After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the FSB stated that Chechnya was another front in the war against al-Qaeda, claiming that the most horrible acts of terrorism were financed by Arabs. Those mujahideens who came from abroad were mostly from Jordan and especially Saudi Arabia, and Saudis were the ones who filled the command positions in Chechnya: until March 2002, when he was poisoned by the FSB, the most prominent Arab fighter in the region was Samir Saleh Abdullah Al-Suwailem, better known as Emir Khattab, a mujahideen tought to be from Jordan, who was instead born in Saudi Arabia to an Arab father and a Circassian mother, as emerged after his death.
Although last Moscow bombing fits into the Caucasus Emirate’s combat strategy, which focuses on both guerrilla actions in the Caucasus and terrorist attacks on Russian cities, it might have also been conceived as a response to renewed Russian interest in al-Qaeda’s most important battlefield: Afghanistan. During a recent two-days visit to the Russian capital, Afghan President Hamid Karzai described Moscow as an “important partner” of Kabul, stating that “Russia is a great political, economic and military power. In the past years, our bilateral relations have significantly strengthened.” As a matter of fact, Kabul’s relations with its powerful neighbour have sensibly improved in the last years and Russia is even making a cautious entry as a security provider in the country where the Soviet Union lost its most important battle of the Cold War.
The terrorist attack on Domodedovo airport migh have therefore been a threat by al-Qaeda to the Russian leadership. The long war fought by the Soviet Union against Islamic integralism throughout the eighties has still not ended, but this time the Kremlin is not alone: despite any geopolitical rivalry, the United States, together with Moscow and other regional powers such as China, India and Iran, will not allow the Talibans to regain control of Afghanistan, aware that their own national security depends on the pacification of this key country for the destiny of Eurasia.