HASTINGS CALLS FOR CAUCASUS EMIRATE TO BE ON TERRORIST LIST
Group Claimed Responsibility for Moscow Subway Bombing
WASHINGTON--U.S. Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL), Co-Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission), introduced legislation today urging the State Department to formally designate the Caucasus Emirate as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.
The State Department’s 2009 Country Reports on Terrorism is not expected to include the Caucasus Emirate in its list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations despite the group's recent attacks on the Moscow subway that killed at least 38 people and the fact the group is behind more than 60 acts of terrorism in Russia’s North Caucasus in the past three months and trained 20 suicide bombers in 2009.
“We have a policy of zero-tolerance towards terrorism of any kind directed against anyone anywhere in the world,” Hastings said. “The Caucasus Emirate cooperates with al-Qaeda and has declared jihad on the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, and Israel. This organization is a threat to our national security and that of our allies. This resolution urges the Administration to officially acknowledge that reality.”
Shamil Basaev, who was the leader of the predecessor organization to the Caucasus Emirate until his assassination by Russian commandos in 2006, trained at an al-Qaeda camp in Khost, Afghanistan in 1994. The group’s Web site has included articles from an author connected to perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks and the 2009 Fort Hood, Texas shootings with rhetorical attacks on the United States calling for American Muslims to wage holy war against the United States.
“President Obama has made historic improvements in U.S.-Russian relations,” Hastings continued. “The United States and Russia must stand together in this ongoing struggle against violent fanatics. In this fight there is no room for double standards, we must be consistent."
A copy of House Resolution 1315 can be found by clicking here.