In another international incident of carnage, a suicide bomber detonated himself in the international arrivals section of Moscow’s Domodedovo airport, resulting in more than 35 dead and scores injured. Putting to shame the mega security arrangements most countries in the world adhere to at their airports, this daylight attack is the first after the devastating attack on Moscow’s subway system in March 2010. It is suspected that Chechen militants from the North Caucasus area in Southern Russia are behind the airport attack. The guerrilla tactics of militants have breached stringent security checks put in place after the subway attack.Although Russia is once again poised to become a world player, it is still plagued by the spectre of homegrown terrorism. Since 1991, the Chechen separatist movement has, time and again, engulfed the Russian heartland in a war where many campaigns have been launched to snuff out the militants but to no avail. No one can forget the horrors endured in this war, from the Moscow theatre siege in 2002 that resulted in 170 dead and the siege of the school in Beslan where 400 were killed. Vladimir Putin, as the President of Russia, went after the militants with a scorched-earth policy, sparing no one. This iron-fist policy placated conditions for a while but, as we in Pakistan are seeing today, the militants refined guerrilla tactics and scattered only to live and fight another day. That day has come. The Chechen separatists had vowed to target Russia’s most populated urban centres. There is strong likelihood that this attack too has been orchestrated by Chechen guerrillas in a new campaign to terrorise civilians.
Till recently, Russian President Dimitri Medvedev was focusing on addressing the root causes of terrorism like poverty, lack of employment and inadequate education. However, the two high profile attacks on the Moscow subway and airport have changed the president’s perception; he is becoming as hardline as Putin, giving weight to military means to eradicate terror once and for all. However, a political problem cannot be resolved by military means alone. It is hoped the Moscow will adopt a pragmatic approach in resolving this issue – Dailytimes