Islamic Terrorists and the Russian Mafia

By Land, Thomas | Contemporary Review, May 2003 | Go to article overview

Islamic Terrorists and the Russian Mafia


Land, Thomas, Contemporary Review


THE FIVE recently independent republics of former Soviet Central Asia have signed a treaty establishing a nuclear weapons-free zone in their countries. The instrument is of enormous interest to the West because the territories of the five - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan - have recently emerged as a global battleground for terrorist weapons of mass destruction.

Significantly, both Russia and China, the regional superpowers, have already expressed support. The Asian diplomatic initiative is in response to a challenge by a group of Islamic tenor organizations led by al-Qaeda, threatening the integrity of countries along the southern rim of the former Soviet Union. The governments of the region are regarded by the terrorists as soft targets for the acquisition of raw materials for nuclear, chemical and biological weapons from arsenals left behind by the Cold War.

Their reactors and weapons stockpiles are vulnerable, their frontiers are poorly controlled and key segments of their security services are often corrupt. And the terrorists are deploying a lethal new weapon - collaboration with the powerful, well connected and versatile Russian Mafia. But the threatened countries receive substantial support from the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of the United Nations as well as the West.

The conflict area embraces the Muslim lands of former Soviet Central Asia, stretches across the Caucasus and into Moldova and follows the traditional heroin smuggling route across Turkey to the Balkans. A wide range of research into the objectives and nature of the struggle has been brought into focus by the proceedings of a secret conference, apparently penetrated by Russian intelligence, of a diverse group of Islamic terrorist organizations held recently at the town of Travnik in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Significantly, the conference forged a united front endorsing the deployment of any means and collaboration with any potential ally in pursuit of jihad. These terrorist groups will be even more determined to acquire a nuclear weapon after the defeat of Saddam Hussein in Iraq.

Al-Qaeda's desire to obtain nuclear arms is well documented by evidence discovered in bunkers vacated by the terrorists during the war in Afghanistan. Intelligence sources fear that the terrorists may already be very close to assembling crude radiological weapons which can scatter nuclear materials using conventional explosive devices. The collapse of Soviet power has made such an arsenal readily available. A lot of radioactive material originally used by hospitals, industry and research institutions lies unaccounted and abandoned in the former Soviet Union - in addition to some 800 tons of weapons grade uranium and 200 tons of plutonium held in poorly guarded stockpiles.

The use of Russian organized criminals in the struggle for nuclear weaponry is probably a new development. Vladimir Orlov of the Centre for Policy Studies in Moscow recently described at a Washington conference an unsuccessful attempt by a Russian gang to obtain weapons of mass destruction for foreign interests. The risks facing the organized criminals in the regions challenged by the terrorists are relatively low, argue Phil Williams and Paul Woessner of the Ridgway Centre for International Security Studies, because of the weakness of law enforcement, the prevalence of corruption and the lack of interdiction skills.

'Nuclear material has certain attractions for criminals', they argue in a discussion paper published by the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London. 'It is not too difficult to obtain, relatively small and easy to transport, easy to disguise and. . . provides rapid, immediate and large profits. Criminal networks are dynamic and fluid rather than fixed or static: they often bring together different kinds of participants in alliances of convenience. Hybrid trafficking networks of this kind are often difficult to identify until it is too late. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Islamic Terrorists and the Russian Mafia
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.