Counter-Terrorism: Another Chechnya

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March 8,2008: While Russia has, over the past nine years, eliminated separatist and Islamic terrorists from Chechnya, they now find themselves with a potentially worse situation in neighboring Ingushetia. Smaller than Chechnya, and with half the population (about half a million), it has been hammered for the last year by many Islamic terrorists who fled the situation in Chechnya (where the Russians sent in 80,000 police and commandos, and made a deal with the strongest clan leader to run a pro-Russian government). Determined not to make the same mistakes they did in Chechnya, the Islamic radicals in Ingushetia promptly went after the local police. Their aim was to terrorize the local cops into leaving the Islamic radical groups (a few hundred men) alone. Then the Islamic radicals could use Ingushetia as a base for attacks into adjacent areas. This was what Chechnya was turned into during the late 1990s. In 1999 the Russians had had enough, and invaded with nearly 100,000 troops and police. The fighting led to the deaths, or disappearance, of nearly 30,000 people. Russia does not want to apply that solution to Ingushetia, as the Ingush have never been as much of a problem as the Chechens (who have been fighting the Russians for over two centuries.) But unless they can reconstitute and revive the Ingush police force, the Islamic terrorists (and many guys who are basically Chechen gangsters) will be able to start another crime wave, like the one that came out of Chechnya in the late 1990s.

 


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