#4 - JRL 7026
Russia claims to have proof linking Chechen rebels to al Qaeda
NEW YORK. Jan 20 Interfax) - Russia claimed on Monday to possess "numerous incontrovertible pieces of evidence" that Chechen insurgents have contacts with the al Qaeda terrorist network and called for prosecuting Chechen rebels no matter where they are. "It is the duty of every countrynot to let them evade justice. There can be no double standards in this matter," Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said at a UN Security Council ministerial meeting on terrorism. Terrorist attacks in Kaspiisk, Moscow and Grozny last year and the "Chechen connection" in terrorist activity in European and Muslim countries "leave no reason to doubt that Chechen terrorism is a component of the world terrorist infrastructure, including al Qaeda." Ivanov said Russia has "numerous incontrovertible pieces of evidence" proving this. He called for stronger "understanding, including at the level of the UN Security Council, that use of terrorist methods leaves the political ambitions of those who engage in it at a dead end and unambiguously makes them criminals and true outcasts."