Let’s get started, shall we?
Heavily armed Chechen Muslims seized a school in Beslan, southern Russia today [i.e., September of 2004] and took over 200 schoolchildren and teachers hostage in its gym.
They threatened to destroy the school if any attempt was made to free the hostages. At one point children appeared in the school’s windows, apparently being used as human shields.
officials estimated there were as many as 200 hostages in the school’s gymnasium.
Hostage-takers told one American reporter that they were from the “Second Group of Salakhin Riadus Shakhidi”, a rebel group believed headed by Chechnya’s most notorious rebel commander, Shamil Basayev.
In 1995, Mr. Basayev’s fighters killed 147 people and then held more than 1,000 people hostage in a hospital.
In the late 1990’s, Basayev was in alliance with another full-time warrior, the Saudi-born fighter Khatab, of a Wahabi fundamentalist Islamic background [i.e., a mainstream Muslim — ed.].
1999, suicide bombings of apartment complexes in Moscow
2002 claimed responsibility for Moscow theater siege – resulted in death of 129 hostages
December 27, 2002, Chechen suicide bombers destroyed the Chechen administration complex in Groznyy, killing 78 dead and wounding 150. Basayev claimed he personally pressed the button detonating the explosive device.
On May 12, 2003, a truck loaded with explosives killed 60, including seven children and wounded 200 at a government compound in the Chechen town of Znamenskoye.
The next day in Iliskhan-Yurt a female suicide bomber approached Akhmad Kadyrov, head of the pro-Moscow Chechen administration, at a local religious festival. The blast did not kill Kadyrov but it did kill the bomber and 18 killed , 43 wounded. Basayev publicly claimed to have planned these suicide bomb operations.
A suicide bomber blew herself up outside a subway station in Moscow, killing at least 9 others and wounding 50. The woman’s bomb, packed with bolts or other bits of metal, exploded after 8 p.m. in a parking lot bustling with commuters and shoppers outside the Rizhskaya subway.
In February, a Muslim woman carrying a bomb destroyed a subway car in the same subway station, killing at least 41.
President Vladimir V. Putin declared that last week’s twin airplane disasters, which killed 90 people, were acts of terrorism and vowed that Russia would not bow to terrorist demands. Those airplane attacks were carried out by female Muslim suicide bombers. According to investigators cited in Russian news reports, the Muslim women may have assembled and detonated the bombs in the rear bathrooms.
Shamil Basayev bears the name of the famous mullah and warrior Imam Shamil who led the mountain tribes’ resistance to the Tsarist armies in the last century.
Basayev had a poster of Che Guevara on his wall as a student in Moscow.