October 30, 2007

A Russian Jihadi in Afghanistan

I just picked up today's print edition of the New York Times to see this pic. Looks like Johnny Jihad's long-lost Russian cousin:

30afghan.jpg
Andre Vladimirovich Bataloff, a 27-year-old Siberian, was arrested in Afghanistan in a truck carrying 1,000 pounds of explosives.

It kind of makes you wonder why the Russians are so dead set on fighting tooth and nail to let the Khomeinist Islamists get their hands on an atomic weapon?

As I've maintained over and over on these pages, Russia is a natural ally in our war against political Islam. Jihadis like Bataloff, shown above, may fight today in Afghanistan, but someday they'll be back in Russia. And their targets won't be Americans. You'd think Beslan would have taught that lesson to them?

A grand strategy of countering American power may be good domestic politics today, but it is Russia--not the U.S.--that is internally racked with Islamist extremism and surrounded by states teetering on collapse and which may wind up in the Islamist camp.

The online edition of the NY Times article is here. Here's a taste:

Mr. Bataloff, the Russian arrested in a burqa, insists he is a religious student who traveled to Pakistan last year to learn more about his new faith. In an hourlong interview in an Afghan jail in Kabul, he said his interest in Islam blossomed three years ago when he was living in Siberia.
There's also a video interview with foreign jihadists.

Again, the two men profiled are from Russia and from Kazakhstan--which borders Russia. I'd say Russia's conflict with Islamist extremists runs much deeper than our own. Russia would be wise to remember that.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 06:01 PM | Comments |