We're going to do it again, says man behind Beslan bloodbath
Russia's most wanted man has broken cover for the first time since siege
THE Chechen rebel leader who masterminded the Beslan school siege last autumn plans more such operations, despite his apparent remorse over the deaths of more than 330 people - half of them children - in the North Ossetia attack.
In his first interview since that bloodbath, Shamil Basayev says that he is in a state of shock over what happened, but blames the Russians for precipitating the bloody end of the siege. Mr Basayev, Russia's most wanted man with a $10 million bounty on his head for numerous attacks, said he is willing to stand trial for his actions, but does not renounce his war with the Kremlin or attacks on Russian civilians.
Mr Basayev states that he is ready to answer before a court for my actions, for my every step, because everyone should be equal before justice regardless of the authority they hold, and of their position.
He describes a meeting with his commander-in-chief and formal leader of the Chechen resistance, Aslan Maskhadov, who apparently accused his most effective lieutenant of going too far in Beslan.
Mr Basayev says he told Mr Maskhadov that he is "ready to stand before a sharia court, and answer to it in all its severity if it judges I should be punished". He says that such a trial is not possible until the Chechen war ends. He is willing to call a ceasefire and open negotiations with the Russians, but only after the complete withdrawal of Russian forces from Chechnya.
One might think that Mr Basayev is a real stand up guy, but only if one is a complete idiot.
Mr Basayev states: "We are planning more Beslan-type operations in the future because we are forced to do so."
Justifying his attacks on civilian targets, he states: "We are at war and we look at the reality, and not at whether the population has weapons in their hands. We look at the reality of their participation in this war."
"People who approve of Putin's policies, people who pay their taxes for this war, people who send their soldiers to this war, priests who sprinkle holy water on them . . . How can they be innocent? They are just without weapons. Russian citizens are accomplices of this war, it just may be that they have no weapons in their hands. Peaceful people for us are those that don't pay taxes for this war, people who don't participate, and who speak against this war."
Despite what Russia has done and what they may still be doing in Chechnya or elsewhere, there can never be any justification for placing those children in that situation. Basayev is to blame, this was his choice and he bares the burden of all 330 slaughtered innocents.
Before you are tempted to feel sorry for him look here, or here