26 April 2013, 16:56

Boston shockwave reaches Kavkaz Center

20.03.2012 Сектор Газа Египет граница Хамас боевики

The recent Boston Marathon terrorist attack has caused a change in the West’s attitude towards Chechen militants, even in the countries that have up till now tended to see the rebels as freedom fighters. The ideological shift may result in a shutdown of the Kavkaz Center website, whose server has been hosted by Finland. Helsinki clearly hates to be seen as a foreign patron of Chechen extremists, given the latest developments in Boston.

That Finland has changed its stance on the Kavkaz Center website has been reported by Finnish human rights activist, Juha Molari. He said police had requested that he provide them with evidence that Kavkaz Center publications are of extremist character. The human rights activist said he already provided police with a 200-page thick document two years ago about the radical website’s activities. But then, the law enforcement agencies not only remained indifferent, but managed to lose the report. However, many in the West have reconsidered their stand on Chechen separatists and their accomplices when it transpired that the Boston blasts had been set off by ethnic Chechens. This is what the Director of the Russia-Caucasus research centre of the International Institute of Newly-Emerged States, Oleg Ivannikov, has to say in a comment.

"The events in question, have shown the true face of the people who are behind the owners of the Kavkaz Center website. The site, set up years ago by the infamous rebel fighter Movladi Udugov, had been actively used by separatists during both Chechen campaigns to form world public opinion. But the situation that’s currently taking shape makes one feel that the website will be shut down".

This is precisely what Russia has been asking the site server-hosting nations for years. Kavkaz Center was charged with extremism, so it had to move first from Estonia to Latvia, and then to Finland. Helsinki ignored Moscow’s request to ban the site, citing the topmost principle of the freedom of expression. But the media reports that the older of Tsarnayev brothers, (responsible for the Boston blast) Tamerlan, could have been involved with Doku Umarov made the Finnish authorities change their stand. The point is that, according to some reports, it is Doku Ukarov who actually owns the site. If Finland continued hosting the Kavkaz Center server, it could well end up on the list of terrorist supporting countries. Although some neighbouring states may prove less scrupulous, says the Associate Professor of the MGIMO University Chair of European Integration, Alexander Tevdoi-Burmuli, and elaborates.

"The website in question, Alexander Tevdoi-Burmuli says, may easily move to one of the Eastern European nations, one of the European Union’s recent member-states, because Chechen communities have been in existence in some of these countries since the 2000’s".

The Boston terrorist attack has also had repercussions on yet another agency, - the Georgia Caucasus Foundation, affiliated with Georgia’s Counter-Intelligence Service. Caucasus Foundation is known for recruiting residents of North Caucasus republics. According to recent press reports, Tamerlan Tsarnayev was one of those who attended Caucasus Foundationseminars in 2012. The official reason for closing down the Foundation is said to be the fact that it had caught the eye of Russian special services. But the Foundation was actually shut down early this year. The fact that the Foundation has only just been closed down officially suggests that the Georgian authorities have decided to refuse to have anything to do with the agency that might be linked to the Boston terrorist.

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