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tv   [untitled]    February 20, 2014 12:30pm-1:01pm EST

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very odd bedfellows western media and terrorist in the north caucasus both claim the competition should have been held in russia and both with probably like to see it turn into a major embarrassment is it a case of the enemy of my anime being my friend want to discuss that i'm now joined by gordon hahn a counterterrorism expert from the jews to teach it forecasting corp mr han thank you very much for taking time to talk to us here thank you now russia is of course no stranger to terrorist attacks and there's always a possibility of something like that happening like for example in munich and nineteen seventy two or in atlanta nine hundred ninety six but whenever an attack happens on a friendly territory the narrative that we get from western media is that of resilience you know we regret the loss of life but we should never allow terrorists dictate our lives but when it comes to this so much games for some reason the line that we most often hear here in russia from western media is why was russia ever
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allowed to host those games and i wonder if this reflects the nature of the threat posed by terrorism or rather the nature of the coverage. i think it's a combination of both on the one hand. one can argue that you know holding the games so close to a region where. considerably strong terrorist group has its base was high risk it probably seemed like less of a risk back in two thousand and five two thousand and six when they were deciding whether to hold hold in sochi because at that time the number of attacks was down quite a bit but the the movement was about to regenerate as it did in two thousand and seven when they declared the caucasus emirate and became a more jihad is the organization on the other hand there is a certain tendency in the west to on the one hand ignore this issue to a large extent certainly when it when it comes to looking at the terrorists themselves and instead focus on russian failure to guarantee security and so forth
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. and that's in part due to a certain bias in the western media if i will take your eye couple of years back to i think it was in two thousand and seven when the announcement of london as a host city for the two thousand and twelve summer olympic games came less than twenty four hours prior to that major attack on the city's transportation system into which you know dozens of people were killed hundreds of them were injured but i don't remember a single expert either from russia or from the west questioning the wisdom of holding those gains in london in fact it was presented as a way for the city to recover and defy those terrorists and yet when it comes to so much of the olympic committee of international and olympic committee is being constantly berated for allowing these games to proceed so it really looks like you know a case of double standards to many russians there are cases of the standards i'm not sure this is one of them quite honestly again the difference between you know
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say london in the north caucuses is that in london you know terrorist attacks are relatively rare so even though the timing there was close in terms of the decision you know in the north caucuses you know you've had thousands of and. surgeon terrorist attacks since two thousand and seven and you've had fifty four suicide bombings in russia since the formation of the caucasus ever in two thousand and seven but on the other hand we're talking about the city of sochi reach is not exactly in the middle of our darkest on it's still quiet removed and i think you would agree with me that the russian state is taking these terror threat it extremely seriously i mean thousands of security forces have been deployed on the side and it's estimated that more than two billion dollars was spent on providing the security and safety of the game yeah i agree generally speaking that the russians have taken extraordinary extraordinary measures and sochi of course is not in the heart of the north caucasus however it's only several hundred miles away in the and the judges have shown the capacity to strike moscow and more recently
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striking volgograd and of course attacking the moscow petersburg trained back in november two thousand and nine so i think it's much easier for the caucasus emirate to hit sochi in theory if all these security measures hadn't been taken than it is for global jihad history even native jihadists in england who which very few to attack a london so it's a bit more of a security risk but again as i said you know at the time it didn't look at the time the decision was being made it looked as though perhaps the what the time was a more chechen separatist movement was on the decline it would disappear now you already mentioned the caucasus and there is an obvious there it's later so already a war and they are going to take any opportunity to strike the games and if you look at the coverage of the caucasus emirate in the western media what
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strikes me is that many journalists ill used awards like rebels insurgents militants rather than there were terrorists and this is something that has made russia upset for very long time but i would argue that this is not just a case of. hurt feelings because in the run up to these sorts of games we had a lot of coverage focusing on the terrorist in the north caucasus and. i also think that some of the journos have the specific tendency of seeking out negative stories about russia and what could be more negative than a possibility of a major terror attack but in doing and in covering those threats so extensively one can make a case that it's not only as legitimacy to the cause of the terrorist but it also helps that ideology to spread would you agree with that yes there's a big problem with the language it's used in the mass media when it comes to covering the caucasus emirate in particular also the whole you run across the sort of political correctness in discussing jihadism in general i prefer rather the term
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terrorism or terrorists' the term jihad is. ism and this is because this is it is the exactly what they call themselves this is how they describe themselves. terrorism is a is really a tactic and that's it's a very one sided form of coverage there's never been a detailed examination of the caucasus emirate in one of the major media outlets in the united states yeah i took lee greenwood there and i think a while certainly many russian authorities and officials acknowledge that human rights have been violated and some instances in the north caucasus i would challenge anyone to find a war zone where no one's human rights were violated i think that would be a very hard challenge now i would like to shift gears a little bit and ask you about the nature of the terror threat itself rather than how it's being covered in western or russian media obviously you can never eliminate it completely but as we mentioned before the russian authorities are
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putting a lot of resources in trying to keep things under control in that context what do you think are the most likely forms of attack that terrorists could try to. so it's the games yeah i think that they were actually given the security measures taken in and around sochi i think they will probably try not to attack sochi but rather attack outside sochi perhaps in moscow perhaps in vogue perhaps in rest of the loop and my guess is they're basically for possible types of attack one would be suicide bombings perhaps using ethnic russian suicide bombers which is august anisa specialized in recently however the russian security forces and dogs nonny security forces recently killed one of the leading ethnic russian jihad ists in douglas done so that might have taken that weapon away somewhat the other is sort of vehicle borne attacks without the use of a suicide bomber and also there was
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a recent threat to use chemical weapons made by the group that carried out the suicide bombings in volgograd you just raised. the specter of the terrorist using chemical weapons possibly those smuggled from the rebels in syria but in order to suggest such a scenario you have to first contemplate the possibility of the syrian rebels actually having access to chemical weapons which is something that the year is government and some other western governments flatly rule out how do you reconcile the two well fact of the matter is there have been some there was a journalistic report by a well known american investigative journalist in which he interviewed several people from the cia who claim that they reported to the obama administration last spring that the rebels could possibly have acquired some chemical agents so it is conceivable and i don't think we know everything that's going on on the ground in syria and given given the fog of war it's certainly possible that these groups
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would have gotten ahold of chemical agents also there have been several reports of the turkish authorities detaining people coming from syria into turkey with one case one group told having sovereign. so it's possible i don't know if they could get the materials into russia very easily but it's it's possible and it's something that was since they made the threat it seems to me it's incumbent on the authorities to. be on the alert for that and trying to examine whether it's possible now one thing that i think adds to your chemical weapons assertion is the fact that over the past few here is terrorists from the north caucasus have actually risen to prominence in syria and i believe one of them is even in charge of the northern wing of the of the arses of the islamic state in iraq and syria which is believed to be one of the most brutal groups operating now in syria so supposedly eve syrian rebels had some sort of access to chemical weapons it won't be such a big deal such
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a big problem for after the dagestan is or ethnic chechen terrorists you also lay their hands on those chemical weapons right absolutely i've been writing a little bit about that lately there are actually two groups that are dominated by caucuses mujahideen some of them are. fighters of the core caucasus emirate other are others are people who are of caucuses who would like to join the caucasus emirate but because they lack resources and. weapons for everyone who would like to join these people decide to go to syria they're essentially two groups there's the islamic state in iraq and syria that you mention and there's also job and both of them have units of foreign mujahideen and in both cases the units of foreign which you had seen are led by. ethnic chechens actually from georgia from the punky sea valley in georgia so called ethnic chechen keats but there are many dogs danis from russia and from the north caucuses in many chechens and even
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some. of our genes involved cars so and we're talking about you know hundreds we don't know exactly how many probably at least four hundred five hundred i would like to pick up on what you just said the instability in the north caucasus has long had at least one external player and you just mentioned it georgia there putin has a lot several times that georgia under mikhail saakashvili provided a sanctuary to some of the armed groups operating in the north caucasus possibly logistical and even material support now since then georgia has had a change of leadership the georgian team is taking part of the olympics but i wonder if georgia still place apart and base a regional security puzzle because after all georgia shares a border with turkey and turkey as we all know has been somewhat permissive when it comes to foreign fighters crossing its borders yes there's a large turkey of. chechens from the north caucasus and also. we're less active in the global jihad so there's no doubt that that's that's an
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issue the georgians themselves have been playing up on the czerkawski an issue and by the way there are quite a few opposition figures in georgia who have accused the suckers really administration of supporting the caucasus emirate mujahideen. so the remnants of that possible cooperation could in fact. contribute to something in sochi though it's not. clear yet whether or not you know we're not we're not sure for we don't have concrete evidence that the georgians were involved in a support of the caucasus emirate yet but it's possible mr how do we have to take a short break now but when we come back the such a games have already been labeled the most dangerous a lympics in the history of the modern games but does this claim really hold water that's coming up in a few moments on the walls apart. when
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i close my eyes i see people. you know sometimes i think that you know my journey itself is a face covered by. people in both sides of the barricades. and you know sometimes it feels as if all of ukraine has no. right to see. her street. and i think the. recorders.
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welcome back to all the parts where we are discussing the security of the sochi games with gordon hahn a counterterrorism expert at the deer's to change it forecasting corporation mr han for almost two decades russia has claimed that the insurgency in the north caucasus was part of a global terror network but for many years those claims were essentially brushed
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off i wonder to what extent do you think the security challenges that we already discussed in the first part of the program are really of russia's own making and to what extent is it a product of the globalization of terror well it's really a mixture of two on the one hand. it's driven from inside russia by you know the so called the deficit democracy the high levels of corruption by the way the local culture in the north caucasus which tends to produce a lot of violence or violence oriented young men and then of course the tendency. within any muslim population a small percentage of people to be attracted to the jihad is to the ology and that then perforce is the bridge to the global jihad and so through the internet and earlier than one thousand nine hundred through direct intervention by al qaeda and others in the years stablish into training camps it's influenced by the global
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jihad primarily now it's through the internet and through external financing from the gulf region and so forth so it's a combination of the global situation and the domestic situation now as far as i understand the terrorists don't really need much to achieve that goal all they need is to create this feeling this perception of insecurity and that could be a doctor a relatively small scale plot and if they indeed succeed in pulling something off something like a terror attack even on a small scale in soldier or in an in some other russian city why. reaction do you think that could produce in the west i mean will those western pundits who are now calling for the boycott of the sochi olympics sympathise with with the russians or is it likely to produce i don't know some secret gloating that russia was embarrassed in such a major way there's no doubt about it that the people who were putting out all these reports about that were clearly exaggerated to some extent the problems
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existed but they were exaggerated about the dirty water and the bad hotels and so forth and so on these people will jump on an attack to criticize the putin ministration and russia's failure to be able to secure the games there's there's no doubt about that about that that that will happen but in general i don't think unless it's a serious serious attack like a major chemical attack which is highly unlikely and it would have to occur inside sochi i don't think the united states. the obama even other western governments would decide to pull. their teams from the olympics it would have to be a really major attack inside so true i think to pull that off and i don't think they're going to be able to do that now you just mentioned putin's name and one thing that many western commentators and terrorists in the north caucasus have in common when it comes to the sochi games is of course a very high degree of person if occasion and politicize ation of those games and
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the main recent issue in which russia has proven to be the thorn in the side of both the west and the jihadist movement is syria and to what extent do you think the debate around sochi is a fact that by the differences of opinion on the syrian issue on the syrian issue there are clear great differences between the united states and russia i don't think so choose going to play a large role in that a lot depends on how you know if if indeed there turned out to be a chemical attack and it would turned out that the agents came. syria then we would probably. that would be have an influence but i don't think that. there's all that much with direct relation i think the bigger question really is the problem that russia faces in having this large per jihadi to a large extent or if you can extend the civil war going on so close to the north caucuses with fighters going back and forth and the great security concerns creates
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for russia in the long in the short term mid-term and long term so it really would be and i think this is one of the main drivers for putin's intervention in trying to get the chemical weapons out of syria i think the obama administration and the west. should be a little bit more conscious of that there seems to be a change of heart in the administration now in washington about trying to work with the russians to deal with joe hottest so they're essentially two problems as far as the administration in the united states sees it probably in syria and that is first the it's the assad government or regime and the jihad ists at least on one of those i think we can work together and maybe in the long term we can find some solution to end the civil war and perhaps find a place some place else for assad to live but maintain stability and security in syria but that's going to be very very difficult now i heard several security analysts suggest that the conflict in syria represents a pivotal moment for the global jihadist movement both in terms of defining died
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and in drawing down numbers do you agree with that i think it's very point board it's going to it's now become really the central front in the global jihad. in terms of the north caucasus i think it really risks promoting the weight of the north caucasus mujahideen the caucasus emirate would you had seen within the global jihadi movement in general and that's a major problem for russia the caucasus emirate is now having. very close contacts with to al-qaeda. affiliate groups the i.s.i. has and. so this is a major potentially major problem for security in the north caucuses in russia in general now up until recently the united states was considered to be the number one and i mean for global jihad is but given that at least when it comes to syria russia has been the strongest in padam and to the jihadist plans for for the country i wonder how likely is said that russia itself will become
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a new ideological target for international terrorism this is precisely the problem that the extent that the in part being provoked by the sochi games in part being a result of the promotion of the role and influence of the caucasus emirate within the global jihadi movement as a result of their contacts in syria russia is going to become more of a target the positive side on that may be that the united states and russia will start to cooperate. a little bit. more thoroughly though there's no reason for example why the boston marathon attack should have occurred. better cooperation should have allowed us to avoid that along with an abandonment of some a political correctness that seems to pervade the united states nowadays but i wonder what could be a stimulus for that because he just mentioned the boston marathon bombing and obviously afterwards there was a lot of soul searching on the part of some american officials because several tips
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provided by their russian counterterrorism officials were missed but it seems that you know almost a year after that terror attack we don't see. in the way of cooperation between and the security forces of russia and the united states or at least not much has been reported. about well the obama administration's recent statements and from other people i've talked to in d.c. at a recent conference were saying that the cooperation with the russian security. services around sochi has been pretty good initially there were some statements by some congressmen that there was a lack of information coming from the russian security forces but most recent statements have been actually quite positive now i don't know whether my guess is that those that's probably true that in around sochi their cooperation is good because the united states has a direct incentive in protecting its outlets and citizens who are attending the
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games whether that will extend to other fronts in the global jihad is another issue one would have expected after the boston marathon attack although there was no direct or least known direct operational tie between the sinai of and the caucasus emirate there were certainly at the ideological influence of the caucasus emirate on the elder son i have which was the main important driver of his actions there hasn't doesn't seem to be a major change in the way the american media and the american government looks at the seriousness of the caucasus emirate which is a very resilient resourceful innovative organization you know sometimes i really get an impression that americans are talking out of the both sides of their mouth because on one hand president obama and a number of other high ranking american officials express that confidence in they safety of the sochi games but on the other hand many u.s. media are running amok with the stories about how dangerous those games really are
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and you do have a feeling sometimes that they really want something to happen during those games and i think what's important to keep in mind is that if the terrorists really strike the sochi games with the american team also present in sochi that that will really hit home for all of us isn't it surely if there were an attack that led to. american casualties perpetrated by the caucasus emirate then i think that would help for. in a negative in this in a sad way spurs better quote recognition in the united states and especially within the administration though i think in the rush of the american government especially in the intelligence services and in the military there is a there is a actually a pretty good appreciation of the danger of the caucasus emirate it tends to be in some of the more civilian departments of the government and in of course in the mass media where you have this sort of rampant political correctness and
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other issues. that tend to lead to downplaying under appreciating the threat that the caucasus emirate poses because one thing that's forgotten is the caucasus emirate has actually been involved in several failed plots or other covered plots abroad. so in closing in belgium in the czech republic and as well as a major plot that was planned to attack the euro vision games in spring two thousand and twelve in by john a multi-pronged attack similar to the mumbai attack so the caucasus emirate really is an international threat and to that extent the united states government should be working with the russians to deal with it well i think when president obama was asked about the security of those games here while expressing here his confidence that they are saved he also said that you cannot possibly eliminate all the risks in trying to hold those large scale international events and indeed as we just
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discussed the security issues are always prominent there were prominent during the london games there are even more prominent during the saatchi games i wonder if this is something that from now on will always be associated with belen picks regardless of where they're being how well i think as long as we have a global jihad as revolutionary movement. going to be a problem for all international events and i'd like to add actually that the window of threat for sochi actually extends through early june because we're going to have the power olympic games in march and then the g eight is going to be meeting in sochi on the fourth and fifth of july. so this problem doesn't go away for quite a few months ahead as far as sochi is concerned and of course that's going to require that the russian. security forces maintain a fairly large presence in around sochi for a good part of that period and that's going to drain resources away from fighting
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the mujahideen in the north caucasus so. it's quite a challenge well i agree with your brother i don't know about him but really here in moscow i really keeping our fingers crossed that no major attack takes place but mr han this is all we have time for thank you very much for being on the show and to our viewers if you like the program or have any comments please feel free to join the discussion on our twitter or facebook pages and hope to see you again same place same time here in a while the part of. the
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. show we go until it comes down where we meet some of his sons innovators and. we find out how to speak black queens for compazine craft. funking but still money takes some smocks of the album. said. the future.
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oh muslim. and you make heaven knowing the rest of our lives take me for sochi twenty four take. all odds.
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fly a transit arrow to vnukovo report your best way to the heart of mosco. dozens of people are reportedly killed in ukraine's capital today after anti-government rotters break a truce with the authorities a move to storm government buildings. the crisis starts to resemble a war with russia's all being themselves and taking hostages the police and the authorised to use live ammunition parties and crew has been stranded in a hotel caught in the crossfire between the militants and rock police. pretty clearly. making sure. it's dealing with peaceful protesters in the free of way relatives rejoices the e.u. set up an embargo targeting ukrainian police banning the sale of any law enforcement gear and equipment to kiev that has opposition leaders admit that they have no control over the radicals in this.


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