TCS Daily


Europe's Chechen Blind Spot

By Constantin Gurdgiev - November 1, 2005 12:00 AM

In late October, while the European Parliament was debating new proposals for anti-terror cooperation and legislation within Europe, the UK website kavkazccenter.co.uk and its affiliates in Germany and Belgium posted a statement from the Chechen "Commander in Chief", Shamil Basayev, claiming responsibility for the latest bloodshed in Russia.

The Kavkaz-Center, via its website kavkazcenter.com, is a de facto mouthpiece of the so-called Government of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria in the EU. It represents terrorist organizations in Chechnya under the aegis of toleration of European governments and the tacit support of the EU's media. The website claims that it is a "Chechen independent international Islamic Internet agency". Despite mounting evidence that the Center operates as a mouthpiece of the murderous terrorist organizations in the North Caucasus, the likes of BBC and other major European news agencies readily link their reports on Chechnya to the Center website.

According to the website, the Agency aims to "bring to the world community the truthful information about the war, war crimes, the facts of genocide of the whole nation by the invading state and the position of the defending side -- the Chechen Mujahideen".

Consider some of the recent attempts made at fulfilling this mandate.

On October 17, the website reported a "statement from Military Amir Abdallah Shamil Abu-Idris (Shamil Basayev) on results of the assault operation in Nalchik on 13 October, 2005". The so-called "operation" comprised a terrorist takeover of several civilian and administrative buildings in a regional centre of an Autonomous Republic near Chechnya.

"Bismillahi-Rahmani-Rahim! (In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful!). Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, Who made us Muslims and blessed us with Jihad on His Straight Path!", raved self-appointed Amir. The letter proceeded to describe the "glorious" deeds of Allah's warriors that left some 106 civilians and police personnel dead. The statement is peppered with the terms "kafirs" -- unfaithful to Islam -- and "minafiqs" -- a misspelled term munafiq -- as describing Muslim and Christian civilians slaughtered by the "noble Mujahideen". "Three halicopters (sic) and a few units of military hardware were destroyed, war booty captured."

The terrorist warlord went on to describe the Mujahideen losses:

"Our casulties (sic) -- 41 Shaheeds, insha Allah. For us it is greater casulties. These casulties caused bacause five days before the operation there was a serious information leakage...

"Despite of greater losses, this is a big success for us, as our dead ones in Paradise, insha Allah and their dead ones in the Hell! Unprecedented courage and heroism of our brothers in Nalchik spikes confidence and determination into us to continue struggle up to a full victory.

"Jihad, by the mercy of Allah, extends and passes to higher level of consciousness and self-sacrifice when more come of those who aspires to die on a way of the Allah more strongly than our enemies wish to live.

"And most likely this world will burn down in dark blue flame, than we shall refuse our Belief and Freedom!

"Victory or Paradise!"

This illiterate tirade deserves much attention not because of its news content, but for the simple reason that the EU and its member states like Germany and the UK support the Kavkaz-Center and the self-appointed Government of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria by allowing them to freely operate an information campaign aimed at supporting terrorist organizations in Chechnya.

Here are some of the statements made on the site:

  • The Russian version of the website, in its mission statement is calling for establishment of the totalitarian Islamic state in accordance with Sharia Law.

  • In an October 5 article titled "Legitimacy of reciprocal violence", penned by its own staff member, Akhmad Ichkeriski, Kavkaz Center stated that "...terrorism is accepted" as a counter-strategy by the weak against the strong.

· In an October 17 interview with the Chief of External Subcommittee of Informational Council, part of State Defense Council of Chechen Republic of Ichkeria (CRI), Movladi Udugov, Kavkaz Center reports that "...we are concerned with conformity of our actions to Sheriyat (and in the Chechen Republic the Sheriyat operates...)"

  • "...They [the US and Europe] are calling Basayev a criminal, with whom one can never negotiate... But it is a complete absurd and hypocrisy, which can never be accepted under any circumstances. Basayev has not committed any action that falls under the category of terrorism in time of peace. All actions of Basayev... have had exclusively defensive and retaliatory nature and have been carried out in the conditions of wartime. Nor can one consider volunteer Basayev's participation in the events in Dagestan as terrorism either, since it was a legitimate (according to the same International Law) volunteer operation in response to the call of Dagestani Muslims for help when they were being exterminated."

The references to "helping the Dagestani Muslims" are made in the context of excusing Basayev's leadership in the Beslan School massacre in September 2004 that left more than 300 children dead and saw executions of children and elderly by the Basayev's subordinates.

Some EU member states insist that the Kavkaz Center represents the forces in Chechnya that are trying to resolve the conflict through peaceful means of negotiating with the Kremlin. Here's what the Kavkaz Center-supported "Government" of Ichkerya has to say on the issue: "According to all articles of the so-called International Law (not to mention the Shariah Law), Putin is a criminal, with whom one cannot conduct any negotiations under any circumstances... It is not only the withdrawal of Russian troops that should serve as a prerequisite for negotiations with Russia, but Putin must be arrested and handed over to the Chechen law enforcement authorities."

This, in a nutshell, captures what the Kavkaz Center, freely operating within the EU, is standing for: Sharia Law for Chechnya, an Islamic state with borders extending across the whole of Caucasian Russia, impunity for terrorists and criminal warlords like Basayev, condoning of the mass murderers of civilians, including the Chechens and other Muslims who do not cooperate with the Basayev's regime.

Given the endless EU blabber about the need to prosecute terrorist organizations operating in Europe, why are the Kavkaz Center and pro-terrorist groups masquerading as bogus refugee councils allowed to sermonize their support for murderous thugs?


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