Just in case you thought that the horrors of Beslan had wrought in them a change of heart. Note also more testimony to the general uselessness of the “terrorist” designation. From the Times Online, with thanks to Jeff Norris:
THE Chechen rebel leader who masterminded the Beslan school siege last autumn plans more such operations, despite his apparent remorse over the deaths of more than 330 people “” half of them children “” in the North Ossetia attack.
In his first interview since that bloodbath, Shamil Basayev says that he is in a state of shock over what happened, but blames the Russians for precipitating the bloody end of the siege. Mr Basayev, Russia”s most wanted man with a $10 million bounty on his head for numerous attacks, said he is willing to stand trial for his actions, but does not renounce his war with the Kremlin or attacks on Russian civilians….
The bearded 40-year-old warlord, believed to be hiding in the mountains of southern Chechnya, looks in good health, and speaks at length in Russian. He sits in front of a banner proclaiming in Arabic: “There is no God but Allah, and Mohammed is his prophet”. He wears a black T-shirt with “˜ANTI-TERROR” written in white Cyrillic letters, and explains that he considers the Kremlin, not himself, the terrorists. He reads the questions from a laptop computer, and cradles what he describes as a six-barrelled grenade launcher, a trophy from a Russian base….
Mr Basayev states: “We are planning more Beslan-type operations in the future because we are forced to do so.”