October 15, 2007

Putin Assassination Threat

(Moscow, Russia) The Kremlin will not change President Vladimir Putin's travel plans after receiving notification of a possible assassination plot.

Presently, Putin is in Germany for a meeting today with Chancellor Angela Merkel. Tomorrow, Putin is scheduled to travel to Tehran, Iran, for meetings with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Interfax reported on Sunday that security services had been told suicide bombers and kidnappers were training to kill or capture Putin on his visit, due to start on Tuesday. It did not say who might be behind such groups in the Islamic Republic.
The Iranians are dismissing the assassination threat as psychological warfare promulgated by Iran's enemies -- meaning the West -- in hopes of damaging Russian-Iranian relations.
"A reliable source in one of the Russian special services, has received information from several sources outside Russia, that during the president of Russia's visit to Teheran an assassination attempt is being plotted," Interfax said.

"A number of groups of suicide bombers are preparing for this aim," Interfax, one of a small circle of Russian agencies with special access to the Kremlin, added.

It gave no details of who the sources were or whether they were linked in any way to Western governments; nor was it clear why the Kremlin would make such a report public in this way just before the planned visit.

An attempt on the life of Putin would make the global political environment substantially more interesting. And, frankly, I wouldn't rule out that Putin has some very ambitious enemies, including Russians.

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