MOSCOW: A knife attack in Paris that killed one man on Saturday, carried out by a French citizen born in Chechnya, is the latest of numerous suspected acts of terrorism linked to the troubled Russian region.
The Chechen warlord Akhmed Chatayev, who was killed in 2017, was believed to be behind an attack the previous year at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport in which 45 people died.
Turkish officials said the attack was carried out by suicide bombers from the area as well as the ex-Soviet central Asian nations Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan—which in recent years have also proved to be a hotbed of extremist violence.
Uzbekistan-born Abdulkadir Masharipov confessed to gunning down 39 people at the Reina nightclub in Istanbul on New Year’s Eve 2017, while the 2013 Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was born in Kyrgyzstan.
Tsarnaev’s father was Chechen and his mother was from Dagestan, an equally troubled neighbouring Russian region.
Over the past 20 years Russia has fought two fierce wars with separatists in Chechnya, leading to the radicalisation of the territory and beyond.
Radical groups see Muslims in the Russian Caucasus and Central Asia, who still face discrimination and harsh treatment by the authorities, as potential recruits.
Islamist militants from the North Caucasus frequently target Russians through suicide bombings and other attacks. —AFP