Militants in Chechnya are training for Al-Qaeda experts on terrorist attacks involving satellites technologies, Judge Jean-Louis Bruguieres, member of the Higher Court of France, told US magazine New Yorker. Mr. Bruguieres is responsible for coordinating all investigative activities of the French authorities in the fight against international terrorism.
According to Mr. Bruguieres, Chechnya is beginning to play an ever growing and dangerous role in the "global jihad", with many of Al-Qaeda militants now undergoing training in Chechnya to use high technologies in terrorist acts.
Some of the terrorist groups have equipment to intercept satellite signals, Mr. Bruguieres told the well-known journalist and author Lawrence Wright, who contributed the material to the New Yorker.
By intercepting a satellite signal, terrorists can deal a crushing blow to the telecommunications sector, disrupt the work of electric power transmission lines, and paralyse the capabilities of developed nations to defend themselves, the judge stressed.
Commenting at RIA Novosti's request on Mr. Bruguieres' remarks in a telephone interview from Austin, Texas, Mr. Wright said that the French judge proceeded from the information known to him, namely that militants in Chechnya had among them highly-trained specialists on high technologies from the former USSR. These people have knowledge and experience, including on space technologies, whose mastery has recently been sought by Al-Qaeda, the journalist said.
Mr. Wright, who knows Arabic and is a specialist on terrorist organisations in the Middle East, is currently completing a new book about the September 11 terrorist attack.
The material he contributed to the New Yorker is a piece of investigative reporting, in which Mr. Wright raises the matter of Islamic terrorists using the latest technologies, including computers and Internet, in their struggle against western civilisation.
According to him, the real threat of terrorist acts, with which bin Laden's supporters are trying to influence public opinion in the US and Western Europe, shows that at the moment Al-Qaeda is beginning to position itself in a new way. So it is extremely important for the world community to grasp today's aims of that organisation.
Currently we are confronted by a new and practically unknown organization, which has a flexible system and clandestine links, making it difficult to understand its inner workings, Judge Bruguieres told Mr. Wright.
Mr. Bruguieres stressed he was seriously concerned about the future.