In the wake of the Moscow subway bombings, I blogged yesterday about Russia's short-sighted (to say the least) policy of romancing Islamic terrorist states like Iran while at the same time fighting an Islamist insurgency emanating from its southern provinces. Here's more on the situation in those provinces:
The story of Said Buryatsky, aka Said the Buryat, born Alexander Tikhomirov in 1982 in the western Siberian city of Ulan-Ude, thousands of miles from where he died, illustrates the dramatic speed with which the Islamist insurgency in the North Caucasus is changing. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin still dreams of killing the last guerrilla, the last commander. But as the bombings in Moscow this morning show, that goal might still be far off. Buryatsky's story is a graphic demonstration that jihad in the North Caucasus has gone viral. In the coming days, the FSB will be looking online, perhaps as much as anywhere else, to figure out what happened on the Moscow subway.
The computer has long played a role in the North Caucasus guerrilla warfare. Ten years ago, Ibn al-Khattab, the Saudi volunteer and former comrade in arms of Osama bin Laden, would deploy his satellite phones and computers when he set up camp for the night in the highland forests of Vedeno, in southern Chechnya. One of his lieutenants used to fret that the Russians would intercept Khattab's signal sooner or later, as they did when they killed independent Chechnya's first leader, a former Soviet air force general named Djokhar Dudayev. He was wrong; Khattab was killed by a double agent who infiltrated one of his bases with poison.
Still, until Buryatsky, the computer's and the Internet's roles were somewhat conventional.
Not anymore. Read it all.