European Theater

Imprisoned GRU colonel named in Chubais hit plot

In an Oct. 14 article in Russia's Komsomolskaya Pravda, the newspaper claimed that it has "sensational" proof that imprisoned military intelligence (GRU) colonel Vladimir Kvachkov was involved in the apparent assassination attempt on Unified Energy Systems (EES) head Anatolii Chubais in March. Kvachkov, an explosives specialist, denies involvement in the alleged plot. However, according to leaks from an investigation completed last month, investigators are convinced of Kvachkov's involvement, the newspaper wrote. The report also cites written statements that Kvachkov reportedly tried to smuggle out of prison, which were intercepted by prison officials. According to the account, Kvachkov wrote: "From a political point of view, the destruction of [people like] Chubais, [Economic Development Minister German] Gref, [Finance Minister Aleksei] Kudrin and [President] Putin can not be recognized as a crime. Our motherland is under international-Jewish occupation and armed actions are the actions of a national-liberation struggle." (RFE/RL Newsline, Oct. 15) (Emphasis added.)

"Spanish Taliban" convicted

Hamed Abderrahmane, a Spanish national freed in February from over two years in detention at the US base at Guantanamo, Cuba, was sentenced on Oct. 5 by a Madrid court to six years in prison for belonging to a "terrorist organization." Abderrahmane denied belonging to al-Qaeda and described himself as a "martyr."

Rush to judgement in Croatia: UK embassy blast "not terrorism"

When a bomb exploded yesterday at the British embassy in Croatia's capital, Zagreb, causing minor injuries to a security guard, Prime Minister Ivo Sanader suggested it might be linked to Croatia's application to join the European Union. Britain is the current president of the EU, and one of several member states that has opposed Croatia's membership until it arrests its main war crimes fugitive, Gen. Ante Gotovina. (Reuters, Sept. 19) Croatian President Stipe Mesic condemned the incident as a "terrorist attack." But when an embassy employee, Damir Rovisan, was arrested today for smuggling in the device, Interior Minister Ivica Kirin said: "This indicates that this is not a terrorist act against the British embassy, but an act of an individual coming from criminal circles." Yet he admitted that no motive had been established for the bombing. (BBC, Sept. 20)

Neo-fascists rally in Athens, anarchists clash with police

Violence is reported in Athens, with riot police clashing with left-wing anarchists. The masked protesters threw petrol bombs and stones, and police responded with tear gas. The street-fighting in the student quarter followed a rally by neo-fascists demanding that Turkey be barred from joining the European Union. Right-wingers from across Europe have gathered in Greece hoping to attend a two-day rally, Euro-Fest 2005, despite a government ban.

Paramilitary terror in Belfast

A new round of violence—the worst to hit the province in a decade—broke out in Belfast Sept. 10 following a decision to restrict an Orange Order parade. Police said surveillance footage of that violence showed paramilitaries armed with automatic weapons and explosive devices, and members of the Orange Order attacking police and orchestrating the violence.

UK Foreign Office: It was Iraq

Despite repeated denials by Prime Minister Tony Blair that the Iraq war made the UK a target for terrorists, a letter from Michael Jay, the Foreign Office permanent under-secretary, to the cabinet secretary, Sir Andrew Turnbull—obtained by the UK Observer—makes the connection clear.

Jihadis have no sense of humor

On Aug. 24 unknown gunmen fired shots at an Oslo restaurant owned by the family of a Pakistani-born woman comedian who has won notoriety for lampooning conservative Islam. Shabana Rehman, the 28-year-old comediene whose sister owns the restaurant, called the incident as “an appalling act of terror" and said it would not deter her from continuing her work. The shots, fired at around 4:00 AM, struck the windows of the restaurant. Nobody was injured.

Report: Scotland Yard lied in tube killing

Family representatives and advocates for Jean Charles de Menezes, the Brazilian man shot dead on the London Underground, are accusing Scotland Yard of misrepresenting the circumstances of his killing. A police report leaked to the British press leak reveals that eyewitnesses saw de Menezes being held by officers in his seat before being shot in the head. Initial police accounts of his death claimed he ran from officers, vaulted a ticket barrier and was shot on the floor of the train car.

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