The traces of terror in Moscow lead to London

Crocus City Hall wreckage/Moscow
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By MARAT KHAIRULIN*

Two days after the bloody attack, the opinion prevailed among the Russian political and intelligence community that the United Kingdom (read Mi6) was behind the terrorist attack.

The monstrosity of the terrorist act at Crocus City Hall, outside Moscow, on March 22nd has very deep roots and will have far-reaching consequences. Here we will try to roughly trace its genesis, to understand what Russia's main enemy is playing against it, and that these are not its last forces, but the cards it held until the last moment.

Two days after the bloody attack, the opinion prevailed among the Russian political and intelligence community that the United Kingdom, or rather the Mi6, was behind the terrorist attack. He showed handwriting that was quite recognizable for this organization. It is an indisputable fact that every major terrorist attack in Russia in the post-Soviet period, from Beslan to Dubrovka, had, in one way or another, a British origin. The terrorist leaders who directed the militants were recruited by Mi6, and, in some cases (such as Basayev and Khattab), they openly collaborated with Mi6.

In contrast to this opinion, Britain made a point of opening an obvious window in its main media outlets to an organization called Vilayat Khorosan (a branch of the Islamic State operating in Afghanistan), which was said to be behind the terrorist attack. For experts, this stance clearly points towards the version that this particular case would now also have British fingerprints.

Here we must say right away that the story is not easy, and it is somewhat intricate to follow it, so we will describe only some of its lines. At its height, ISIS (or Islamic State) was a group of tribal gangs united mainly because of British funding. Both the miscreant Abu Omar al-Shishani (a native of Batirashvili, Georgia) and his replacement, the Tajik Gulmurod Khalimov, were admittedly direct Mi6 mercenaries.

The scope of ISIS's activities, as a proxy for the British, eventually became so serious that it began to interfere with American influence in the Middle East and Central Asia, and the United Kingdom had to partially reduce its operations so as not to anger the hegemon (the United States). And for a while, all these Mi6 terrorists went into the shadows. Some were even declared dead.

They began to emerge again following the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. And it was then that ISIS of Khorosan appeared on the scene. These were, in fact, a cluster of Pashtun tribal warlords who had been supported by the British. They were the only ones who agreed to fight the Taliban. And this is the key point. Here we are entering the geopolitical tangle of Central Asia.

Most countries in the region support the Taliban's efforts to pacify Afghanistan, hoping to guarantee their own security. All except Tajikistan. That it cannot find a common language with the Taliban due to the fact that, under the latter's protection, a number of organizations that are considered terrorists operate in Tajikistan. It was from this division that Great Britain played all these years, after the Americans had left the region, seeking, with all its strength, to prevent the establishment of peace in Central Asia.

To do this, immediately after the American withdrawal, recruitment of ethnic Afghan Tajiks began into the ranks of the Vilayat Khorosan gang. That is, Tajik President Emomali Rahmon, who is very sensitive to this issue and considers the Tajiks to be one of the largest divided nations in the world, began to indicate that ISIS Khorosan would be part of his. Thus, by joining in support of the Taliban, he would be betraying the interests of the Tajiks.

In other words, by pointing the finger at ISIS Khorosan – which, it should be noted, at the moment barely exists as an organization other than a collection of tribal gangs – Britain is trying to openly drag Russia into Asia. This is, after Kazakhstan, another attempt by the British to impose problems on Russia in its rear. But that's just part of the game. The second implication is no less interesting. And it's more explicit.

The political support of the ISIS leader himself, the Tajik Gulmurod Khalimov, has always been the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan, declared a terrorist organization in his homeland. In the early 2000s it established its headquarters in… – guess what! – London. On the eve of the Americans leaving Afghanistan, the British decided to warm up the Tajiks and, in 2018, created the National Alliance of Tajikistan (NAT) in Warsaw, where that party had transferred its headquarters, and where they sought to gather the remains of all the Tajik terrorists who survived the defeat of ISIS.

The alliance was led by Muhammadjon Kabirov, who had followed Gulmurod Khalimov throughout his life. The objective of creating a new organization was simple: the West was losing the war in Syria and it was necessary to establish a line of escape for militants from Tajikistan. The NAT would then serve as a unified conduit to which Britain would contribute money, while Kabirov and Khalimov busied themselves with the trafficking of Tajik “meat.” It must be said here that Khalimov was nominally considered dead as of 2017, but there is also a second opinion that he was simply “removed” into the shadows after Americans turned more decisively against ISIS.

In 2022, with the start of the Russian Special Operation in Ukraine, the so-called Jabhat Al-Shamiya brigade emerged as part of the mercenary corps in Ukraine. Or rather, one of his detachments that operated in the Aleppo region. This detachment is led by a field commander (Tajik by origin), who is Gulmurod Khalimov's right-hand man. All that is known about him is that his nickname is Shusha, and he is, by training, a history teacher. There is also a version that he is one of Khalimov's many relatives.

Jabhat Al-Shamiya was one of the main recipients of British money distributed through the National Alliance of Tajikistan (NAT). A month after the failure of the Ukrainian counteroffensive – perhaps a little later, at the turn of October to November – Ilya Ponomarev, the political leader of the new “Vlasovites” (Russian Volunteer Corps in the service of the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine), met with Muhammadjon Kabirov in London. After that, several other meetings were recorded between them in Warsaw, with Mi6 officials.

And now we have witnessed a coordinated attack in the Russian region of Belgorod by the new “Vlasovites” and in Moscow by Tajik militants. It is to be believed that, sooner rather than later, the affiliation of the terrorists arrested in Russia with the National Alliance of Tajikistan will be confirmed. Why is it important to reach her? It is known that recruitment (in terms of payment for transportation and movement) in Russia is carried out by the National Union of Migrants of Tajikistan, a member of the same alliance, which is also considered an extremist organization in its country and in Russia. The Alliance also guarantees the existence of a network of sleeper agents in Tajikistan and Russia. The agents are controlled by Mi6, which coordinated the creation of the Alliance.

In other words, the United Kingdom began to mount a united terrorist front against Russia as soon as it became clear that the Ukrainian counteroffensive had failed and that Ukraine was doomed. In its traditional way, the United Kingdom has tried to frame or even corner the hegemon.

Obviously, hegemon he didn't like this, and tried to warn Moscow, trying, at the same time, not to give up on his closest ally. To be honest, this story only confirms that with allies like this, the United States doesn't need enemies. But that is not all. There is also an opinion circulating in the Russian political and intelligence community, which is not talked about much (but which exists), that the British ended up demonstrating blatant amateurism in their actions, and now everyone is frozen in anticipation of a disagreement among anti-Russian allies.

Interestingly, Russia's first reaction to the terrorist attack (although this may be a coincidence) was to have its UN representative, Vassily Nebenzia, declare that Russia will not recognize Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as legitimate after the end of his term. mandate. Without recognition of authority, it is possible that immediately after his last day as president, Volodymyr Zelensky will be demonstratively “denationalized.”

Unless, of course, before then, his British friends eliminate him. In anticipation of this event, it is also to be expected that people like Kyrylo Budanov (the head of Ukraine's Main Intelligence Directorate and, admittedly, an agent in the employ of Mi6) and former Russian deputy Ilya Ponomarev (a refugee in Ukraine, mastermind of other terrorist actions and also an agent serving the Mi6) may soon face God's judgment.

*Marat Khairulin is a Russian war correspondent and military historian.

Translation Ricardo Cavalcanti-Schiel.

Originally published on the channel Journalist.


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