Counter-Terrorism: The Chechen Amnesty

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July 26, 2006: Russia, in an attempt to capitalize on the recent deaths of senior terrorist leaders, is offering amnesty to hundreds of Chechen terrorists. The offer actually includes terrorists from other nationalities in the Caucasus. The basic deal is, if no one can prove you killed anyone, you can renounce your terrorist ways and walk. Previous offers of amnesty had relatively few takers, and the many terrorists who refused the amnesty, made it clear that any who did, were dead-men-walking.
This time around, after years of shrinking popular support, and increasingly effective counter-terrorism efforts by loyal Chechens, and Russian commandos, there are far fewer terrorists in Chechnya. Not nearly enough to hunt down all those who accept amnesty. If the Russians are lucky, most of the remaining terrorists will come in from the cold. The hard core Islamic terrorists probably will not. But these guys have displayed a tendency to wander off to other killing zones like Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. This trend may become accelerated as Chechnya becomes much less hospitable for terrorists, especially Islamic terrorists. Most Chechens could get behind the separatists terrorists, who wanted an independent Chechnya. Fewer were all that enthusiastic about an Islamic Republic covering all the Caucasus. Chechens tend to be independent minded, and were not keen about living in a religious dictatorship. That, and bad odds eventually catching up with them, brought down the boldest Chechen terrorists like Basayev.

 


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