Russia Islamist network takes shape as Caucasus hit by another terrorist attack
An attack in Ingushetia today, the fifth to shake Russia in a week, underscores the threat posed by an Islamist insurgent network that has emerged from the ashes of Chechnya's nationalist rebellion.
Five terrorist attacks that killed almost 60 people in a single week have left Russians deeply shaken. The latest attack took place today in the restive Republic of Ingushetia.Skip to next paragraph
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Some experts worry that an Islamist insurgent network led by Chechen "emir" Doku Umarov, who took responsibility for the suicide bombings that killed 40 people at two Moscow metro stations a week ago, may be preparing to launch a new wave of assaults against Russia's heartland.
"Doku Umarov is trying to intensify his activities, to draw attention to the situation in the north Caucasus," says Andrei Soldatov, editor of Agentura.ru an independent online journal that specializes in security news. "It's logical that the attack in Moscow would be followed by others in republics around the north Caucasus, because that shows that the actions are coordinated and can happen in several places. Now that everyone is paying attention, it's quite possible we can expect more attacks, perhaps in areas beyond Dagestan and Ingushetia."
Experts say that Mr. Umarov, an anti-Moscow veteran of two Chechen wars since 1994, has rebuilt insurgent infrastructure and forged links with like-minded Islamist rebels around Russia's seething north Caucasus region. While Moscow was able to squelch Chechnya's nationalist rebellion, experts say the Islamist insurgency could be harder to quell.
After Moscow bombings, Dagestan and Ingushetia attacks
In the week since the twin Moscow metro bombings, insurgents hit a police station in the Dagestani town of Kizlyar with a double blast that killed 12 people, including last Wednesday. Kizlyar's police chief was among the dead. On Thursday two suspected insurgents died in an explosion while they were being pursued by police. On Sunday two bombs, which detonated 15 minutes apart, derailed a freight train near the Dagestani capital of Makhachkala, on the main line between Moscow and Azerbaijan, but no casualties were reported.
The latest blast, which killed two policemen and injured a third, came after a man entered a police station in Karabulak, located in the violence-wracked republic of Ingushetia. About 50 officers in the town were gathered for their morning briefing. "The man approached two police guards," the official ITAR-Tass agency quoted an Ingush security official as saying. "He seemed suspicious to them and when they attempted to check his documents, he triggered the explosive device."