U.S. Department of State Country Reports on Terrorism 2005 - Russia
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Author||Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism|
|Publication Date||28 April 2006|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State Country Reports on Terrorism 2005 - Russia, 28 April 2006, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4681082c30.html [accessed 2 August 2015]|
In the face of new terrorist attacks on Russian soil, the Russian Government and public continued to view counterterrorism as a top priority. Much of the terrorist activity in the region and elsewhere in Russia was homegrown and linked to the Chechen separatist movement, although there was evidence of a foreign terrorist presence in Chechnya and of international financial and ideological ties with Chechen groups. Russia claimed a success in March with the slaying of Chechen separatist leader Aslan Maskhadov; its assertions that the insurgency was terrorist in nature were bolstered by the addition in August of the terrorist Shamil Basayev to the Chechen separatist leadership structure.
Major terrorist incidents in Russia were centered in the north Caucasus and included:
- On July 19, attackers in the village of Znamenskoye in Chechnya blew up a vehicle and fired on a police vehicle, killing 14 and wounding approximately 34, including civilian bystanders.
- On October 13, 200 to 300 gunmen attacked police and military facilities in the city of Nalchik in Kabardino-Balkaria in the north Caucasus, killing 24 law enforcement officials and 12 civilians. Authorities reported approximately 91 gunmen killed and 39 detained.
All Russian regions passed regulations to strengthen counterterrorism measures in educational, social, and cultural facilities following the 2004 Beslan school siege. A parliamentary commission worked during the year to examine, among other things, the performance of the federal authorities during the Beslan siege, and its preliminary report on December 28 criticized local authorities.
The number of domestic terrorism-related investigations and prosecutions expanded in 2005. One local non-governmental organization reported 28 terrorism-related convictions and 50 pending terrorism trials in Russia by December. Noteworthy cases included:
- In April, a Moscow court found two airport employees guilty of aiding and abetting the terrorists who brought bombs onto the two Russian airplanes downed in August 2004.
- In May, Russian authorities began the trial of Nurpachi Kuliyev, accused of taking part in the 2004 terrorist school seizure in Beslan.
- In September, three people charged with a gas pipeline explosion in Bugulma (two of them former Guantanamo detainees who had been repatriated to Russia) were acquitted by a jury trial in Tatarstan.
The U.S.-Russia Counterterrorism Working Group (CTWG), co-chaired by Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs R. Nicholas Burns and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Kislyak, met in May and December. The group fosters cooperation between numerous U.S. agencies and their Russian counterparts on counterterrorism issues. Notable milestones included the February signing of a comprehensive agreement facilitating information sharing on man portable air defense systems (MANPADS) and the November signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on counternarcotics that established closer cooperation and exchange of information. The FBI and Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) forged a highly productive joint counterterrorism operational capability that led to several arrests and convictions.
The United States and Russia continued bilateral cooperation to destroy, safeguard, and prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. President Bush and President Putin made intensified cooperation on nuclear security a centerpiece of their February summit in Bratislava.
Russia originally proposed and then played a major role in securing consensus in the UN General Assembly to enact on April 13 the International Convention on the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, which became the thirteenth UN legal instrument to combat terrorism.
Russia is an increasingly active member of the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (FATF). After fulfilling its pledge to create a Eurasian FATF-style regional body (FSRB) in 2004, known as the Eurasia Group on Money Laundering (EAG), Russia was the group's leading force and remained its chair. The EAG, whose members also include Belarus, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan, made significant progress toward building Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) and established the necessary legislative and regulatory frameworks in member states to help those states improve their compliance with international standards.
Russia used its position in international fora to build cooperative mechanisms and programs to counter terrorism. For example, Russia led efforts to make counterterrorism cooperation a key element in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).