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ufacturing plastic explosives without special identifying ingredients. Criminal penalties are also imposed on the export, import, possession, transportation, and receipt of unidentifiable explosives. Violators can be punished with up to 10 years in prison.

There are several other examples of preventive measures built into the act, which should be of great interest to Russian legislators.

At the same time, strengthening preventive measures is by no means the only method of enhancing Russian antiterrorist legislation. There are several other problems that have to be addressed. For example, there is a great need to extend the period that individuals reasonably suspected of belonging to terrorist organizations can be detained by the authorities. There are several provisions of the criminal law effectively nullifying the principles of inevitability of just punishment that are no longer acceptable in the present situation. In general, the Russian public fails to understand why a terrorist whose atrocities were documented, witnessed, and proven in a court of law should remain reasonably certain that the maximum penalty is life in prison. Members of the public wonder why the government is sending the message that it is safe to commit even more murders. They ask what happened to the principle of adequate punishment. Why spend taxpayers’ money to feed “scumbags” covered in the blood of countless victims? Is it not time to suspend the moratorium on capital punishment for individuals who were found guilty of intentionally killing large numbers of people? I believe that in this regard we have a lot to learn from our American colleagues. Let me remind you of the name of the corresponding American law—the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act! The Russian law has serious loopholes in the area of preventing and responding to high-tech terrorism as well.

I believe that the American side can also benefit from an analysis of the appropriate Russian legislation and its application to operations in Chechnya, especially taking into account the fact that the United States has had a long and difficult history of dealing with Islamic extremists of the type currently operating in Chechnya.

In conclusion, I would say that enhancing national antiterrorist legislation, bringing it into compliance with the norms of international law, and harmonizing national approaches toward combating terrorism and reducing terrorist threats appear to be the most promising methods available to the international community to fight terrorism.

NOTES

  

1. Odessky M.P., D.M. Feldman. 1997. The Poetry of Terror and the New Administrative Mentality. Moscow: Russian State Humanitarian University, p.19.

  

2. More than 300 comments and amendments were offered after the first reading of the draft.

  

3. President’s Comments on the Draft Federal Law “On Combating Terrorism” (No. Pr-1705, October 18, 1997).

  

4. The Washington Quarterly. 1998, No. 1.



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