I have always maintained the belief that the brutal war in Chechnya was a covert military operation waged against the Russian Federation by the West with direct support from Pakistan, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. The war in question was intended to undermine Russian power within the Caspian Sea region and the Caucasus thereby giving interested parties free access to the region's vast oil/gas reserves and strategically important transit routs. Their bold plan succeeded somewhat while Yeltsin the drunk was in power. Needless to say, since Vladimir Putin took control of the government in Moscow, the Caspian Sea region has been thoroughly pacified and its much coveted oil/gas reserves and its strategically vital transit routs have been more-or-less monopolized by Russia.
The War in Chechnya
With regard to Chechnya, the main rebel leaders Shamil Basayev and Al Khattab were trained and indoctrinated in CIA sponsored camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan. According to Yossef Bodansky, director of the U.S. Congress's Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, the war in Chechnya had been planned during a secret summit of HizbAllah International held in 1996 in Mogadishu, Somalia. 21 The summit, was attended by Osama bin Laden and high-ranking Iranian and Pakistani intelligence officers. In this regard, the involvement of Pakistan's ISI in Chechnya "goes far beyond supplying the Chechens with weapons and expertise: the ISI and its radical Islamic proxies are actually calling the shots in this war". Russia's main pipeline route transits through Chechnya and Dagestan. Despite Washington's perfunctory condemnation of Islamic terrorism, the indirect beneficiaries of the Chechen war are the Anglo-American oil conglomerates which are vying for control over oil resources and pipeline corridors out of the Caspian Sea basin. The two main Chechen rebel armies (respectively led by Commander Shamil Basayev and Emir Khattab) estimated at 35,000 strong were supported by Pakistan's ISI, which also played a key role in organizing and training the Chechen rebel army: [In 1994] the Pakistani Inter Services Intelligence arranged for Basayev and his trusted lieutenants to undergo intensive Islamic indoctrination and training in guerrilla warfare in the Khost province of Afghanistan at Amir Muawia camp, set up in the early 1980s by the CIA and ISI and run by famous Afghani warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. In July 1994, upon graduating from Amir Muawia, Basayev was transferred to Markaz-i-Dawar camp in Pakistan to undergo training in advanced guerrilla tactics. In Pakistan, Basayev met the highest ranking Pakistani military and intelligence officers: Minister of Defense General Aftab Shahban Mirani, Minister of Interior General Naserullah Babar, and the head of the ISI branch in charge of supporting Islamic causes, General Javed Ashraf, (all now retired). High-level connections soon proved very useful to Basayev.
Following his training and indoctrination stint, Basayev was assigned to lead the assault against Russian federal troops in the first Chechen war in 1995. His organization had also developed extensive links to criminal syndicates in Moscow as well as ties to Albanian organized crime and the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). In 1997-98, according to Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) "Chechen warlords started buying up real estate in Kosovo... through several real estate firms registered as a cover in Yugoslavia. Basayev's organisation has also been involved in a number of rackets including narcotics, illegal tapping and sabotage of Russia's oil pipelines, kidnapping, prostitution, trade in counterfeit dollars and the smuggling of nuclear materials (See Mafia linked to Albania's collapsed pyramids, 25 Alongside the extensive laundering of drug money, the proceeds of various illicit activities have been funneled towards the recruitment of mercenaries and the purchase of weapons.
During his training in Afghanistan, Shamil Basayev linked up with Saudi born veteran Mujahideen Commander "Al Khattab" who had fought as a volunteer in Afghanistan. Barely a few months after Basayev's return to Grozny, Khattab was invited (early 1995) to set up an army base in Chechnya for the training of Mujahideen fighters. According to the BBC, Khattab's posting to Chechnya had been "arranged through the Saudi-Arabian based [International] Islamic Relief Organisation, a militant religious organisation, funded by mosques and rich individuals which channeled funds into Chechnya". Concluding Remarks Since the Cold War era, Washington has consciously supported Osama bin Laden, while at same time placing him on the FBI's "most wanted list" as the World's foremost terrorist. While the Mujahideen are busy fighting America's war in the Balkans and the former Soviet Union, the FBI --operating as a US based Police Force- is waging a domestic war against terrorism, operating in some respects independently of the CIA which has --since the Soviet-Afghan war-- supported international terrorism through its covert operations.
In a cruel irony, while the Islamic jihad --featured by the Bush Adminstration as "a threat to America"-- is blamed for the terrorist assaults on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, these same Islamic organisations constitute a key instrument of US military-intelligence operations in the Balkans and the former Soviet Union. In the wake of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, the truth must prevail to prevent the Bush Adminstration together with its NATO partners from embarking upon a military adventure which threatens the future of humanity.
In related news:
British And American Covert Operations In Chechnya
"The Clinton administration followed up by providing strong support to the KLA, even though it was known that the KLA supported the Muslim mujahadeen. Despite that knowledge, then Secretary of State Madeleine Albright had the KLA removed from the State Department list of terrorists. This action paved the way for the United States to provide the KLA with needed logistical support. At the same time, the KLA also received support from Iran and Usama bin Laden, along with 'Islamic holy warriors' who were jihad veterans from Bosnia, Chechnya and Afghanistan. Swiss journalist Richard Labeviere, in his book, 'Dollars for Terror,' said that the international Islamic networks linked to bin Laden received help from U.S. intelligence community. Indeed, Chechen sources claim that U.S. intelligence also aided them in their opposition to Russia. Given that U.S. policy in the post-Cold War period has not only been anti-Russian but anti-Iranian, the United States worked closely with Pakistan's predominantly Sunni Inter-Services Intelligence organization. Through ISI, the United States recruited Sunni mujahadeen by staging them in Chechnya to fight in Bosnia and later in Kosovo."
"As the intelligence newsletter Stratfor -- which Time magazine ranked as the nation's top intelligence site in 2003, and which Barron's described as 'a private quasi-CIA' -- pointed out a few months ago, with Ukraine now firmly in the West's orbit, America, with NATO and the EU, has managed to succeed exactly where Hitler and Napoleon failed: it has dismantled the Russian empire, leaving the rump state exposed, weakened and essentially at the West's mercy.... In the wake of the Beslan massacre in September, 2004, in which hundreds of children were killed during a Chechen separatist seizure of a school in southern Russia, President Putin went on television and blamed certain foreign powers for supporting the terrorists with the aim of defanging Russia for good, breaking it apart, and seizing its valuable resources. He did not name the United States, but it was clear whom he meant. .....Stratfor, whose politics could be described as something between patriotic-American and realpolitik, agreed. According to its Kremlin sources, Putin specifically named the U.S. and Great Britain during private meetings. And as Stratfor noted in its April report, there is plenty of evidence to support the Kremlin's claim. In the first place, while Muslim separatist militants from other conflict zones are shunned and even violently pursued by the U.S., the Chechen separatist representatives are routinely given haven and official voice in both the U.K. and America. ... As Stratfor notes, the British connection to the Chechen separatists goes farther back. 'During the first Chechen war -- from 1994 to 1996 -- retired U.K. special forces officers trained British Muslim recruits in British territory to fight in Chechnya,' Stratfor claims, echoing reports out of Russia. 'Some militants who attended that training and were later captured told the Russian government.' After Chechnya gained de facto independence, a scandal apparently erupted in Russia-U.K. relations when de-mining instructors from a private security firm, which included American ex-military personnel, were caught 'training Chechen militants how to launch mine and bombing attacks against Russian troops,' according to Stratfor.."
"Why would a group of leading American neo-conservatives, dedicated to fighting Islamic terror, have climbed into bed with Chechen rebels linked to al-Qaeda? The American Committee for Peace in Chechnya (ACPC), which includes Pentagon supremo Richard Perle, says the conflict between Russia and Chechnya is about Chechen nationalism, not terrorism. The ACPC savaged Russia for the atrocities its forces have committed in the Caucuses, said President Vladimir Putin was 'ridiculous', claimed Russia was more 'morally' to blame for the bloodshed than Chechen separatists and played down links between al-Qaeda and the 'Chechen resistance'. The ACPC's support for the Chechen cause seems bizarre, as many of its members are among the most outspoken US policymakers who have made it clear that Islamist terror must be wiped out. But the organisation has tried to broker peace talks between Russia and Chechen separatists. The ACPC includes many leaders of the neo-conservative think-tank, Project for the New American Century (PNAC), which advocates American domination of the world.... ACPC executive director Glen Howard said the continuation of the 'brutalising tactics' of Russian forces would only lead to 'the resistance employing more brutal tactics' like the assault on School Number One in Beslan...... The nurturing of Chechen fighters against Russia recalls America's support for the Mujahideen in Afghanistan - an act that went on to spawn al-Qaeda and the Taliban.... Howard said hardliners like Richard Perle were backing Chechnya as they 'understood what it feels like to be under the Russian yolk'. Some critics believe the support for the Chechens may be a cold war hangover or part of a policy to keep Russia weak through bloodletting in the Caucuses.... According to Howard, due to the vast energy resources in the Caucuses, the West, which is heavily dependent on foreign energy, has strategic interests in the area to which it cannot afford to turn a blind eye."