Who Killed Chechen Children?
Randy Black writes: John Heelan predictably would not believe a US source as to whether or not Al Qaeda was or was not connected to the Beslan attacks, but now he does not believe even the claims of the Islamic websites? We seem to have a predicament herein. Mr. Heelan believes no one, it would seem. Does Mr. Heelan believe the children killed themselves? Where to turn for an answer? How about the victims and other sources within Russia, courtesy of the Christian Science Monitor? "…officials here (in Beslan) say the evidence suggests a complex operation and the kind of preparation once given in the Al Qaeda training camps of Afghanistan." Source: http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0907/p01s02-woeu.html
Russian media reports that as many as 10 of the attackers were Arab have also raised questions about the link with Islamic militant groups. "I think it's Al Qaeda. I think it's Saudi Arabia, Arabs, and possibly Afghan terrorists - and terrorists who are here in Russia as well," says Soslan Sikoyev, the deputy interior minister for North Ossetia,.. An Al Qaeda-connected group calling itself the Islambouli Brigades, which has been active in Pakistan, claimed responsibility for both the simultaneous downing of two passenger jets on Aug. 24, that left 90 dead, and a suicide bomb in Moscow on August 31 that killed ten more. Ties between Chechen radicals and Al Qaeda stretch back to the first Chechen war (1994-1996). A radical element - spurred by would-be clerics who traveled to Saudi Arabia to learn about the Salafi fundamentalist strain of Islam - began to develop in the late 1990s. "Chechnya began to attract [Al Qaeda] emissaries, adventurers, and finances," says Alexander Iskandaryan, head of the Center for Caucasian Studies in Yerevan, Armenia. "After 1999, the radical tendency grew strong, and became more internationalized."
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