Russian vigilantes launch own war on terror

While federal security forces are striving to bring stability to North Caucasus using legal methods, an underground anti-Wahhabi movement called Black Hawks has appeared in Russia’s Kabardino-Balkaria to fight terror with terror.

In recent weeks, hardly a day has passed without reports of new terrorist attacks in the North Caucuses with both civilians and the military falling victim. In a move to improve the situation, a counter terrorist operation was launched in several districts of Kabardino-Balkaria including the capital, Nalchik.

And now a third force seems to have joined the battle against the terror. Though their methods are not much different from those the outlaws use. A radical group who calls themselves Black Hawks believes in the “eye for an eye” principle as the only way to respond to terror.

In a video posted earlier on the internet, a man whose face was hidden behind a black mask announced that militants would “pay with their blood” and “the blood of their relatives” for attacking peaceful people and placing themselves above civilian law and the laws of the Koran.

That was followed by two explosions in Nalchik on Saturday night as unidentified people threw grenades into court yards of houses where the parents of the alleged militants live.

In an interview with REN TV aired on Monday, the leader of the movement explained who the Black Hawks are and what steps they intend to take.

“The Black Hawks are we, the ordinary citizens of the republic,” a man covering his face told the reporter. “We are fed up with the outrage created by that bearded evil who don’t let this republic live in peace. We want our friends from other regions to come here without having to fear being shot dead, or robbed.”

Apparently the man referred to an incident that triggered a counter-terrorist regime being announced in two districts of the republic. On February 18, unidentified assailants opened fire on a minivan carrying tourists from Moscow who were on their way to a well-known ski resort in Mt. Elbrus. As a result of the attack, three people, including a woman, were killed and two others were wounded.Following that, Presidential Envoy to the North Caucasus Aleskandr Khloponin suggested closing the resorts for tourists until the situation settles down.

A week later, Nalchik was hit by a string of attacks including a blast at a sanatorium. Over ten people were injured.

“Now they’ve started to bomb the city centre, women and children are become victims of the terrorist war,” the leader of the Black Hawks said. He said that if that continues, the movement will hit back with attacks on militants’ families to make them feel how it hurts. The man pointed out that 9 out of 10 families do know that their children make money illegally, as they their neither work not study but still have pockets full of money. “Why don’t parents of relatives ask them where the money comes from?”

The leader of the new group believes that militants only disguise themselves as fighters for religion and the majority of them simply lead a terrorist war. “They have no faith. The Koran says that no one can kill women or children,” he added. The leader of the anti-Wahhabi movement added that these bandits cannot justify their actions by labeling it a so-called “sacred war” since no one “enslaved them here” and they could live peacefully.

In response to a question about the Black Hawks future plans, their leader said “just watch the news”.