The Chilling Chechen Connection

The Lowell Sun & Robin Young/AP

Before I go any further, let me clearly state that my comments are based in part upon current news reporting, and — as recent events have proven — contemporary news reports are notoriously unreliable. I’m writing this post under the assumption that the suspects are, in fact, from Chechnya or from nearby Chechnya. A few quick observations:

1. Chechen terrorists have a record of unbelievable savagery, and when I heard the suspects were Chechen, a chill went down my spine. They have bombed apartment buildings, shopping arcades, parades, government buildings, and participated in the Beslan school massacre, an event so horrific that had it happened here it would have rivaled 9/11 in its imprint on the national soul.

2. They have exported that savagery to Iraq and Afghanistan, where many of us have direct, first-hand experience with the capabilities and motivations of Chechen terrorists. Chechens (and others from the region) affiliated with al-Qaeda have fought Americans in both countries, and they were among the most deadly of our foes: committed to the cause, intelligent, and without a hint of conscience. The firefight last night — complete (if reports are to be believed) with the use of explosive devices — gave me an eery sense of déja vu. The police and FBI should assume that the remaining suspect is wearing a suicide vest. He may not be, but many American vets have bitter experience with Chechen and other terrorists who would kill as many people as they could in an effort to escape, then — when cornered — draw in friendly forces just before a final suicide attack.

3. We have to hope that the suspects were merely inspired from a distance to commit terrorist acts, and were not part of an intentionally recruited and planned Chechen terror cell. Because he comes from Russia, a Chechen terrorist is more likely to easily assimilate within a Western country and is less likely to stand out – in dress, manner, or otherwise. In a country where the majority of citizens are white and westernized, it’s easier to blend in when you are white and westernized. That’s a simple fact.

4. Because we know so little, and because the stakes are so high, it is imperative that the remaining suspect — if caught — should not be permitted to “lawyer up.” Were they an isolated pair, merely inspired by foreign terrorism? Did they have links to al-Qaeda? Did they have links to Chechen terror groups? Were they even inspired by jihad or something else entirely? Did they have help? Foreign terrorists with potential links to our deadliest enemies do not have the right to remain silent.

This article first appeared in National Review here.

  • Mick

    As soon as I heard they were attempting to raise funds by robbing a 7/11 and then had to hijack a getaway car, well I knew straight away that they had to be the most unorganized terrorists on the planet – and definitely acting without support from a Chechen terror cell.

  • Gene

    “Because we know so little, and because the stakes are so high, it is imperative that the remaining suspect — if caught — should not be permitted to ‘lawyer up’.”

    I could not disagree with the David French more on this point. The stakes are high yes. But to surrender our values would be an even greater loss than anything any terrorist could take from us, and worse it would have been something we had done to ourselves.

  • K/t

    I don’t understand why this is on Patheos.
    Also, the 7-11owner says they did NOT rob the store.
    And you suggest suspension of all procedure, law,and Constitution?? May God have mercy on you if you are ever being held for anything, that it is not withheld for you.
    This world is in its death throes, and believers may well find themselves in this same position before long. You make it EASY for your rights to be stripped away when you strip them away from others.
    I am disgusted to see articles like this one on Patheos. Absolutely disgusted.

  • Deborah W

    I have to agree with Gene and K/t above. I’m not sure why something of this nature is on Patheos. This is aligned with racial/ethnic profiling. An article of this nature only contributes to fear-mongering and is truly against the nature of God and of followers of Christ who desire to reach out to everyone who doesn’t know Christ, including anyone who is Muslim, regardless of their ethnic origin. Articles of this nature further hinder the cause of Christ, especially within the souls of Western Believers.

  • Deborah W

    I wrote the above comment and inadvertantly wrote my email address incorrectly. It’s