Terrorism

The Explosion at Moscow's Domodedovo International Airport

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"Thank god for 9/11 Truthers!"

Earlier today an explosion ripped through Moscow's Domodedovo Airport, killing dozens and wounding many more. Russian President Dmitri Medvedev has been quick to blame the attack on terrorists, probably from the restive North Caucasus, and President Obama has issued a similar statement.

But Western press reports leave out one important bit of context: There is widespread (and mainstream) speculation that many of the terrorist attacks attributed to Chechens in recent years were actually perpetrated by the Russian secret services, to further the political aims of an ever-more-authoritarian Russian state. The 1999 apartment bombings triggering the Second Chechen War are widely suspected to have been the work of the FSB, the KGB's successor organization. As The Economist's former Moscow correspondent Edward Lucas put it in his book The New Cold War:

The weight of evidence so far supports the grimmest interpretation: that the attacks were a ruthlessly planned stunt to create a climate of panic and fear in which Putin would quickly become the country's undisputed leader, as indeed he did. It is a measure of how far opinion has shifted that the conspiracy theory has gone from being an outlandish hypothesis to something believed by serious opposition politicians such as Grigory Yavlinsky, leader of the main liberal party, Yabloko. It is as if mainstream contenders for the Democratic nomination in America's presidential election had publicly supported the contention that the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 were an inside job organized by Vice President Dick Cheney.

There are also serious allegations that the Russian security services were involved with (or had foreknowledge of) both the Beslan massacre and the Moscow theater hostage crisis. Despite the fact that the assassinations of both FSB defector Alexander Litvinenko and investigative reporter Anna Politkovskaya were widely reported here in the US, few drew the connection between their murders and the damning accusations that they made against the Russian state.

Litvinenko and Politkovskaya are no longer alive to challenge the party line, which is all the more reason for Western reporters to be skeptical of the Kremlin's official statements. The controversy surrounding the 1999 apartment bombings and subsequent attacks on civilians is critical to understanding Islamic terrorism in Russia, but unfortunately it's not something you're likely to hear.

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  1. Stephen J Smith, why is your coffee green and glowing?

  2. Let’s see what facts come in before we ramp up the conspiracy theories, shall we? This wasn’t just a car bomb detonated outside the airport, but apparently a suicide bomb inside the place. Even the most gung-ho KGB’er still wants to go home to his Stoli.

    1. And it was not a car bomb dud supplied by the FBI, so it must be Tea Party Nazis!

  3. Too bad Russia doesn’t have the TSA like we do. Those fine professionals would have defused the bomb and had the bomber detained without harming any bystanders. And his jihad would have gone nowhere.

    1. Our TSA employees’ bodies are specially designed to absorb the energy released by a suicide bomb. The whole ‘grope and stroke’ dance is just to make them look busy.

  4. STEVE SMITH NOT BELIEVE CONSPIRACY THEORIES! STEVE ONLY BELIEVE MULDER AND SCULLEY! STEVE WANT TO BELIEVE!

    1. REAL STEVE SMITH NOT WATCH SCULLEY, ONLY MULDER! THIS CONSPIRACY TO SMEAR STEVE SMITH GOOD NAME!

      1. STEVE SMITH HAVE RAPE CRUSH ON GILLIAN ANDERSON AND DAVID DUCHOVNY AT SAME TIME! STEVE HAVE ROOM IN RAPE HEART FOR MANY!

      2. I say chaps, rather bad form to mock me this way. Not cricket.

        1. STEVE SMITH RAPE CRICKETS WITH LITTLE HAND TOOL! OH, HOW THEY CHIRP!

  5. “There are also serious allegations that the Russian security services were involved with (or had foreknowledge of) both the Beslan massacre and the Moscow theater hostage crisis.”

    Puh-lease. Not a fan of Russia, but this is just another version of trutherism.

    1. Putin…Truthers… Puters?

      1. WORKS FOR ME!

  6. But Western press reports leave out one important bit of context: There is widespread (and mainstream) speculation that many of the terrorist attacks attributed to Chechens in recent years were actually perpetrated by the Russian secret services, to further the political aims of an ever-more-authoritarian Russian state.

    But there is no evidence to support this “widespread speculation”, is there? If I were a reporter I would leave such speculation out as well; just like I don’t take the views of crackpots like Alex Jones seriously when discussing Al Qaeda.

    1. I think the key is the word ‘mainstream’ – you have to have the right people believing the conspiracy theory – see 9/11 truther-ism would be mainstream (and bullshit) if only the likes of David Brooks were pedaling it…

      1. That may be true. My point was that there is no reason for Western press reports to include speculation about Russian “inside job” operations in their reporting of today’s airport attacks. Even if such beliefs really are “mainstream” in Russia, it does not follow that the press should report on baseless theories (unless they are doing a special report on Russian public opinion or something).

  7. See, this is what happens when the eliminationist, voilent language gets ramped up by Palin, Limbaugh, Beck, et al – WORLDWIDE VIOLENCE!

    Way to export our problems to other countries! Thanks a lot, right wing violence instigators!

    /NY Times

    1. Very true! But when they ban hate speech, only criminals will have hate speech to hate with.

    2. Let’s “connect the dots:”
      -Moscow Airport bombed.
      -Vladimir Putin is PM of Russia.
      -John McCain is on record as not liking Putin.
      -Sarah Palin was John McCain’s running mate in 2008.
      -Therefore, Sarah Palin was responsible for the bombing!

        1. That is an excellent description of it. Someone ought to set up rules for “Six Degrees of Sarah Palin.” I could see this going places.

          1. I’d like to play the “Six Positions With Sarah Palin.” I could see going places with that.

      1. Don’t forget that Palin can see Russia from her house. Final nail in the coffin.

        1. Well played. That removes the necessity of the McCain degree, so I think you win.

        2. No, Tina Fey playing Sarah Palin said she could see Russia from her house.

          1. This isn’t a game that relies on reactionary and simplistic concepts like “factual accuracy.”

            1. It’s politics, kids.

              1. I support this paraphrasing.

        3. Final nail in the coffin

          Heller, please – watch the eliminationist rhetoric. We’re trying to heal a nation here.

        4. Palin – Putin, same number of letters. ‘nough said.

  8. There are also serious allegations that the Russian security services were involved with (or had foreknowledge of) both the Beslan massacre and the Moscow theater hostage crisis. Despite the fact that the assassinations of both FSB defector Alexander Litvinenko and investigative reporter Anna Politkovskaya were widely reported here in the US, few drew the connection between their murders and the damning accusations that they made against the Russian state.

    It’s also because the Chechens are Muslim and linking them to those terror attacks strengthened the administration’s case for the global war on terror and get Russia to leave us alone/help wrt Iraq and Afghanistan.

    1. Riiiiigggghhhhhht. Why didn’t I think of that one.

  9. There is widespread (and mainstream) speculation that many of the terrorist attacks attributed to Chechens in recent years were actually perpetrated by the Russian secret services, to further the political aims of an ever-more-authoritarian Russian state.

    Are the Russians taking their cues from the FBI???

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/grigg/grigg-w182.html

    1. It’s like, totally cool to talk about Putin bombing his own people, but Cheney? C’mon man, that’s out of line

  10. But Western press reports leave out one important bit of context: There is widespread (and mainstream) speculation that many of the terrorist attacks attributed to Chechens in recent years were actually perpetrated by the Russian secret services, to further the political aims of an ever-more-authoritarian Russian state.

    But even the dumbest dog knows not to shit in his own house. Its fine and dandy to kill some chechens or other non-muscovians, but there’s a huge collateral risk to fuck up parts of the capital. Nah, I think this was a real lunatic, not a FSB sponsered one.

  11. Why does Russia even want to hold on to Chechnya in the first place ? Yes I know there is whole nationalist pride thing, but Russia is the biggest country by a long shot, losing Chechnya could be the best thing that could happen to Russia.

    1. It’s not nationalist pride ? it’s the natural gas monopoly. Unlike oil, natural gas has to be transported through overland pipelines (unless you liquify it, but that’s expensive). If you look at a map of Eurasia, there are only four routes from the gas-rich Caspian to the gas-hungry European end of the continent: through Iran, through the South Caucasian independent republics (Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia), through the North Caucasian non-independent republics (Dagestan, Chechnya, etc.), and through the Russian mainland.

      Obviously, Russia controls the mainland. Russia took Iran out of commission with its transfer of nuclear technology (Igor Sechin, who used to be the USSR’s point man on weapons sales, personally oversees the Bushehr reactor), and it took the South Caucasian republics out of commission with its war in Georgia and constant fomenting of tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia (Litvinenko once alleged that it was Russia that was behind the assassination of the Armenian prime minister, which eventually derailed peace talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region).

      I’ll admit that usually pipeline conspiracies are a little whacky, but in this case, it actually explains quite a bit about Russia’s foreign policy.

      1. See Georgia for another (slightly less ruthless) implementation of the pipeline defense policy.

        1. Georgia started that fight in order to prop up their decaying regime.
          Jesus Christ you people are morons and cranks.

      2. Mr. Smith, I love your Market Urbanism blog as the only voice along those lines, but you are going out of bounds with these theories and accusations.

        Russia is against all separatists movements for the same reason China is, and for that matter the US is – A breakaway of one piece of the sovereign territory is a threat to keeping the rest of the sovereign territory all together.

        If Russia loses Chechnya or Dagestan than all the rest of the ethnic minorities, particularly in Siberia and the Far East start getting bright ideas. (Similar to how if China ever formally lets go of Taiwan, it becomes that much harder for it to hold onto Tibet or more importantly, Xinjiang)

        Russia is, from personal experience and widespread reputation, the most racist nationalistic collection of white people on earth. They need zero excuse to go stomping on minorities, much less on rable rousing ones – even if also ‘white’ – and haven’t needed one for close to a millennia.

        (btw, it has been said that passive voice is the last refuge of the scoundrel. Or was that patriotism?)

      3. holy shit, you actually are real. God, I’m a little bit sorry you have to put up with all the STEVE SMITH jokes on the blog. But only a little sorry.

    2. Because its not just some of the Chechen’s who want to break away, there is also a push to create a Caucasus Emirate which would include many people including many Chechen’s who don’t want to leave the Russian federation and become part of a Muslim emirate.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caucasus_Emirate

    3. Ask Hadji Murad

    4. Probably because they still think every country near them that isn’t an ally will be used to invade them eventually.

  12. whatever braught these people to this act of violence, i would like to have a thought for the families and wounded persons who didn’t ask for that to happen. It’s just very sad to see in which world we are living now. The value of life should be known by everyone. RIP

    1. “The value of life should be known by everyone”

      I completely agree.

  13. So is Edward Lucas now a serious source? Well, let’s wait for David Icke to comment on the subject.

  14. I’M A RELIGION OF PEACE!!!

  15. Someone’s having flashbacks from Modern Warfare 2. Although to address the point that it was a suicide attack, I suppose that the KGB or whatever they call it now could have recruited a Chechen would-be suicide bomber to do their dirty work while posing as Chechens themselves. Anyone really think they lack the means to fake a separatist cell at least well enough to fool some dumbass looking for a “meaningful” justification for punching his own ticket while causing misery for others?

    1. I had the same MW2 flashback, and of course, in that one it was the FSB (or comparable group) that pinned the attack on a Yank.

      But the one thing that strikes me as a bit odd, do you really think a gov’t that shows little to no interest in genuine popular sovereignty or foreign approval would feel like it needs an event like this to serve as continuing justification for its heavy-handed Chechan policy?

  16. Who really knows?

    Fuckin’ Russia remains a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.

    1. Inside a golden fried burrito wrap.

        1. I wish that had a different name. It looks quite delish; I’ve never tried it; and I’m wary of any food that has “turd” in its name.

      1. Lodged inside the colon of this guy.

        http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/w…..191f34.jpg

        1. Pulse, 300
          Liver, failing
          Cholesterol, 40?

  17. The Russian government are obviously no saints, killing pesky journalists or jailing oligarchs for wanting to enter politics shows this. The government is not however suicidal, they know that if they ever were shown to be behind bombs at airports or train stations, they would be toppled Tunisia style in seconds.

  18. Maybe this theory has some merit, maybe not (linking to a bunch of Russia haters like McCain is unconvincing). But can you imagine the shit fit Moynihan would be having if a Russian publication were accusing the FBI of a suicide bombing in Boston before the corpses were even cold? Where are you, Mikey???

  19. There is probably a rational explanation for the this picture, but the conspiracy theorists are going to have a field day with it

    http://d.yimg.com/a/p/rids/201…..8lWysj3Q–

    1. It could be one of those observers from the “Fringe” tv show.

    2. “Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to make it clear that there are no dead bodies behind me today. None. I repeat – no dead bodies. Thank you.”

  20. Infidels bashing Jews will not endear them to the Muslim for their Israel bashing or anti-Semitism.

    You Reasonoids, many of you so hate the Jews and Israel, can be killed by the Muslims you admire so much just as can me and my family.

    To all the Libertarian, eliminationist anti-Semites on this board, when it comes to the Arabs the enemy of my enemy (in this case the Jews for you guys) is not my friend.

    Cease your anti-Semitism and join with people like me to fight for western civilization and to keep Jews from another holocaust!

    Do you want to join the Muslims with the shared Judenhass you have even though the Muslims may kill you as easily as they kill me?

    Use your heads for once and not your sadistic pleasure receptors.

    And remember,

    “There’s no need to fear. Underzog is here.”

    The Jewish Defense League Marching Song

    1. Eliminationist? Does that have to do with making sissy, duty, or both?

    2. God, you are the dumbest Jew I’ve ever seen. You make me embarrassed to be one, asshole.

      1. I think the guy is just some troll with nothing to do… Moving along, nothing to see here.

        Too bad we don’t have a points system here, where 5 downvotes would hide his post. That would end the embarrassment for you and I.

  21. I can’t believe Reason would put this stuff up. I have no love for Vlad or Russia, and can see them doing stuff like this, but without any evidence you are doing serious to your own credibility. The Russian opposition should be embarrassed of itself for buying into it.

  22. Years ago, an Israeli woman who lost her baby in an Arab terrorist attack warned the smug anti-Semites of Europe that they will be the next targest of the Muslims and she was right. Whether it be the Moscow airport or the subway in London.

    Here prescient warning is here: Buddies you’re Next

    1. Did she break the chain of letters?

  23. I’m sure that photo must have some caption at Valdimir Putin Action Comics. Probably more than one.

  24. Don’t try looking for it with Vladimir spelled wrong like above.

    1. Valdimir – he who must not be named.

    2. May as well call him “Voldemort” for all these democracy-blowing NeoCons accuse him of.

  25. But Western press reports leave out one important bit of context: There is widespread (and mainstream) speculation that many of the terrorist attacks attributed to Chechens in recent years were actually perpetrated by the Russian secret services…

    Dude. You’ve watched V for Vendetta at least one too many times.

    It is a measure of how far opinion has shifted that the conspiracy theory has gone from being an outlandish hypothesis to something believed by serious opposition politicians such as Grigory Yavlinsky…

    Whatever this former Economist boy may dream up, you really should go read a little more about what’s gone on. The Russians did the “divide and conquer” thing (in typical Russian fashion, a tactic they’ve mastered over the past millennium) by splitting the Muslims off from the rest of the Chechen population. The Muslims don’t like it but they’re the last of the resistance.

    Curiously, this attack was carried out by a suicide bomber. Now what group is famous in the 21st century for suicide bombers?

    Get a grip Stephen. Putin may be an SOB, like Russian rulers have always been, but this is not the work of his henchmen.

    The farce here, as in the past, is that there’s any connection between the Muslims who are bombing Russia, and the ones who are bombing the rest of the West. They are in fact separate Muslim groups with entirely different motives.

  26. This is just horrible. First Tuscon, now this!! What’s next?! I feel like I am living in a horror movie….

  27. The farce here, as in the past, is that there’s any connection between the Muslims who are bombing Russia

  28. “There is widespread (and mainstream) speculation that many of the terrorist attacks attributed to Chechens in recent years were actually perpetrated by the Russian secret services…”

    Widespread speculation by retards. As though Chechen terrorists don’t exist. Moscow may be fueling their fire, but they are more than capable of mass murder all on their own. One thing I love about Antiwar.com is its anti-toidalism. Fuck those Truther types.

    This is basically typical Russophobia from the NeoCon shills at The Economist. I am not surprised to see the NeoCon shills at Reason repeat this bullshit. They’re the same way with China.

    “Despite the fact that the assassinations of both FSB defector Alexander Litvinenko”
    Who was in the employ of a professional gangster, Boris Berezovsky, whose entire anti-Putin campaign is aimed at replacing the Putin-gangster class with the oligarch Billionaire gangster class. Berezovsky killed Litvenenko and anyone who thinks otherwise is a hopeless crank.
    “investigative reporter Anna Politkovskaya”
    i.e., a well known liar.

  29. Repression is what Putin does best. One must never forget that Russian apartment bombings in September 1999, led the country into the Second Chechen War, and brought Putin to power. He thrives on killing others; and surely his brutality will be on full display in the days to come.

    He is the problem, not the solution; and he must be removed from office.

    See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.c…..-a-killer/

    1. I agree with you Timothy, but what other solution would you offer? It is obvious that nutcases like this will keep on blowing themselves up regardless of who is in charge, at least Putin is able to mow them down.

      I am a supporter of humane and wise choices, but sometimes you just have to destroy the cancer cells.

      Julie

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