Thursday, August 25, 2005

Terrorists Target Russian Prime Minister

Two bomb blasts in Ingushetia wounded Ibragim Malsagov as terrorist sponsored attacks continue in the southern province. (Fox News: Bomb Hurts Russian Premier, Kills Driver).
Russia has been plagued by incidents of terrorism targeting government and law enforcement personnel in the North Caucasus region. Putin has linked the rise in terrorist activity in his country to the growing wave of international terrorism and Muslim extremism.

While there is some debate as to whether the actions in Russia are related to terrorist activity against the US and western allies - something that seems dubious at best - Putin's assessment seems contrary to Russia's political posture against US coalition activity. Russian cooperation in Iraq would have made logical sense in exchange for US cooperation in Chechnya, yet that's not a tact Putin chose to pursue.

According to Fox News, authorities in republics throughout the North Caucasus have had battles with reputed "Islamic extremists." With much of that region already predominantly Muslim, it should be obvious that the extremists are not content with simply spreading Islam across the globe. Rather, they are bent on imposing a rigid totalitarian form of extreme Islam, targeting even countries that already have moderate Islamic governments. Cooperative efforts between the US and Russia would make logical sense in fighting Islamic extremism world-wide. Such cooperation between nations and encompassing the mainstream Muslim community is essential if we are to overcome the wave of radicals threatening nations across the globe.


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