After the two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings were identified as being Chechen, Peter Rutland, Colin and Nancy Campbell Professor in Global Issues and Democratic Thought, spoke on WNPR’s “Where We Live” to offer a deeper understanding of the recent history between Russia and Chechnya, and what it might tell us about the bombing suspects.
Rutland said: “After the second Chechen war, which took place in the year 2000, President Putin gave power to a local Islamist leader… Right now, Chechnya is part of the Russian Federation, it’s ruled by Chechens, it’s out of the direct control of Moscow, and the leaders there are fairly devout Muslims. The terrorism inside Chechnya has been shut down. What happened was that more extremist groups, some of them with ties to Al Qaeda, fled Chechnya and started terrorist actions in neighboring parts of the Russian Federation, and also set off bombs in Moscow in the period of 2009 to 2011. So there are some of these fringe Chechnyan groups that are out there on their own, while the mainstream Chechen nationalist and Islamist movement is now cooperating with Moscow and there’s not much terrorism inside Chechnya itself anymore.”
(Rutland starts speaking around 26 minutes).