Chechen attack: ‘terrorists get weapons from abroad, linked to Mideast groups’
RT:Machine guns, hand grenades and all sorts of ammunition were found in the buildings where the terrorists were hiding out. Where are they getting the weapons from?
Alexander Nekrassov: I suspect that these weapons are coming from abroad and I suspect there are links between these groups and the radical groups in the Middle East. So it is quite obvious that this link exists and that the danger is there. We have heard a lot of threats coming from the likes of IS and others that they are going to hit Russia. The Chechen authorities … are coping quite well with the situation. Let’s face it – [the fact that there were] no civilian causalities just proves that the situation is under control there.
RT:Speaking in a broader sense now, how much of a terror threat is Russia facing at the moment, a year on from the deadly suicide bombings in Volgograd?
AN: I think the threat is always there. I think the threat has been increasing as we are witnessing what is going on in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and another places as well. The sad thing about the current situation is that the cooperation that Russia had before the crisis in Ukraine with other Western countries on battling terrorism is now not working as well as it should do, and it is not Russia’s fault obviously, it is the West’s fault. I also think that the West is making a huge mistake because it needs Russia: it needs Russian influence in Syria, in Iraq, and across the Middle East generally. And I think most of the losses now, most of the things …defeats they suffer in the war against terror across the Middle East - one of the big reasons is that Russia is not involved; because the exchange of information on terrorist groups is not the same as it was. I know that there are contacts going on but unfortunately not on the scale we have seen before the crisis in Ukraine.
RT:What about the situation in Caucasus in general? Chechnya and the other North Caucasus republics have seen decades of militant activity. What's the solution?
AN: Obviously the solution is- you fight terrorism with confidence and determination, there is no other way. Unfortunately I think that there would be more problems arising from the fact that these radical groups in the Middle East are still being armed by the West. America alone has been sending so much financial aid and arms to the Syrian rebels. And these arms are obviously moving across the whole of the Middle East, we see them in Iraq and other places. And that, I suspect, will create more problems in the Caucasus… I think President Putin made this point very clear in his Address that there has to be cooperation, there has to be determination to fight that terrorism threat. The events in Chechnya tell us that the local security forces are ready and are acting quite decisively.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.