Author`s name Michael Simpson

Terrorist Basayev is Somewhere Outside Dagestan

"The terrorist is not that stupid to run about the mountains hiding from helicopters and warplanes"
An operation for search and detention of extremists is still carried out in some parts of Dagestan. Search groups are operating in the mountains and looking for small terrorist groups. Over 2 thousand servicemen from Russia's Ministry of Defense, Interior Ministry and frontier troops are taking part in the operation. Official sources report that losses of extremists make up 10 people. According to some sources, the extremist group consisted of 30-37 people, although it had been reported earlier that 60 terrorists entered Dagestan from Chechnya. Chairman of the Dagestan Council of State Magomedali Magomedov says that one group of 18 terrorists was blocked in a gorge near the settlement of Sagada. Losses of the terrorists during the clash were not reported yet.

Head of the Chechen Presidential Security Service Ramzan Kadyrov commented upon the recent events on the Chechnya-Dagestan border. He said: "We cannot say for sure that the extremist group came from Chechnya. There are bandits in Dagestan as well, but they are often disregarded. Terrorists penetrate Chechnya from Dagestan, commit crimes and go back. We traditionally call terrorists Chechens, but we should keep in mind that criminality has no nationality. Special services must work more persistently but not look for the sign of Chechen terrorists in every sortie. It has become known that there were Avars and other nationalities of Dagestan among the terrorist group discovered during the operation. Let us agree with the fact that Dagestan has extremists of its own as well. What is the present-day situation in Northern Caucasus? Majority of terrorists of all kinds have been liquidated in Chechnya; some terrorists are hiding on the territory of Ingushetia and Dagestan. The situation is changing in Ingushetia today. Leakage of information makes our work more complicated.

We are ready to resist terrorists in any place. Taking the situation in Dagestan into consideration, we are on the alert on the border to be ready to take part in liquidation of the terrorist group. The group revealed itself because of vakhabits who came down from mountains for food. Indeed, if the group wanted to commit a serious attack they would have entered some other area close to the plain part of Dagestan.

In this connection we should also speak about the openness of the administrative borders between Chechnya and Dagestan. Frontier services must protect some sectors of the border better.

As for terrorist Basayev, he was in some other place during the recent operation in Dagestan. He is traditionally guarded better. The terrorist is not that stupid to run about the mountains hiding from helicopters and warplanes."

Andrey Suvorov