The army general survived thanks to vigilance of Orenburg policemen
It is for a week already that alarming rumors have been spread about an abortive attack of shahids at the Chief of the Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Anatoly Kvashnin. It is said that at the very last moment FSB officers managed to detain a Chechen female kamikaze who planned to blow up the general during his visit to the Russian city of Orenburg. Journalists called the Orenburg Department for Fighting with Organized Crime to clarify the problem. It is true that an act of terrorism was planned. It was not a woman who planned to commit the act but a male shahid who came to Orenburg from Dagestan.
The shahid was detained in an apartment right at the moment when he was reading a police report on him. Now the police of Orenburg are absolutely sure that the man who came fro Dagestan to visit friends in Orenburg was going to become a shahid and to organize the largest over the past years act of terrorism. The terrorist act was aimed at the Chief of the Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Anatoly Kvashnin.
The terrorist enjoyed assistance of Orenburg citizens, young people having families. Two of them - a Tatar and a Russian, who adopted Islam - have been already detained. Others are still at large. During a search much religious literature was taken away from the men. The Dagestan man had a detailed plan of General Kvashnin's activities in Orenburg; he knew that the general was going to visit the special forces brigade, the missile unit headquarters and planned to make an inspection tour about aviation regiments. Then Anatoly Kvashnin wanted to go to the settlement of Totskoye in the Orenburg Region and the city of Samara.
The terrorist also had a reserve plan. In case if General Kvashnin leaves Orenburg alive, the terrorist planned to blow himself up amidst paratroopers who celebrated their professional holiday on the day of the operation. Thus, the Day of the Airborne Troops would have resulted in a tragedy in Orenburg.
Deputy Mufti in the Orenburg Regional Moslem Department Abdullah-hazrat says he could hardly believe that people from his spiritual department were scheming an act of terrorism. "We couldn't believe it, the same way that any parents wouldn't believe if they were told their children are killers. Our religion is against terror, but there are different trends in it that stir up dissension inside of Islam. Soon we'll hold a meeting to consider the doings of these people who have stained the whole of Islam."
Why did terrorist choose Anatoly Kvashnin a target?
The chief of the staff of the Russian armed forces within many years, Anatoly Kvashnin has been an attractive target for Chechen terrorists for a rather long time. In addition to the fact that Anatoly Kvashnin is the second important figure in the Russian army, he is one of the most active Russian generals participating in the first and the second Chechen campaigns.
Judging from statements of Former Russian Minister of Defense Pavel Grachev, it was Anatoly Kvashnin who persuaded then-president Boris Yeltsin of the necessity of an armed occupation of Chechnya in 1994. Being the first deputy of the Joint Staff of the Army, Anatoly Kvashnin strongly supported the idea of intrusion in Chechnya. When the anti-terrorist operation started, Boris Yeltsin appointed him commander of the North-Caucasus troops. Anatoly Kvashnin remained on the position till the end of the first Chechen campaign; after that he was appointed head of the Joint Staff of the Russian Army. No doubt that Kvashnin's activity in the Caucasus caused many problems to Dudayev, Maskhadov and Basayev.
Within the past several years, many outrageous attacks at Russian generals have been committed.
January 19, 2003. Lieutenant-general Igor Shifrin, the head of the Glavspetsstroi military and exploitation department died as a result of a terrorist act in the Oktyabrsky district of Grozny. Terrorists in ambush fired upon two automobiles with the general and FSB officers inside.
January 27, 2002. A Mi-8 helicopter with 14 people on board blew up near the Shelkovskaya Stanitsa. All the passengers died. Head of the Interior Ministry Central Department in Russia's federal district, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Rudchenko, Second Commander-in-Chief of the Interior Ministry troops Major-General Nikolay Goridov and top officers of the North Caucasus united group of troops were among the victims. The helicopter was downed with a missile launched by terrorists.
November 29, 2001. An attack was committed at Urus-Martan military commandant General Geidar Gadzhiyev. A young female kamikaze approached a group of military men where the general stood and activated an explosive that was hidden under her clothes. Two servicemen were killed; the military commandant and his bodyguard were seriously wounded.
September 17, 2001. Deputy Commander of the Joint Staff central operating department Major-General Anatoly Pozdnyakov died in a catastrophe of a Mi-8 helicopter. The helicopter was fired upon by terrorists from both sides and dropped on a landing strip in Khankala.
An explosion of household gas occurred in a nine-storeyed apartment building in the city of Shakhty, the Rostov region of Russia. The blast destroyed two storeys of the building