How much does ethnicity, religious beliefs, and family have on decisions we make?Posted: April 19, 2013
Chechnya, the Russian republic whose struggle against Russia inspired the two brothers suspected of the Boston Marathon bombings, has been the center of violent separatist uprising and bloody bomb-related killings for decades.
But “mainstream Chechnyan mujahedin have not traditionally been a direct threat to the United States,” said Evan Kohlmann, senior partner of Flashpoint Global Partners, a New York-based international security consulting firm. Several other organizations do recruit Chechen fighters, however, he said.
He said the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and one of its splinter groups, the Islamic Jihad Union, both have recruited Chechen, Turks and other non-Arab Muslims to fight with them against U.S. forces in Afghanistan. According to Kohlmann, both of these groups are based in the Waziristan tribal area of Pakistan, “and these groups can be just as radical as anything al-Qaeda puts out.”
“They have a strong animus against the United States,” Kohlmann said.
But he cautioned against making any assumption at this point that the bombing suspects were recruited and/or trained by foreign terror organizations.
“What happened (in Boston) is within the capability of two relatively sophisticated, homegrown individuals,” Kohlmann said. “These two people seem to have come out of nowhere.”
We believe the likelihood of this same occurrence with ethnic Chechen people is not as isolated as Kohlmann would want us to believe. Although there hasn’t been a huge number of Chechen individuals having a related history with violence against the U.S.A. that does not say that the notion doesn’t exist.
Moreover, insofar as violence is implied within the ethnicity as well as within the very religious praxis of these two Chechen offspring, it does seem that given the existence within the country of origin and assembling that with religious and deeply personal held beliefs we wound not necessarily stipulate to a partial package being made up does stand to reason as very likely to happen.
David Schanzer, a terrorism expert at Duke University, said the attack appeared to be “homegrown” and that the suspects appear unsophisticated and without ties to or training from international terrorist groups.
“The fact that they needed to rob an ATM to get money (suggests) they didn’t get large amount of outside funding. They had no escape plan to leave the country,” Schanzer said. “These are hallmarks of people who are not particularly sophisticated. I don’t see this as a highly planned plot. They seemed to be making this up as they go along.”
Author Kimberly Marten, who researched Chechnya for her recent book, Warlords Strong-Arm Brokers in Weak States, cautioned Friday against concluding that the Boston attack was an act of terror.
Okay then Ms. Kimberly Marten what in all of your wisdom and knowledge call it? We certainly would not want to appear rude or condescending, however there are legitimate indicators that this was an act of terror.
Who or what would make explosive weapons and leave them in very crowed areas of major media events? Massive explosive weapons hurling schrap metal, ball bearings, and nails through the air at speeds unconscionable normally only have one thing on their minds.
Conversely, and viewed as far worse is the simple notion of lying an explosive bomb within mere feet of an eight year old child.
Among the most shocking acts of violence was an attack in the neighboring republic of North Ossetia in 2004, where militants seized a school and, in the three-day siege that followed, more than 300 were killed, most of them children.
Militants from Chechnya and other restive regions have targeted Moscow and other areas with bombings and hostage-takings for more than 20 years. The republic is predominantly Muslim and has waged two wars with Russian security forces.
President Vladimir Putin has often stressed that al-Qaeda is linked with Chechen fighters. According to the Council on Foreign Relations analysis, a Chechen warlord is said to have met with Osama bin Laden while both were fighting against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan from 1979-89.
Authorities have also found links between Chechen separatists and other Islamist terrorist groups. The U.S. Justice Department said in a 2004 report that Zacharias Moussaoui, who was convicted for his role in the 9/11 attacks, had previously sought to recruit at least one man to fight in Chechnya. Intelligence officials in France had warned the FBI of Moussaoui’s connection to the Chechen fighters.
We are not being foolish here by alleging that these “brothers of Chechen ethnic” were acting for or on behalf of any terrorist group, albeit, at least the evidence doesn’t support it.
However, we would like to inform Ms. Kimberly Marten that normally – if an object walking on two webbed feet, quacking before it slips into the water for a swim, well, if it looks like, smells like, and acts like a duck chances are there is influence from a duck….somewhere.