#11 - JRL 7032
PREPARATIONS FOR TERRORIST ATTACKS AS A FORM OF P.R.
Are security structures trying to rationalize the need for more
Author: Roman Shleinov
[from WPS Monitoring Agency, www.wps.ru/e_index.html]
THE LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES HAVE STARTED PREPARING US FOR SOME KIND
OF MAJOR TERRORIST ATTACKS, SUCH AS EXPLOSIONS IN MOSCOW. IT IS GOOD
THAT ALL STATE SERVICES HAVE FINALLY POOLED THEIR EFFORTS - BUT WHO
CAN EXPLAIN WHY IT'S BEING DONE NOW, AND WHY SO SUDDENLY?
A burst of counter-terrorism activity by secret services and the police
JANUARY'S SECULAR AND RELIGIOUS HOLIDAY CELEBRATIONS HAD BARELY ENDED
WHEN THE LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES STARTED PREPARING US FOR SOME KIND
OF MAJOR TERRORIST ATTACKS - WITH AN ODD PERSISTENCE.
THE HEAD OF THE MOSCOW AND MOSCOW REGIONAL DIRECTORATE OF THE FEDERAL
SECURITY SERVICE (FSB) SAID THAT SHAMIL BASAYEV WAS THREATENING TO
ORGANIZE SOME UNPRECEDENTED TERRORIST ATTACKS IN MOSCOW. THE MOSCOW
MUNICIPAL INTERNAL AFFAIRS DIRECTORATE CIRCULATED THIS INFORMATION
WITHIN ITS STRUCTURES.
AN EXCERPT FROM A POLICE "INSTRUCTION ON A POTENTIAL TERRORIST ACT"
AND RECOMMENDED PREVENTIVE MEASURES WERE LEAKED TO THE MEDIA. THIS
INCIDENT WAS FOLLOWED BY DISCOVERY OR TWO LADA CARS LOADED WITH
EXPLOSIVES ON ZVENIGORODSKOYE SHOSSE. QUITE CONVENIENTLY, THE FIND WAS
REPORTED DURING AN EXPANDED MEETING OF THE MOSCOW MUNICIPAL INTERNAL
AFFAIRS DIRECTORATE BOARD...
The rest followed logically. Forces of the Emergency Ministry had
a chemical-attack drill organized for them. Special security
procedures were introduced in the Moscow subway (dogs trained to sniff
out explosives are to be used down there at some future date), and
residency registration in Moscow was tightened.
It is good, of course, that all state services have finally
pooled their efforts in response to the common threat - but who can
explain why it's being done now, and why so suddenly? Are terrorists
back on the warpath after the New Year celebrations? Has the wall that
used to divide Chechnya and Russia fallen down?
We should admit that the criminals were active all year long, and
Basayev (and he was not alone) made his threats a month ago, and a
year ago too. It follows that this there is more to this frenzy of
counter-terrorism activity on the part of the secret services and the
police than meets the eye.
There are many incidents in the history of Russia that may be
used to confirm this suspicion. Gunmen in Chechnya obtained Igla and
Strela-2M portable SAM launchers, standard gear for the Russian army,
last year. Gelayev's gang lost one of them when crossing the Russian-
Georgian border. The military confiscated eighteen launchers from
would-be terrorists the following spring. This means only one thing:
there are many portable SAM launchers in Chechnya, dozens or probably
The authorities went to great pains to convince the public that
these Soviet-era launchers were reaching Chechnya from abroad (we
should admit that there are very many of them abroad, indeed). Last
October, however, a Strela-2M launcher was found in the ruins of what
had once been an army storage depot in the Kyakht district of
Buryatia. Shortly afterwards, a serviceman from the Russian army was
caught red-handed in an attempt to sell a similar SAM launcher to the
All this made it clear, in short, that launchers of this type
freely circulate in Russia. In the meantime, they have multiple uses.
In Kenya, Al Qaeda terrorists fired a Strela SAM at an Israeli
Nothing of this sort has ever happened to Russian planes,
fortunately, but five missiles were found at a cemetery near the
village of Ankudinovo in the vicinity of Vnukovo airport last summer.
A similar missile was later discovered in Moscow itself (fortunately,
it was a dummy missile used for training purposes).
Late August 2002 brought a sensation. Police officers in the
Chekhov district of the Moscow region found a Smerch mobile multiple
launcher and dozens of missiles at private company in the Chekhov
district of the Moscow region. The warehouse was not even guarded. A
single 12-missile volley from the launcher would destroy all life
across 670,000 square meters, from a distance of up to 120 kilometers.
Given the situation in and around Moscow, we can only wonder that
a terrorist act like the theater hostage-taking did not take place
earlier. Finds in or near Moscow have included missiles and multiple
launchers, impressive amounts of radioactive substances, mercury, and
other deadly toxins - right in the streets, in parks, and at shut-down
It is particularly important that missile systems, ammunition,
and hazardous substances (not to mention guerrillas as such) can and
do move freely around Russia, regardless of administrative borders,
checkpoints, traffic police roadblocks, or ID requirements. Much has
already been written about special ID cards being available for sale
(these ID cards are supposed to be used by secret service vehicles
during special operations). Each such ID card costs several thousand
dollars, and enables its holder to transport anything and anyone they
please, offering immunity from all inspections and police checks.
It turned out recently that these ID cards might also be
supported by the badge of a law enforcement officer or an officer of
the special forces. An attempt to smuggle a number of blank documents
from Russia to Georgia was thwarted recently.
All this means that the road from Grozny to Moscow lies open,
thanks to fake IDs and money (and terrorists are never short of
Mikhail Pashkin, Chairman of the Coordinating Council of the
Moscow Police Force Trade Union: Vehicles bound for Moscow are
inspected. The result is colossal traffic jams. All this is a sham,
because even I know at least two roads in the North-West district of
Moscow by which it is possible to enter Moscow without encountering
any traffic police posts or patrols... Or take the use of dogs trained
to sniff out explosives in vehicles. That's another sham. Specialists
say that the vehicles about to be inspected needs to have its engine
turned off for 20-30 minutes before a dog will be able to smell
anything at all... As for assistance for policemen on patrol (this is
widely discussed nowadays), nothing has changed in this sphere. They
still have to patrol huge areas.
Viewed against this backdrop, the two Lada cars full of
explosives fade into insignificance.
Hence the assumption that there is something suspicious about all
this activity by the secret services and the police - that they must
have different motives and, apparently, different objectives. Here are
a few theories.
1. An additional 3 billion rubles was allocated by the federal
budget for the war on terrorism, and security structures need to
justify their spending (in the hope that what is "additional" now will
become "traditional" tomorrow).
2. This is an early start to PR preparations for the
parliamentary and presidential elections, and the war on terrorism
will be the major slogan of these campaigns.
3. The Moscow hostage-taking demands some measures. The positions
of some senior officers of law enforcement agencies are quite shaky.
They initiated all this activity in the hope of keeping their jobs.
4. Security structures were reprimanded by those at the top, and
it might have finally dawned on them that terrorist acts are indeed
The conclusion is apparent. The corrupt system where officials
sell ID documents and badges, weapons and ammunition to terrorists and
guerrillas cannot ensure security. It can only stimulate activity.
Even the additional 3 billion rubles is not going to ameliorate the
situation, and the national leaders know it. It is hardly a
coincidence that most of the 3 billion rubles went to the Federal
Protection Service, whose professionals act as bodyguards for senior
state officials. These senior officials have made certain of their own
safety, while all the rest of us are left to face the consequences of