‘Political Groups In Washington Downplayed Chechen Threat’

by | Apr 23, 2013

RPI Academic Board Member John Laughland is interviewed on RT about the recent Boston bombings. Dr. Laughland points out that political and ideological biases may well have led to downplaying the seriousness of Chechen radicalization — and to turning a blind eye toward the US Administration’s other radical “allies” in places like Syria. -RPI Editor

Published time: April 22, 2013 16:17
The US authorities seem to have been short-sighted assessing the threat posed by North Caucasus terrorist groups, political expert John Laughland told RT.
The director of studies at the Institute of Democracy and Cooperation also believes that Washington has intentionally portrayed some of the international terrorist groups as freedom fighters could set a wrong example to young Americans.
RT: There’s been talk of a Chechen connection in this case – but both brothers had lived in the U.S. for almost a decade – could they have been radicalized while living in America?

John Laughland: It seems definitely to be the case. I would stress that one of the suspects is dead and the other one can’t speak, so I think we need to be a little careful before accepting at face value the narrative of the Boston police, which of course is under massive pressure to find the guilty person. And we need to bear in mind that the American justice system, like everyone else’s system in the world, is based on the presumption of innocence. But if the police narrative is correct then yes, they have become radicalized not only while on American soil, but also while under at least some kind of surveillance by the FBI. The journalist’s comment now is pointing on negligence on the part of the FBI.

RT: In 2004, US authorities granted asylum to Chechen extremist, Ilyas Akhmedov, despite warnings from Russia. Why has the US failed to recognize the threat posed by North Caucasus terrorist groups?

JL: I don’t know. The question now is was it incompetent. That’s the primary line of questioning in the media. I’m afraid there might be another line of questioning. I don’t want to put forward any suggestions for which I have no basis. But I’m afraid in the history of the world there are examples of countries tolerating or encouraging terrorist attacks on their own territory for political reasons. I repeat I have no proof at all that this is the case in this example, but history unfortunately does give us precedents for such cynical activity. And the fact is, that whatever the truth is about these brothers there has been a long history of American particularly neo-conservative friendship towards and support for the Chechen rebels in general at the time of the Beslan massacre, for example, the blame on the American media was put exclusively on Russia – not on the Chechens themselves.

Read full interview here.


  • Daniel McAdams

    Executive Director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity and co-Producer/co-Host, Ron Paul Liberty Report. Daniel served as the foreign affairs, civil liberties, and defense/intel policy advisor to U.S. Congressman Ron Paul, MD (R-Texas) from 2001 until Dr. Paul’s retirement at the end of 2012. From 1993-1999 he worked as a journalist based in Budapest, Hungary, and traveled through the former communist bloc as a human rights monitor and election observer.

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