August 31, 2005

Basayev's New Post

Beslan massacre chief promoted:

Shamil Basayev, the warlord behind last year's bloody school siege in Beslan, was named second-in-command of Chechnya's rebel government yesterday in a sign of the separatists' growing radicalism.

Since fleeing to the forests after Russian troops reclaimed control of Grozny in 2000, Chechen rebels have maintained what they claim is a legitimate cabinet.

About as legitimate as the PLO.
Basayev was named to the post by Abdul-Khalim Sadulayev, the rebels' president, who succeeded Aslan Maskhadov, killed by special forces in March.

Maskhadov, who was seen as a relative moderate, had marginalised Basayev and promised to prosecute him for the Beslan massacre if he retook Chechnya from the current pro-Moscow administration.

Nobody was holding their breath.
Basayev admitted in an interview with an American television station last month that he was a terrorist, but claimed his actions were justified by Russian suppression.

Analysts said his appointment was likely to bolster the rebels' power to attract funding from Islamic radicals abroad. But some commentators said it would play into Moscow's hands by tarring the entire separatist movement with the brush of extremism.

The late Maskhadov had condemned terrorist acts and had given the rebels a veneer of respectability.

You monster. Nothing justifies the killing of innocent children going to school.

People actually think Basayev's promotion will "tar" their image and paint them as extremists?

Somebody missed the memo, evidently, because t doesn't get much more extreme than Beslan.

Posted by Kyer at August 31, 2005 12:11 PM | TrackBack