In 2003, the DC Metro was terrorized by snipers who traveled the outerbelt, killing people at random. I saw them once with my own eyes, but would not recall until they were caught. Two gunman, who happened to be American Muslim misfits, terrorized the nation’s capital for months before being apprehended with a lucky break from a truckdriver. Their terror was interstate as it began in Louisiana. What does this have to do with terrorism in Volgograd, Russia?
It demonstrates the difficulty in tracking down individual terrorists who are determined to kill innocent people and to disrupt safety and security.
In the instance of Russia, the universe of potential terror is vast as it includes all of Chechnya. The Chechen Republic has a history of violence and resistance to Russian national authority. It contains revolutionaries in large numbers.
“Chechnya Russian republic
The Chechen Republic, commonly referred to as Chechnya, also spelled Chechnia or Chechenia, sometimes referred to as Ichkeria, is a federal subject of the Russian Federation.
After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Chechen-Ingush ASSR was split into two: the Republic of Ingushetia and the Chechen Republic. The latter proclaimed the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, which sought independence. Following the First Chechen War with Russia, Chechnya gained de facto independence as the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria. Russian federal control was restored during the Second Chechen War. Since then there has been a systematic reconstruction and rebuilding process, though sporadic fighting continues in the mountains and southern regions of the republic.”
Is it feasible for Russia to launch an invasive military campaign inside Chechnya so close to the start of the Olympics, February 7th?
Can Russian police and military protect the Olympic venue and entrance and egress to and from the location via public and private transportation?
The Chechen problem is much larger in scope and scale to be able to stamp out in short order. It is probably possible for the Russians to launch a massive military initiative to protect the Olympians, but one must remember the damage that just one, two, or several persons working together can inflict on an urban community. The threat seems insurmountable in the short run.
In the long run, is it feasible and desirable for the Russian military to seek and destroy the Chechen rebels? That is like asking the viability of the much broader global war on terror.
Part of the solution is to be more precise in defining and understanding the problem of the sources and causes of terror.
No matter what Chechen terrorists believe they are accomplishing, the global reaction does not support their purpose.
“Putin orders security lockdown in Volgograd after second suicide bomb
Russian city under tight security after suicide bombing on trolleybus leaves 15 dead, one day after 18 people were killed at train station
Leonid Ragozin in Moscow
The Guardian, Monday 30 December 2013
A second suicide bombing in as many days in the Russian city of Volgograd has killed at least 15 people, injured dozens more and shredded Kremlin claims to have security under control in a region that will host the winter Olympics in less than six weeks.
President Vladimir Putin ordered a security clampdown in Volgograd and across the country after the bombing of a crowded trolleybus, which came less than 24 hours after 18 people were killed in a suicide attack at the city's main railway station.
The latest blast ripped the rush-hour trolleybus apart, leaving behind a grotesque tangle of metal and glass. At least 40 people were injured, including a one-year-old child who was in critical condition. The explosion occurred as the trolleybus approached a stop near the hospital where many casualties from the railway station attack were taken on Sunday.
Vladimir Markin, a spokesman for Russia's main investigative agency, said Monday's explosion involved a bomb similar to the one used in Sunday's attack at the city's main railway station.
"That confirms the investigators' version that the two terror attacks were linked," Markin said in a statement. "They could have been prepared in one place."