Thursday, July 30, 2009

Islamism in Chechnya

In the aftermath of last Sunday's suicide bombing in central Grozny, Ramzan Kadyrov has blamed a Russian citizen, Alexander Tikhomirov, who goes by the name of "Said Buryatsky". According to Kadyrov, Tikhomirov's father was a Buddhist and his mother a Christian, while Tikhomirov himself is now a Muslim convert and preacher whose ideas are alleged to be widely circulated in the Chechen Islamist "underground". The suicide bomber, a young man called Rustam Mukhadiyev, is supposed to have come under the influence of Tikhomirov's Islamist preaching.

In this new public televised statement about the bombing, Kadyrov declares that the terrorists "have made it their aim to spill the blood of the Chechen people, but their days are numbered... The police and other law enforcement agencies are on their trail, and the most severe punishment awaits them, the most severe punishment that is envisaged by Russian laws."

Kadyrov is also reported as saying about the relatives of wanted insurgents: "Either let them go out and destroy their dogs themselves, or let them give them to us!" Among many Chechens this has led to fears of collective retribution.

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