The following is a fascinating look inside the murky world of Russian special forces and their decades long tradition of utilizing "operatives" and "assets" across the globe. While the quotes from the book by Viktor Suvorov (see below) refers to the Soviet Union, we must remember that today's security apparatus of the Russian Federation are the direct successors of their Soviet counterparts. In today's political climate, the following information about the Kremlin's covert dealings with militant groups will interest many readers.
The author in question clearly seems to have an obvious anti-Russian political agenda on his mind. Therefore, we must bare in mind that the sinister nature of intelligence services is not exclusive to Russia for they fully apply to various other agencies found around the world as well. It is well known that American, British, Israeli, Saudi Arabian and Pakistani intelligence services also engage in gathering, training, organizing and utilizing "terrorist" cells throughout the world towards political purposes. In fact, the aforementioned allied nations are by-far the most prolific when it comes to exploiting Islamic militants around the world.
Nevertheless, the kind of insider information provided by Viktor Suvorov's book would help the reader better understand how special services operate. Reading it will also help one place high profile terrorist operations such as the one that occurred in the United States on September 11, 2001 under a different, more troubling light.
In my opinion, there are no "terror" groups in existence today, Islamic or otherwise, that are not supported or funded by one major power or another. The world, especially the Middle East and Central Asia, is full of young, disgruntled, troubled, violent and functionally illiterate men and women that have the potential for becoming terrorists for one political interest or another. All it takes is a group of well-funded and well-trained specialists to recruit, organize, train and when need be - utilize!
Russia's Spetsnaz and Islamic Terrorism
There is no doubt that the Soviet Union played a tremendous role in the expansion and evolution of Islamic terrorism. Many of the people responsible for the policy of promoting fundamentalist miliancy still hold key positions in Russia. People can accept the fact that there are "anti-Bush" cliques inside the CIA and State Department, and the fact that there are "pro-Bin Laden" cliques in the Pakistani military ISI. Yet, for some strange reason, they cannot accept the fact that there are still "pro-Marxist" cliques inside Russia. I believe that the Russian Mafia operates in unison with these "rogue" elements, almost as a separate intelligence directorate.
To help our readers understand how this clique works, and what it means today, I am posting a series of important quotes from the book, "Spetsnaz" by the defector, Viktor Suvorov. I believe that readers will have a better understanding of the role Russia's Spetsnaz (elite special unit of the GRU) played in terrorism and how it continues to support terrorism by operating through the mafia or in the security services themselves.
Quotes From "Spetsnaz" by Viktor Suvorov
"…Soviet secret police, the KGB, carries out different functions (than the Spetsnaz) and has other priorities. It has its own terrorist apparatus, which includes an organization very similar to spetsnaz, known as osnaz. The KGB uses osnaz for carrying out a range of tasks not dissimilar to those performed by the GRU's spetsnaz. But the Soviet leaders consider that it is best not to have any monopolies in the field of secret warfare. Competition, they feel, gives far better results than ration."
"…Osnaz apparently came into being practically at the same time as the Communist dictatorship. In the very first moments of the existence of the Soviet regime, we find references to detachments osobogo nazhacheniya-special purpose detachments. Osnaz means military-terrorist units, which came into being as shock troops of the Communist Party whose job was to defend the party. Osnaz was later handed over to the secret police, which changed its own name from time to time as easily as a snake changes its skins: Cheka-Vcheka-OGPU-NKVD-NKGB-MGB-MVD-KGB. Once a snake, however, always a snake."
"It is the fact that Spetsnaz belongs to the army, and Osnaz to the secret police, that accounts for all the differences between them. Spetsnaz operates mainly against external enemies; Osnaz does the same but mainly in its own territory and against its own citizens. Even if both Spetsnaz and Osnaz are faced with carrying out one and the same operation, the Soviet leadership is not inclined to rely so much on co-operation between the army and the secret police as on the strong competitive instincts between them."
"…Thus if it is relatively easy to recruit a man to act as a 'sleeper', what about recruiting a foreigner to act as a real terrorist, prepared to commit murder, use explosives and fire buildings? Surely that is much more difficult? The answer is that, surprisingly, it is not."
"A Spetsnaz officer out to recruit agents for direct terrorist action has a wonderful base for his work in the West. There are a tremendous number of people who are discontented and ready to protest against absolutely anything. And while millions protest peacefully, some individuals will resort to any means to make their protest. The spetsnaz officer has only to find the malcontent who is ready to go to extremes."
"On another occasion a group of animal rights activists in the UK injected bars of chocolate with poison. If spetsnaz were able to contact that group, and there is every chance it might, it would be extremely keen (without, of course, mentioning its name) to suggest to them a number of even more effective ways of protesting. Activists, radicals, peace campaigners, green party members: as far as the leaders of the GRU are concerned, these are like ripe water-melons, green on the outside, but red on the inside-and mouth-watering. So there is a good base for recruiting."
"The spetsnaz network of agents has much in common with international terrorism, a common center, for example-yet they are different things and must not be confused. It would be foolhardy to claim that international terrorism came into being on orders from Moscow. But to claim that, without Moscow's support, international terrorism would never have assumed the scale it has would not be rash. Terrorism has been born in a variety of situations, in various circumstances and in different kinds of soil. Local nationalism has always been a potent source, and the Soviet Union supports it in any form, just as it offers concrete support to extremist groups operating within nationalist movements. Exceptions are made, of course, of the nationalist groups within the Soviet Union and the countries under its influence."
"If groups of extremists emerge in areas where there is no sure Soviet influence, you may be sure that the Soviet Union will very shortly be their best friend. In the GRU alone there are two independent and very powerful bodies dealing with questions relating to extremists and terrorists."
"…The GRU's tactics toward terrorists are simple: never give them any orders, never tell them what to do. They are destroying Western civilization: they know how to do it, the argument goes, so let them get on with it unfettered by petty supervision. Among them there are idealists ready to die for their own ideas. So let them die for them. The most important thing is to preserve their illusion that they are completely free and independent."
"Although the vast majority of spetsnaz is made up of Slavonic personnel, there are some exceptions…And spetsnaz contains Turks, Kurds, Greeks, Koreans, Mongolians, Finns and people of other nationalities."
"The Soviet Union condemns the civil war in Lebanon. But there is no need for it to condemn the war. All it has to do is hold back the next transportation of ammunition and war will cease."
"Apart from military and financial support, the Soviet Union also provides the terrorists aid in the form of training. Training centers have been set up in the Soviet Union for training terrorists from a number of different countries."
"Every terrorist is studied carefully during his training, and among them will be noted the potential leaders and the born rebels who will not submit to any authority…Of equal importance are the students' weaknesses and ambitions, and their relationships with one another. Some time, many years ahead, one of them may become an important leader, but not one approved by Moscow, so it is vital to know in advance who his likely friends and enemies will be."
"The reward for the GRU is that a terrorist doing work for spetsnaz does not, in the great majority of cases, suspect he is being used. He is utterly convinced that he is acting independently, of his own will and by his own choice. The GRU does not leave its signature or his fingerprints around."
"Even in cases where it is not a question of individual terrorists but of experienced leaders of terrorist organizations, the GRU takes extraordinary steps to ensure that not only all outsiders but even the terrorist leader himself should not realize the extent of his subordination to spetsnaz and consequently to the GRU."
"The overture is a series of large and small operations the purpose of which is, before actual military operations begin, to weaken the enemy's morale, create an atmosphere of general suspicion, fear and uncertainty, and divert the attention of the enemy's armies and police forces to a huge number of different targets, each of which may be the object of the next attack."
"The overture is carried by agents of the secret services of the Soviet satellite countries and by mercenaries recruited by intermediaries. The principal method employed at this stage is "gray terror", that is, a kind of terror which is not conducted in the name of the Soviet Union. The Soviet secret services do not at this stage leave their visiting cards, or leave other people's cards. The terror is carried out in the name of already existing extremist groups not connected in any way with the Soviet Union, or in the name of the fictitious organizations. The GRU reckons that in this period its operations should be regarded as natural disasters, actions by forces beyond human control, mistakes by people, or as terrorist acts by organizations not connected with the Soviet Union."
"The terrorist acts carried out in the course of the 'overture' require very few people, very few weapons and little equipment. In some cases all that may be needed is one man who has a weapon nothing more than a screwdriver, a box of marches or a glass ampoule. Some of the operations can have catastrophic consequences. For example, an epidemic of an infectious disease at seven of the most important naval bases in the West could have the effect of halving the combined naval might of the Soviet Union's enemies."
"There is a marked increase in the strength of the peace movement. In many countries there are continual demand to make the country neutral and not to support American foreign policy, which has been discredited. At this point the 'gray terror' gathers scope and strength and in the last days of peace reaches its peak."
International Terrorism Does Not Exist
General Leonid Ivashov (left) with journalist Christopher Bollyn from American Free Press
General Leonid Ivashov was the Chief of Staff of the Russian armed forces when the September 11, 2001, attacks took place. This military man, who lived the events from the inside, offers an analysis which is very different to that of his American colleagues. As he did during the Axis for Peace 2005 conference, he now explains that international terrorism does not exist and that the September 11 attacks were the result of a set-up. What we are seeing is a manipulation by the big powers; this terrorism would not exist without them. He affirms that, instead of faking a "world war on terror", the best way to reduce that kind of attacks is through respect for international law and peaceful cooperation among countries and their citizens.
As the current international situation shows, terrorism emerges where contradiction aggravate, where there is a change of social relations or a change of regime, where there is political, economic or social instability, where there is moral decadence, where cynicism and nihilism triumph, where vice is legalized and where crime spreads. It is globalization what creates the conditions for the emergence of these extremely dangerous phenomena. It is in this context that the new world geo-strategic map is being designed, that the resources of the planet are being re-distributed, that borders are disappearing, that international law is being torn into pieces, that cultural identities are being erased, that spiritual life becomes impoverished...
The analysis of the essence of the globalization process, the military and political doctrines of the United States and other countries, shows that terrorism contributes to a world dominance and the submissiveness of states to a global oligarchy. This means that terrorism is not something independent of world politics but simply an instrument, a means to install a unipolar world with a sole world headquarters, a pretext to erase national borders and to establish the rule of a new world elite. It is precisely this elite that constitutes the key element of world terrorism, its ideologist and its "godfather". The main target of the world elite is the historical, cultural, traditional and natural reality; the existing system of relations among states; the world national and state order of human civilization and national identity.
Today's international terrorism is a phenomenon that combines the use of terror by state and non-state political structures as a means to attain their political objectives through people's intimidation, psychological and social destabilization, the elimination of resistance from power organizations and the creation of appropriate conditions for the manipulation of the countries' policies and the behavior of people. Terrorism is the weapon used in a new type of war. At the same time, international terrorism, in complicity with the media, becomes the manager of global processes. It is precisely the symbiosis between media and terror, which allows modifying international politics and the exiting reality. In this context, if we analyze what happened on September 11, 2001, in the United States, we can arrive at the following conclusions:
1. The organizers of those attacks were the political and business circles interested in destabilizing the world order and who had the means necessary to finance the operation. The political conception of this action matured there where tensions emerged in the administration of financial and other types of resources. We have to look for the reasons of the attacks in the coincidence of interests of the big capital at global and transnational levels, in the circles that were not satisfied with the rhythm of the globalization process or its direction. Unlike traditional wars, whose conception is determined by generals and politicians, the oligarchs and politicians submitted to the former were the ones who did it this time.
2. Only secret services and their current chiefs x or those retired but still having influence inside the state organizations x have the ability to plan, organize and conduct an operation of such magnitude. Generally, secret services create, finance and control extremist organizations. Without the support of secret services, these organizations cannot exist x let alone carry out operations of such magnitude inside countries so well protected. Planning and carrying out an operation on this scale is extremely complex.
3. Osama bin Laden and "Al Qaeda" cannot be the organizers nor the performers of the September 11 attacks. They do not have the necessary organization, resources or leaders. Thus, a team of professionals had to be created and the Arab kamikazes are just extras to mask the operation. The September 11 operation modified the course of events in the world in the direction chosen by transnational mafias and international oligarchs; that is, those who hope to control the planet's natural resources, the world information network and the financial flows. This operation also favored the US economic and political elite that also seeks world dominance. General Leonid Ivashov with journalist Christopher Bollyn from American Free Press
The use of the term "international terrorism" has the following goals:
Hiding the real objectives of the forces deployed all over the world in the struggle for dominance and control;
Turning the people's demands to a struggle of undefined goals against an invisible enemy;
Destroying basic international norms and changing concepts such as: aggression, state terror, dictatorship or movement of national liberation;
Depriving peoples of their legitimate right to fight against aggressions and to reject the work of foreign intelligence services;
Establishing the principle of renunciation to national interests, transforming objectives in the military field by giving priority to the war on terror, violating the logic of military alliances to the detriment of a joint defense and to favor the anti-terrorist coalition;
Solving economic problems through a tough military rule using the war on terror as a pretext. In order to fight in an efficient way against international terrorism it is necessary to take the following steps:
To confirm before the UN General Assembly the principles of the UN Charter and international law as principles that all states are obliged to respect;General Leonid Ivashov
To create a geo-strategic organization (perhaps inspired in the Cooperation Organization of Shanghai comprised of Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan) with a set of values different to that of the Atlantists;
To design a strategy of development of states, a system of international security, another financial and economic model (which would mean that the world would again rest on two pillars);
To associate (under the United Nations) the scientific elites in the design and promotion of the philosophical concepts of the Human Being of the 21st Century. To organize the interaction of all religious denominations in the world, on behalf of the stability of humanity's development, security and mutual support.
General Leonid Ivashov is the vice-president of the Academy on geopolitical affairs. He was the chief of the department for General affairs in the Soviet Union's ministry of Defense, secretary of the Council of defense ministers of the Community of independant states (CIS), chief of the Military cooperation department at the Russian federation's Ministry of defense and Joint chief of staff of the Russian armies.