Policy Memos

Some Parallels Between Islamic Radicals in Russia and the United States

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The first suicide bombing in Israel occurred in April 1993, and by September 11, 2001, 63 suicide bombings had taken place there. The attack on the World Trade Center, in which a network of kamikaze activists was involved, immediately made collective suicide a more potent weapon. On October 23, 2002, 41 Chechen terrorists occupied the Dubrovka Theatre in downtown Moscow where the popular musical Nord-Ost was playing, asserting their resolve to die for their cause and demonstrating to the world Palestinian-modeled shaheed belts with explosives strapped to their bellies. All were killed in an attack by Russian security forces early on the morning of October 26. Russia thus saw in one day 41 people who were willing to become suicide bombers and who may well have, had they not been killed by the authorities. [...]