Counter-Terrorism: The One-Man Solution

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October 6, 2007: While Russian counter-terror tactics worked in Chechnya, they have failed, so far, in neighboring Ingushetia. The half million Ingush are ethnic cousins of the Chechens, but, historically, have not been nearly as troublesome. However, over the last few years, there has been a growing rebel movement there, whose ire is mainly directed at the corrupt, but pro-Moscow ruler of the province, Murat Zyazikov.

The usual Russian tactic is to try and bribe (with cash, amnesty, jobs) rebels, and form police units of these former rebels, to go after the diehards. This hasn't worked in Ingushetia. The violence is actually low key. The rebels fire on police stations (with rifles and mortars), often just causing damage, but not injuring anyone. The rebels are gunning for senior officials they believe responsible for the corruption, and an earlier counter-terror campaign that consisted largely of police kidnapping many Zyazikov opponents, and killing them. This just angered more people, because many of those killed were not in favor of violence against the government. As a result, more people now side with the rebels. Many Ingush notables are telling the national government that the most effective counter-terror tactic here would be to remove Zyazikov from power.

 


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