It’s been less than 48 hours and the terrorist attacks in Moscow are already being misunderstood. The media is already trying to frame the conflict in nationalist terms, failing to see how extremist ideological movements attach themselves to nationalist causes, viewing them as a subset of their overall worldwide struggle.
In CNN.com’s report about the bombings carried out by the “Black Widows,” a group of female Chechens whose husbands have been killed by the Russians, they have analyst Bob Ayers explain their motivations. Just like some sought to differentiate Al-Qaeda in Iraq from Al-Qaeda and the Taliban from Al-Qaeda, painting them as flawed liberation movements, the same is being done with the Chechen terrorists.
From the report:
‘This war is politically motivated, it is not about a religious ideology as in the case of al Qaeda, so everyone participates and it is ultimately irrelevant if you are a man or a woman,’ said Ayers.
‘They are not like al Qaeda who might say women should be hidden away and have no role in attacks.’
This is wrong on many levels. Al-Qaeda’s leadership has consistently condemned the Russians for their military operations in Chechnya, and Yossef Bodansky has written a book about Al-Qaeda’s well-known ties to Chechen rebels titled, “Chechen Jihad: Al-Qaeda’s Training Ground and the Next Wave of Terror.” Many Chechens are motivated by nationalism and fought Russian forces, but that doesn’t mean that elements haven’t teamed up with Al-Qaeda and other radical Islamists, viewing Russia as just the most important and immediate front.
The point about the women being suicide bombers is invalid also. As Charlie Szrom explains, Al-Qaeda in Iraq has used female suicide bombers in Iraq. And most recently, a law enforcement report warned that Al-Qaeda had trained female suicide bombers with a non-Arab appearance to attack Western targets, including airliners. At least two of those are believed to have been dispatched to the United States by Al-Qaeda’s branch in Yemen.
Another attack, another flawed analysis by the media.