Russia and the West: united against terrorism?


The 5 April terrorist attack in the Republic of Ingushetia was the fifth to shake Russia in the past week.

In response to the first bomb blasts in the North Caucasus region of Dagestan, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev told authorities to use tougher, "more brutal" measures against the perpetrators.  

Who is carrying out these attacks? Are they, as some commentators suggest, the beginning of a Muslim counter-insurgency? And if so, can we expect more?

Commentators writing for RIA Novosti claim that the bomb blasts are not part of separatist struggles in the targeted regions but instead part of a broader strategy to establish an anti-Western Islamic entity. They argue that the Western media have underplayed the role played by Caucasus emir Doku Umarov.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has said that NATO remains committed to cooperating with Russia in the fight against international terrorism. What can we expect of thsi cooperation between Russia and the West in counteringinternational terrorism?

These are some of the questions we will be addressing at the First Wednesday discussion tomorrow.

Part of the evening will be devoted to discussing Russia and the second part of the evening will look at the broader "war on terror".

The panel will include Asim Qureshi author of Rules of the Game in which he claims that "Islam is now the largest suspect community ever to have existed”.

Asim Qureshi travelled to East Africa, Sudan, Pakistan, Bosnia, and the United States to talk to tvictims caught in counterterrorism’s "new game" and record their testimonies. Read freelance journalist Hodan Yusuf-Pankhurst’s blog post on the book here.