The Wolves of Islam: Russia and the Faces of Chechen Terror
At a little past 10:00 p.m., on October 23, 2002, nineteen young women and twenty-two men bounded from minivans and sprinted through the front doors of the sprawling Dubrovka Theater Center located just blocks from the Kremlin in the heart of Moscow. Once inside, the troop hurriedly changed into their costumes and, following a well-rehearsed script, took their designated places for the evening's dramatic finale. These people were not, however, actresses and actors starring in the hit musical Nord Ost, which was entertaining a sellout crowd of 711 spectators in the concert hall. They were Chechen Islamic terrorists and their Arab accomplices - suicide hostage-takers who had come to Moscow to die and take their audience prey with them, unless the Russians immediately withdrew from Chechnya. The Dubrovka theater siege ushered in a new hostile escalation in the fanatical Islamist Chechens' ten-year fight against the Russian state. The wolves of Islam have adopted terror with maximum civilian casualties as its strategic weapon of choice, are employing the Palestinian model of suicide terror against civilians, and are plotting with al Qaeda to conduct international terrorist operations
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