Monday, September 23, 2013

The New Great Game Round-Up #21
Christoph Germann, Sep 22 2013
At the beginning of this week, a series of terror attacks shook Russia’s North Caucasus and proved that Putin’s concerns about security in this region are definitely justified:
3 police dead, 6 wounded in suicide bombing, attempted attacks in Russia’s south
A suicide attacker set off a powerful bomb near a police station in Russia’s Chechen Republic, killing three officers. His possible accomplice injured two policemen in neighboring Ingushetia while a third one wearing a suicide vest was detained.
Local law enforcement officials suspected that the attacks in Chechnya and Ingushetia were organized by the same militant group. The men of Beslan Makhauri’s gang, who operate from mountainous forests at the Chechen-Ingush border, were identified as the likely perpetrators. Russia’s FSB confirmed this and accused NATO’s favorite Chechen freedom fighter, Doku Umarov, of ordering the terror campaign:
Russia’s FSB Says Umarov Loyalist Behind Attacks
The head of Chechnya’s FSB branch, Andrei Seryozhnikov, accused Umarov of ordering the attacks but said the commander of the Sunzha wing of the North Caucasus insurgency, Beslan Makhauri, who was reportedly killed three years ago, actually organized the bombings.
So these latest attacks might be a foretaste of what is to come during the Sochi Winter Olympics which were not only threatened by Umarov but also by his boss Bandar Bush. Moreover, the FSB is worried about the possible return of several hundred Jihadi mercenaries from Syria to the North Caucasus:
Around 300-400 mercenaries may return from Syria to Russia
After a session of the Council of Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure of the SCO, First Deputy Director of Russia’s FSB Sergei Smirnov said: “As far as our country goes, we believe that 300-400 people have ventured out to Syria, thus they’ll come back. This poses a serious threat.”
Smirnov added that although the issue had not been thoroughly discussed at the session, it was concluded that “all SCO countries are affected by this problem.” The recent arrest of three battle-tested terrorists in Kyrgyzstan’s Osh province most likely contributed to this conclusion:
Members of terrorist group, preparing attacks in Osh and Bishkek, arrested
According to security services, prior to the Independence Day of the Kyrgyz Republic and SCO summit in Bishkek, a terrorist group of the Islamic Jihad Union was revealed and arrested at the end of Aug 2013 in Osh province. “Members of the group were transported to the Kyrgyz Republic from the Syrian Arab Republic in order to prepare and commit sabotage and terrorist attacks. The group consisted of one citizen of Kazakhstan and two Kyrgyzstanis, natives and residents of Osh, who took part in the military operations against government forces in Syria as members of terrorist groups,” the National Committee for National Security informed.
As previously reported, Kyrgyz citizens have been recruited in local mosques and then sent to Syria via Turkey to fight on behalf of Washington against the Syrian government:
Deputy Dastan Jumabekov said at a parliament meeting on Apr 17 that “teenagers are being recruited in the Aravan district of the Osh region and being convinced to go to Syria.” Supposedly, they are being recruited for fighting in Syria and are transported there via Turkey.
Hizb’ut-Tahrir, famous for radicalizing the Muslim population, has been quite active in Osh and is probably involved in these Jihadi recruitment centers. Furthermore, according to Kyrgyzstan’s intelligence service GKNB, Hizb’ut-Tahrir is working together with the Kyrgyz opposition to destabilize the country. This collaboration was severely criticized:
YUPIgate more terrible than Hizb’ut-Tahrir
And the fact that our so-called opposition doesn’t disdain to collaborate with such radical organizations as Hizb’ut-Tahrir is fraught with serious consequences. Experts note that the merger of these social strata becomes stronger, if not to mention that some representatives of political elite are implicated with the criminal world.
But not only Kyrgyzstan’s political elite is closely connected to the criminal world. In the Central Asian country, it is becoming more and more difficult to distinguish between the criminal world and religious organizations. Local authorities are concerned about the effects this could have on the Kyrgyz youth:
Kapar Batyrkanov: Criminal world is merging with religious organizations
“The criminal world is merging with religious organizations,” Head of the Main Interior Department of Chui province Kapar Batyrkanov said today at a joint meeting with participation of the Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Zhantoro Satybaldiyev. According to him, members of organized crime groups actively visit the mosques and read prayers. “Work is carried out to prevent the merger of the underworld with religious organizations,” he said, and noted that talks and meetings with teenagers are held to improve prevention of juvenile crime.
Restive regions may yet spell trouble for China’s Gwadar plan
Balochistan and Xinjiang are the largest, least developed and most restive (sic – RB) provinces in the two countries. China wants to develop Gwadar as a gateway port for Xinjiang, where the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, a Jihadi separatist group, has been involved in many terror attacks on China. Balochistan also faces a separatist insurgency. Seven security personnel were killed on Jul 27 in an act of terrorism in Gwadar.
Terrorist organizations operating in Balochistan as well as groups like ETIM in Xinjiang are supported by the US and its allies and are doing Washington’s bidding. Beijing does not tolerate outside interference and takes a hard line in its fight against foreign-sponsored terrorism:
3 sentenced to death for Xinjiang terror attack
A court in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Thursday sentenced three persons to death and one person to 25 years in jail for a violent terrorist attack in the region’s Shanshan County on Jun 26.
Additionally, the Chinese authorities try to conceal as much information as possible about the War on Terror in Xinjiang. So the latest incident, which occured just three days after a deadly shootout between police and terrorists, didn’t become publicly known until this week:
Uyghurs shot dead in ‘munitions center’ raid
Authorities in China’s restive northwestern region of Xinjiang have shot dead up to a dozen Uyghurs and wounded 20 others in a raid on what they said was a “terrorist” facility, according to local officials and residents. While police refused to give details of the incident, which had been kept under wraps for about three weeks, local officials and residents said it occurred in Jigdejai village around the Kuybagh township on Aug 23 during a raid on an alleged training camp and munitions center operated by a group of about 30 Uyghurs.
According to eyewitness accounts the terrorist camp was only discovered by chance due to the ineptitude of the Uyghurs:
He said the camp had been discovered after the Uyghurs had made rocket launchers that exploded on testing, killing one of them. “One of them blew their own head off, or they wouldn’t have been discovered,” he said. “We’re on the very edge of town. The Gobi desert is right next door to us.”
Beijing is not amused by the advancing terrorist activities in Xinjiang and the associated propaganda campaign blaming the Chinese government’s “sustained repression and provocation” of the Uyghur community for the violence. Efforts to promote the independence of East Turkestan were heavily criticized by Li Congjun, the current president and Party chief of Xinhua News Agency, in a recent column:
Head of Xinhua says Western media pushing revolution in China
Western media organizations are trying to demonize China and promote revolution and national disintegration as they hate seeing the country prosper, the head of China’s official Xinhua news agency said in comments published on Wednesday. “Some hostile Western forces and media do not want to see a prospering socialist China and target the spear of Westernization, separation and ‘color revolution’ at China,” Li wrote in a column.

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