Degree of severity of consequences and number of human victims—The rates of increase in the numbers of casualties are averaging an order of magnitude higher than the rates for the number of terrorist acts.
Nature and scope of goals—Terrorist acts range from the murder of individuals to the overthrow of legitimate governments, the destruction of states, and the practical elimination of entire peoples.
Expansion of the social base for terrorism—Not only individual organizations and political, nationalist, and religious organizations but also entire populations who are often deluded and significant segments of populations are lining up under the banner of terrorism.
Terrorism in our times is also characterized by the presence of ready forces equipped at the highest technical level. Terrorists are attempting to use the latest scientific and technical achievements for their criminal purposes. There is no doubt that terrorism is today one of the primary threats to the security of the entire world community.
In recent history, Russia has been among the first to really feel this threat. Suffice it to recall that in 1995, at the G-8 meeting in Ottawa, the Russian delegation warned that the world community needed to pay attention to the increased level of activity on the part of international terrorism, particularly in the North Caucasus region. Unfortunately, however, our calls to join forces in the struggle against terrorism were not heard in time.
For us, Chechen terrorism continues to be one of the primary instruments of international terrorism operating in Russian territory and even represents a sort of testing ground for the use of cutting-edge technologies in terrorist acts.
One example is the terrible tragedy in the city of Beslan, North Ossetia, which I would classify as comparable in its scope, severity, and consequences with the events of September 11, 2001, in New York City. The actions of the terrorists were directed against children with the aim of destabilizing the situation in the North Caucasus region.
There is sufficient evidence that bandit groups operating in Chechnya and other Russian regions have ties to international terrorism. It is sufficient to recall that mercenaries from more than 50 states were found to be participants in the zone of the counterterrorist operations in Chechnya. Prominent roles were played by members of al Qaeda, including Abu al-Walid, Abu Kuteida, and Marwan Idr. According to our information, even today there are 150 to 200 foreign mercenaries in the bandit groups in the Chechen Republic.
Absolutely analogous to the training camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan, training bases for fighters, including individuals from many foreign countries, were operating in the Chechen Republic from 1994 through 1999. Meanwhile the spiritual leader of the Chechen bandits, Zelimkhan Yandarbiev, was a frequent guest of the Afghan Taliban leadership, receiving ideological and material support.