The Boston Marathon bombing has focused America’s attention on Chechnya, a small mountainous country of 1.2 million people in the North Caucasus near the Caspian Sea. As our companion article points out, current and former U.S. government officials, as well as media commentators and so-called terrorism experts, have been making many statements claiming that the Boston terror attack is intimately linked to the ongoing series of terror attacks that have been plaguing Russia for the past decade and a half. All are the work, it is alleged, of Chechen Islamic jihadists demanding independence and an end to Russian occupation of Chechnya.
Many of the stories in the American press have mentioned some of the more spectacular terrorist incidents in Russia that are routinely attributed to Chechen terrorists: the 1999 bombings of a shopping mall and apartment buildings; the 2002 siege of Moscow’s Dubrovka Theater; and the 2004 Beslan school massacre. These and other terror attacks, we are being told, demonstrate that Russia and the United States are facing the same vicious enemy and we must put aside our differences and unite against the common foe.
However, what do the known facts from the cited terror cases in Russia actually show? As we have reported in The New American repeatedly over the past decade (in print and online), the accumulated evidence very convincingly demonstrates that the sensational terror attacks, rather than being the work of Chechen terrorists, were actually “false flag” operations of the Russian intelligence services, the FSB and GRU, designed to serve multiple purposes of the Yeltsin-Putin Kremlin rulers. Those purposes included:
• Covering up and diverting attention from the rampant corruption and massive theft of national wealth by Yeltsin, his family, and his cronies, which was becoming impossible to conceal, both from the Russian people as well as foreign governments, journalists and investors;
• Installing an unknown KGB-FSB operative (Vladimir Putin) and providing him with a “cause” that would build his stature and rally public support around him;
• Providing Putin and the Kremlin leaders with an excuse to make war on Chechnya and focus Russian public attention on an external threat;
• Casting Russia as a victim of terror groups, to encourage the United States and Western Europe to cooperate and converge with Moscow on fighting a common global terror threat.
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Photo of Moscow apartment building destroyed by explosion blamed on Chechens, Sept. 8, 1999: AP Images