Terrorism in Russia Terrorism in Russia has had a long history, and has long been used by both the state and its opponents to attempt to gain political advantage. Terrorism against the ruling Czar by revolutionaries – proponents first used the term terrorists to refer to themselves Terrorism under Lenin – The Red Terror State based terrorism under Stalin Backing and supporting of terrorist organisations such as the Vietcong during the Cold War Terrorism in Chechnya (Potentially Saudi backed and supported) Islamic terrorism and Russia
Early Terrorism Under the Czars Nihilist Movement and the assassination of Czar Alexander III in 1881 Terrorism by the early Socialist Revolutionary Party against the ruling government Under the Communist Party – State Based Terrorism The Red Terror under Lenin which was to crush dissent and to destroy the hostile upper classes The Great Purge under Stalin Funding of Terrorist Groups – Vietcong, Castros guerrillas
Islamic Terrorism Chechnya Number of extremist groups in Chechnya have resorted to terrorism, both in Chechnya and in Russia, to protest what they see as an illegal invasion and occupation of their country 1999 – Russian Apartment Bombings 2002 – Russian Theatre Massacre 2004 – Russian Beslan School Hostage Crisis Both attacks led by Shamil Basayev (pictured) Various smaller terrorist attacks Groups such as Al Qaeda also present
Russian Counter Terrorism Russian counter terrorism has been accused of ruthless acts against suspected terrorist supporters, and have been involved in a number of bloody operations resulting in civilian causalities. It has been suggested that this aggressive and brutal approach to terrorism, a policy of retribution as President Putin put it, is responsible for the escalating violence in Russia.
Domodedovo Attack Domodedovo Airport, located in Moscow, is Russias busiest airport, with millions of passengers travelling through the airport yearly. The airport is also the source of a large amount of road transportation in Russia. On January 24, 2011, a suicide bombing of the airport killed 35 people and injured scores more. This presentation seeks to describe the events of this attack.
The Attack Security at an airport, especially after September 11, has been focused primarily on establishing the identity of an individual arriving, and on preventing weapons or explosives from entering an aircraft. The main security risk at airports has been seen as skyjacking, such as what occurred at September 11. Once an individual is outside the security green zone, there is no way of ensuring that he or she is unarmed and without hostile intent. The attack at Domodedovo occurred in the International Arrivals Area, which is usually crowded with arriving passengers and people greeting them. The arrival area is open to the public at most airports, with no security checkpoints to go through. Thus, the bomber was able to enter the airport undetected
The Attack At 1642 local time, the bomber detonated their explosive in the arrivals hall, killing 32 people and injuring almost 200 more. Potential other handlers involved, with a second bomber suspected in early reports. The bomb was comprised of 7 kg of TNT for use as a blast agent, with reports of shrapnel such as screws and ball bearings, used. The entire purpose of the bomb was to attack a soft target and cause maximum possible damage to the surrounding people. The bomb was in effect a large claymore mine.
The Bomber The Russian authorities announced in February that Magomed Yevloyev, a native of the Caucus region, was the suicide bomber. Powerful drugs found in the remains of the bomber Possible that his explosive vest was remotely detonated by a handler when Yevloyev hesitated 20 years old No background which suggested terrorist ties
Responsibility After the attack, it was wildly speculated as to the responsibility of these attacks. Initially thought to be Al Qaeda due to use of similar tactics in Iraq Responsibility for the attacks were later claimed by Dokku Umarov, leader of the Emirate of the North Caucasus, a Chechen insurgent and terrorist group. Umarov, a former security minister for Chechnya, is thought responsible for the Beslan School attack in 2004. He later declared himself Emir of the Caucasus Emirate in October 2007 Russian attacks in March 2011 succeeded in killing his wife and family members, but failed to kill Umarov
Aftermath President Medvedev blames inadequate security and demands an overhaul of security strategy in Russia Evidence that Russian Security was awake of the potential attacks and were tipped off before hand. Special operations attacks against Umarov, which failed to kill or capture him. The United States and other nations seek to redevelop and redesign their security policies to deal with such an attack in their own countries
International Attack This attack on Domodedovo is another example of the international reach of modern terrorism. Among the dead were British, Eastern Europeans, Russians, and other nationalities. The attack led to international condemnation by a number of Western Countries
Motives Behind the Attack Chechen based terrorism is different from organisations such as Al Qaeda, as they have a nationalistic and localised focus – namely the liberation of Chechnya from Russian control. However, recent leadership by Umarov has aligned the Chechen s more closely with Al Qaeda in that they have, in the words of Umarov declared war on the entire world and will fight wherever they believe Muslims are oppressed The attack on Russia can be motivated primarily by a desire for independence from the country.
Lessons Learned Increase in security at major transit hubs, with security checkpoints at key areas, especially during heightened threat alerts Improved information sharing between Intelligence and Police agencies Necessity for Russia to develop a policy of potential negotiation with the Caucus region with a move towards granting a certain level of autonomous government to the region.
Conclusion The attack on Domodedovo would have been very difficult to prevent, but should not have been deemed impossible to occur. Recent suicide attacks in Moscow should have generated a higher security presence in the airport, which may have prevented the bomber from either reaching his target or being as effective in his attack. Moving forward, a number of key lessons should be learnt from this attack. For the student of terrorism, the struggle of the Chechnyan terrorists is a classic example of the morphing of national to trans-national terrorism. Finally, it is clear that the current counter terrorism strategy carried out by Russia must be modified to meet a changing threat.
References Zakaria, F., 2011. How Russia Created Its Own Islamic Terrorism Problem, Time Magazine http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2044732,00.html#ixzz1SPG8Ujjr Baer, R. 2006, Sleeping with the Devil http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2044732,00.html#ixzz1SPG8Ujjr Garrison, D., Terrorism: The Nature of Its History, 2003, Criminal Justice Studies Vol 16(1) Shah, A., Crisis in Chechnya, Global Issues, http://www.globalissues.org/article/100/crisis-in-chechnyahttp://www.globalissues.org/article/100/crisis-in-chechnya Bhattacharji, P, 2010, Chechen Terrorism, Council on Foreign Relations, http://www.cfr.org/terrorism/chechen-terrorism-russia-chechnya-separatist/p9181 http://www.cfr.org/terrorism/chechen-terrorism-russia-chechnya-separatist/p9181 Amnesty International statement to the ICJ Eminent Jurists Panel on Terrorism, Counter-terrorism and Human Rights, http://ejp.icj.org/IMG/AI_statement.pdf Heintz, J, 2011, Putin Vows Revenge for Russian Airport Bombing, Associated Press, Jan 25, 2011, http://www.thestar.com/news/world/russia/article/927562--putin-vows-revenge-for-russian-airport-bombing http://www.moodiereport.com/document.php?c_id=1178&doc_id=17713 Suicide bomb attack kills 35 people at Moscow's busiest airport, Jan 24, 2011. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-1350130/Moscow-airport-suicide-bomb-attack-35-killed-blast- Domodedovo-airport.html#ixzz1SNvlPvPV MNSBC, 35 dead in blast at busiest Moscow airport, Jan 24,2011, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41231668/ns/world_news-europe/t/dead-blast-busiest-moscow-airport/ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-1350130/Moscow-airport-suicide-bomb-attack-35-killed-blast- Domodedovo-airport.html#ixzz1SNvlPvPV CPOST, Magomed Yevloyev – The Domodedovo Bomber Named, http://cpost.uchicago.edu/blog/2011/02/05/magomed-yevloyev-the-domodedovo-bomber-named/ http://cpost.uchicago.edu/blog/2011/02/05/magomed-yevloyev-the-domodedovo-bomber-named/ Górecki. W. Umarov takes responsibility for the attack on Domodedovo airport, Feb 9, 2011, Centre for Eastern Studies, http://www.osw.waw.pl/en/publikacje/eastweek/2011-02-09/umarov-takes-responsibility-attack-domodedovo-airport Interview S Nashkhoyev and D Umarov, A great deal of purification of the ranks of the Mujahideen is going on, 2008, http://www.jihadica.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/622-08-ekhlaas-umarov-interview-english.pdf