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Author`s name Ольга Савка

Cheap terrorism becomes more brutal

It costs the maximum of six thousand dollars to train a suicide bomber
 
The US administration has done a lot after 9/11 attacks to cut international terrorists from sources of their financial income. US officials took care of the national security first and foremost, of course, although the efforts were important for Russia too. For example, American special services stopped the activity of the Islamic Foundation Al-Haramein's division in the States – the organization particularly funded guerillas in Russia's North Caucasus under the guise of charity to help Chechen refugees.

Russia tries to catch up with the US at this point too. One can agree with Finance Minister Aleksey Kudrin, who recently said that the Duma had approved amendments to the laws about the funding of terrorism and about the struggle against money-laundering. According to the minister, the legal tool has been made for those purposes, and there was no need to concoct anything else. Russia is ready to develop the cooperation in the fiend of the anti-terrorist struggle with other states and international organizations. The Russian administration also wants the West to acknowledge that we all fight the common enemy, that those criminals, who seized the school in Beslan are called 'terrorists,' not 'rebels.'

Boris Milnikov, the chairman of the CIS Antiterrorist Center said that the absence of the single approach in the international document complicated the struggle against the funding of terrorism. “There is a list of certain organizations, which the international community classifies as terrorist, albeit certain states categorize certain organizations differently,” Milnikov stated. As long as there is no universal definition of terrorism, the notorious double standards will be preserved.

In spite of such different opinions in the antiterrorist coalition, the efforts taken on the international level have yielded certain results. Terrorists lost many of their financial sources. Various organizations in Turkey, Jordan, Western Europe, and the USA used to collect tens of millions of dollars for Chechen “fighters for freedom.” The current cash flow dropped to hundred thousands dollars a year. Turkish organizations, for example, do not sympathize with the “Chechen resistance” anymore – they started associating it with terrorism and radical Islam. Moscow's pressure on the Turkish government has also played a positive role too.

The drop of the funding has changed both methods of financing and the terrorist tactics. As a rule, Chechen guerrillas receive cash now from Islamic businessmen on their visits to Russia. It goes about small sums, which do not require bank transfers or large cases. The notorious Kavkaz-Center website published the prices of subversive activities as presented by warlord Shamil Basayev. According to the leader of Chechen terrorists, the recent crashes of Russian jetliners cost four thousand dollars, the explosion near the Moscow metro station was evaluated at seven thousand, and the Nord-Ost hostage crisis in Moscow cost eight thousand euros.

Current circumstances force terrorists to economize. It is not expensive to train a suicide bomber, although preparations of the 9/11 attacks required a huge investment. German experts on terrorism calculated that it costs the maximum of six thousand dollars to train a suicide bomber. Terrorists prefer to spend as little money as possible, but they also want to attract as much attention to their attacks as possible too.

Western politicians continue calling upon the Russian administration to stop the war in Chechnya. There is no war in Chechnya now, because the opposing party does not have enough money to conduct the warfare. Limited means, therefore, imply terrorist activities. Terrorism is cheaper than the guerrilla warfare, and it produces a more dramatic effect. One does not need to have powerful arms to kidnap children, specialists say.

The less money terrorists have the more damage they cause to civilians and the more aversion they raise in the society. The increasing brutality of terrorism is inversely proportional to its decreasing funding. However, there was something like a mutiny even among those cold-blooded murderers in the seized school of Beslan. The reward of 300 million rubles for Basayev and Maskhadov's heads is virtually the state price for those, who have lost any resemblance to a human being.

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