years, but that will earn them more scorn on part of the peace loving members of civil society, and further strengthen resolve of the state to fight them more resolutely.

Last modified on Wednesday, 11 July 2012 14:39
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