“Terrorists aim to spread fear and panic”

Fred Weir, the Christian Science Monitor’s correspondent in Moscow, thinks that the biggest problem resulting from the train crash is the return of a social mood of panic and fear.

“This is practically exactly the 10th anniversary of the awful apartment bombings that occurred in the fall of 1999,” he said. “And we had quite a number of really awful grisly terrorist acts that struck here in Moscow and other Russian cities right up until Beslan, which was 5 years ago. There was a political mood of real toughness and need and almost hysteria to clamp down and create secure conditions. A lot of the political changes that we have experienced, the tightening of power, were already an indirect result of terrorism because they are part of the official response. And so it’s really scary to counter play the return of that mood to Russian society.”