“More Beslan-Type Operations”

Chechens ‘Vow Beslan-Type Attacks’ (AP)

Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev, who claimed responsibility for last year’s brutal terrorist attack on a Russian school, was quoted as saying Thursday that the separatist rebels are planning more such operations.

In an interview with Channel 4 News to be broadcast Thursday night, part of which was quoted in Thursday’s Times of London newspaper, Basayev expressed regret for the hundreds of deaths in the June hostage-taking attack on the school in the Russian town of Beslan.

But he blamed some of the deaths on flame-throwers used by Russian special forces who attacked the school to end the siege. He said that action, not explosives set by the hostage-takers, had caused the roof of the school gym to collapse.

“We are planning more Beslan-type operations in the future because we are forced to do so,” the Times quoted Basayev as saying.

This story is troubling on the terrorism as well as the political front. After the school tragedy, Vladimir Putin exploited fears and increased authoritarianism to the point where Freedom House downgraded Russia’s rating to “not free.” He may now feel further justified in usurping power. And it probably doesn’t help matters that Ukraine has been leaning westward as expected, thereby exacerbating Russian insecurities.

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Robert Garcia Tagorda
About Robert Garcia Tagorda
Robert blogged prolifically at OTB from November 2004 to August 2005, when career demands took him in a different direction. He graduated summa cum laude from Claremont McKenna College with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics and earned his Master in Public Policy from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.


  1. Ronald Omen says:

    Just think what if:
    1) Russian “Pravda” newspaper published interview with a famous freedom fighter Mr Osama Ben-Laden
    2) Comrade Ivan wrote: “ Now that the Respected Freedom-fighter used a bit too strong language (of course justified by the imperialist plots against freedom loving Jihad fighters), Mr Bush and Mr Blair will use it to exploit fears and increase authoritarianism to the point where Red Freedom House downgraded USA’s rating to “not free, capitalist pigs.”

    Open your eyes! Terrorists are terrorists are terrorists. WE ALL will lose if the West will continue to pretend that “their” terrorists are real and should be killed, but Chechens and Palestinians are poor oppressed minorities, a bit exaggerating in their fight against the blood-thirsty oppressors, and therefore we should negotiate and be flexible…

    Regarding the freedom of press:

    Do you agree to make such an experiment:
    You write your vision of oppression of freedom in Russia, claim that Mr Putin is Dictator, describe the cruelty in the Russian fight against the “nationalist fighters” in Chechnya, etc.

    I will write (as I repeatedly tried!!!!) about my (almost opposite ) views.

    We will send it to 10 major newspapers in Russia and USA (or UK, or Australia, it doesn’t matter).

    I’ll pay you $100 for each of my letters fully published (in the West). Will you risk your money for YOUR letters published in Russia?

    Are you still so convinced that there is more media freedom in the West?

    Ronald Omen