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October 14, 2005
Islamists Fail To Take Nalchik, American Media Fail To Recognize Enemy

The Washington Post reports that the "rebels" attacking Nalchik in a coordinated offensive yesterday and today have failed to hold any territory in the city and that Russian troops have taken the upper hand in the capital of Kabardino-Balkaria:

Early Friday, Russian special forces stormed a police station in southern Russia where eight militants were holding five hostages. The hostages, including police officers, were freed and all eight militants were killed as they tried to flee in a van, Russian officials said.

Around 8.30 a.m. local time Friday, another three gunmen were killed in a downtown Nalchik souvenir store where they had barricaded themselves with two hostages on Thursday. The Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported that two hostages were freed. Russian officials said the militants in the store refused to talk to the security forces that had surrounded them.

The exact death toll remains unclear, but may top 100 dead. A spokesman for the local Interior Ministry said Friday morning that 68 militants had been killed. The Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported that 24 security officers and police had died, and there were other reports that between 12 and 24 civilians had died

The raid followed the killing of at least 85 people in street fighting in Nalchik on Thursday morning after large groups of gunmen assaulted government buildings, telecommunications facilities and the airport. Chechen rebels asserted responsibility for the attacks.

The American media seem reluctant to report this story accurately. The forces who attacked Nalchik are Islamist terrorists, nominally aligned with al-Qaeda -- Mohammed Atta wanted an assignment with them when he got the 9/11 operation -- and Nalchik isn't in Chechnya in any case. In fact, two other provinces separate Nalchik from Chechnya. While Chechens often strike elsewhere in the Russian Caucasus, that has to do with their motivation on Islamist grounds rather than a desire to just free one small province in the region from Russian rule.

The British media don't have any problem reporting the true nature of the terrorists in Nalchik. Even the leftist Guardian leads their story with a complete description of the terrorists the Post and other American newspapers call "rebels":

Dozens of Islamist militants launched a coordinated wave of attacks on the spa town of Nalchik in southern Russia yesterday, triggering gun battles in which up to 60 people died, bringing unrest to a previously peaceful area of the north Caucasus. Police buildings, the telephone network, the airport and the security services building were among eight targets attacked by militants in a day of violence that began at 9am. Residents cowered at home as police cordoned off gun battles that intensified throughout the day. ...

The attack is the most daring so far by Islamic separatist militants in Kabardino-Balkaria, a Muslim republic in the north Caucasus. It will raise fears that the militancy once confined to Chechnya has spread across the region. It comes just over a month before the Kremlin holds parliamentary elections in Chechnya in a bid to tighten its grip on the government.

That analysis seems rather silly, as the Islamists have often staged attacks outside of Chechnya. Their two most well-known operations, the theater in Moscow and the downing of two Russian commercial planes, took place in the heart of Russia. The massacre at Beslan took place in North Ossetia, which is two provinces to the west of Chechnya. Again, this shows the nature of the "insurgency" in the Caucasus -- fueled by Islamists, not by nationalism or a drive for independence based on freedom from the undeniable Muscovite autocracy.

Why do the American media continue to miss this crucial aspect of the story? Could it be that they do not want to show Islamism as a specific threat based on its own nihilism instead of a false perception of it as a rational response to American foreign policy? For those Americans who do not access foreign news services for their information, they may be tempted into cheering for a movement that directly relates to the same people who killed 3,000 of our own citizens.

Michelle Malkin has more.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at October 14, 2005 6:48 AM

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Islamists Fail To Take Nalchik, American Media Fail To Recognize Enemy:

» Trouble in the Caucasus from Peace Like A River
Thursday morning, local time, terrorists launched attacks in Nalchik, capital of the Caucasus Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria. [Read More]

Tracked on October 14, 2005 10:16 AM

» Shootout In Russia from Don Singleton
I did a Google Search on the name of that "group" and the only reference I found was this Washington Post article. Could it be possible that it is a fake group set up just to justify what the Islamoterrorists did? [Read More]

Tracked on October 16, 2005 12:10 PM

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