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KGB defector: Russia behind 1999 al-Qaeda bombings. (Insider Report).

Living in London as a political refugee, former KGB officer Alexander Litvinenko claims to have extensive evidence proving that the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB, the renamed KGB) was behind the 1999 apartment bombings that killed more than 300 people. "The FSB is a terrorist organization," Litvinenko told the Associated Press. THE NEW AMERICAN previously examined the evidence that the 1999 bombings, attributed to Chechen separatists connected to al-Qaeda, were carried out by the Russian security services (see "Putin: Prophet or Provocateur?" in our April 8th issue).

Russian President Vladimir Putin, a career KGB/FSB officer, denounces these accusations as "delirious nonsense," and insists that "the very allegation is immoral." Litvinenko, however, claims to have "direct proof' that an unexploded bomb discovered by local police in an apartment building "was put there by FSB officers on instructions from their superiors." He also claims that in 1995 he recruited a Chechen agent to infiltrate a violent separatist group connected to bin Laden, but that his superiors canceled the operation. "If in 1996 they had let this Chechen infiltrate that ring, we would have known for sure if it was the Chechens who blew up the houses," Litvinenko maintains.

In fact, as our previous article illustrated, Russia's security services have long collaborated with some of the most violent elements of Chechnya's criminal underworld -- even as the Russian army conducts an ongoing war to suppress the Chechen drive for independence.
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Title Annotation:Alexander Litvinenko, former intelligence officer, accuses the Russian government of terrorizing its own people
Publication:The New American
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Jun 17, 2002
Words:237
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