The situation in Ukraine, balancing on the verge of civil war, Moscow’s conflict with the countries of the Western bloc due to the Crimea entering Russia, the US and EU’s attempt to impose sanctions on our country and other realities of the half-cold war in Europe recently distract the attention of observers from two main the bridgeheads of the “war of civilizations” unfolding according to Huntington - the Near and Middle East and Africa.
Meanwhile, the main thrust in the confrontation of the modern world and the world of radical conservative Islam in general and Russia with the same world of radical Islam in particular is, among other things, the inner regions of our country. And if Western special services and politicians do not directly support terrorist acts in the Russian Federation, at least for reasons of reciprocity, they will certainly support the spread of anti-Russian forms of Islam as part of civil rights and manifestation of religious freedom in domestic life.
The organizers and sponsors of this activity in the monarchies of the Gulf, Pakistan and a number of "moderate" countries of the Arab world are sufficient. Their motivation in the fight against shuravi on the Russian territory proper has not gone away since the war in Afghanistan, although it has somewhat faded away after the second Chechen war. Not so much because of the defeat of the detachments controlled by the Arab emirs in Chechnya — although this factor also played a role, but rather because of the reorientation of activity towards the Islamic proper — primarily the Arab world.
In 2000, the Green International opposed the United States and the coalitions led by them in Afghanistan and Iraq — the local actors were open and the co-sponsors were hidden. As this resistance was organized and directed by the allies of the West from the Gulf countries and (on the Afghan track) Pakistan. In the 2010s, the “Arab Spring” talked about more important things: the seizure and retention of power in the secular authoritarian Arab states of the Maghreb and Mashreq: Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and Yemen.
Syria became the first country of this series to overthrow the leadership of which in the framework of the blitzkrieg of Saudi Arabia and Qatar failed, despite the support of Turkey. The aggressive information and political campaign in the West did not help either, and unlike Libya or Iraq, because of the tough position of Russia and China in the UN Security Council, it did not intervene in direct intervention. However, an airstrike of NATO countries, primarily the United States, on Syria after the completion of the elimination of stocks of the Syrian chemical weapons highly probable: without him, jihadists cannot make a turning point in a civil war.
In many ways, the situation in Syria is as it is, owing to assistance from the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI), which organized the supply of the necessary weapons and military equipment. Important was the support of Assad by the counterterrorist units of the Iranian Republican Guard Al-Quds, commanded by General Kasem Suleymani and Shiite militarized organizations from neighboring Arab countries, whose activities are guided by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
First of all, it is about the Lebanese "Hezbollah", which cut off the channels for the supply of weapons and the passage of militants supporting the Syrian opposition, through the Bekaa Valley, supporting Assad with their units. The Lebanese units, numbering thousands of people in different periods from 8 to 14, made it possible at a critical moment to regroup the parts loyal to Damascus and inflict a series of sensitive blows on their opponents.
The role was played by Iraqi Shiite volunteers, including those related to the Mahdi Army, Muqtada al-Sadr, smaller in numbers (several thousand fighters) and played primarily a supporting role in the fighting as a cordon on the Iraqi border. The Iraqi Shiites, united in the militant brigades of Abul Fadl Abbas, together with Hezbollah, forced the Syrian opposition to limit themselves to entering the country through logistic corridors opened on the Jordanian and Turkish borders.
The use of these corridors was possible only under the conditions set by both Amman and Ankara that the jihadists trained in Jordan and Turkey would not linger on their territory. This, given the presence in both of these countries of a significant number of refugees from Syria and Iraq, could play the role of "a straw that broke the camel's back." Especially against the background of a potential aggravation of problems with its own separatists.
For Jordan, we are talking about the aggravation of the Palestinian problem, after the failure of the Palestinian-Israeli talks because of the position of Ramallah, which indicated readiness to disband the Palestinian National Authority (PNA). For Turkey, the problems are Kurdish, as a result of stopping the withdrawal of militants from the Kurdistan Workers' Party from Turkish territory and the failure of the Turkish-Kurdish reconciliation process initiated by Prime Minister Recep Erdogan.
Anyway, the struggle of Islamic radicals for domination both in the Islamic world and beyond its borders, including countries with a significant Muslim diaspora, is now in full swing. In Africa and India, they are faced with equally aggressive adherents of "southern Christianity" and Hindus, who are supporters of the Hindutwa ideology. In Tunisia and Egypt, they are repulsed by the secular population in the Arab Republic of Egypt (Egypt) with the support of the Copts and led by the army elite who overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood government and their president Mohammed Mursi, banning the party as such. In Syria, Lebanon and Iraq, we are talking about a civil war, in which Shiites, ethnic and religious minorities and moderate Sunnis are fighting both Sunni radicals and among themselves. In Western countries, right-wing nationalists are opposed to the growing dominance of Islamists.
Note that the struggle within the tandem of the Salafi monarchies: Qatar, who placed on the Muslim Brotherhood, and Saudi Arabia, whose foreign policy leaders are groups close to Al-Qaeda, complicates the formation of a united front of radical Islam operating against Syria or Russia . The confrontation between Doha and Riyadh due to the "division of booty" in Libya, Tunisia and Egypt, in addition to the withdrawal of QAA, UAE and Bahrain ambassadors from Qatar, threatened to exclude this emirate from the Gulf Cooperation Council, in Syria the clash of Islamist squads supported by Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
The war of the prokatarskogo "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" with the pro-Saudi "Jabhat al-Nusra" facilitated the task of Assad. On the other hand, foreign jihadists, coming from the desert regions of the Sahara, the Sahel and the Arabian Peninsula, fertile river valleys - including the Euphrates, were captured by de facto serfs inhabiting them, as happened in the Islamic Emirate in the city of Raqqa and other populated areas, they actually destroy Syria as such. The same can be said about the widespread practice of the destruction of Christian - of any kind and Islamic, especially Shiite, shrines and the population recognized to be insufficiently orthodox, including the Alawites.
At the same time, within the framework of the internecine struggle, the KSA and Qatar enter into uncharacteristic alliances and have temporary allies - “fellow travelers”, with whom it was difficult to imagine a coincidence of interests several months ago. Thus, in Libya, Qatar is captivating Salafi groups, and Saudi Arabia is attracting to its side territorial brigades ideologically close to the Muslim Brotherhood. In Egypt, the Saudis, along with Russia and Israel, are trying to strengthen the position of the secular military junta led by Field Marshal al-Sisi. Qatar, which until recently clashed with Iran due to the exploitation of the South Pars natural gas field for these two countries, enters into a dialogue with Iran. In Lebanon, he negotiates with Hezbollah about confronting Salafi terrorist groups, in fact concluding an alliance with the IRGC of Iran against the KAU General Intelligence Directorate.
Characterized by the confrontation of Qatar and Saudi Arabia in Africa, where these countries, using as a "ram" partnership with corporations of France, Britain and the United States, mainly adhering to the regions and states of the Black Continent with a significant Muslim population, "digest" the projects of Muammar Gaddafi - in which they compete with Turkey. Recall that primacy in Africa in the last years of his life as an expressive Libyan leader became his fix idea: more than a third of the continent’s ruling regimes directly contained Tripoli.
In this regard, it is significant, including for Russia, with the periodic revival in the country of the internal lobby, advocating for “reconciliation” of Moscow with Doha and Riyadh at the expense of various concessions to the floodplains in promoting their Islamic education and control over the religious sphere in a number of subjects of the Federation, the interaction of Qatar and Saudi Arabia with Ethiopia. The country is Orthodox, with a large (up to 50 percent) Muslim population. This is reminiscent of Russia, although the Orthodoxy, Islam, ethnic specificity and the general culture of Ethiopia, of course, differ significantly from the Russian one.
Speaking of the 2000s, Addis Ababa’s cyclical relationship with KSA and Qatar can be noted on the principle: large-scale promises in the economy - starting work on projects based on local Muslims in the populated areas. Then there is the inevitable explosion of radical Islamism and separatism in these regions - in Ethiopia (mainly in Ogaden) and a cooling of relations between missionaries and the central government. The result is a rupture of diplomatic relations with the patron state or the gradual squeezing of missionaries out of the country. After that, investors quit the projects they have started, and competitors are invited to take their place, giving them the right to religious “nourishment” of the local population in the spirit of the options of Islam that they are ready to promote. Then the movement in a vicious circle is repeated again and again, with a gradual but continuous increase in the radical component among local Muslims.
Turkey is the only state in the Middle East, whose trade with Russia, making 32 – 34 billion dollars a year, is sufficient for its presence in the list of privileged Russian partners, and transforms the geopolitical position and control of the Black Sea Straits into a single NATO member, cooperation with which is essential domestic economy. The positions of Moscow and Ankara in Syria are directly opposed and unlikely to change. At the same time, Turkey has pragmatically approached the Russian-Ukrainian conflict and is opposed to its escalation in connection with the situation in Crimea.
It’s not expected to follow in the wake of American policy directed against Russia, at least as a result of Erdogan’s tough personal conflict with Obama. The Turkish Prime Minister not without reason suspects the American President that he did everything possible to complicate the situation of the Justice and Development Party headed by Erdogan at the recent local elections and will torpedo him for victory in the upcoming presidential elections. This contrasts with his positively neutral relationship with President Putin.
Russia was strained and will be strained by Turkey’s attempts to exploit Pan-Turkism and Pan-Islamism in the Turkic regions of the country, especially since the experience of the republics of Central Asia demonstrates how, based on the Nurma schools and colleges supported by Ankara from the beginning of 90-ies, “Jemaat” ", But also far more radical Islamist associations, including those with a Salafi orientation. However, the successes of the Pan-Turkic projects with Ankara’s natural attempt to promote Turkey’s central role in the post-Soviet Turkic space have not been particularly successful - especially with the development of its own economy, largely based on the exploitation of hydrocarbon resources and transit routes.
As for export-oriented lobbying for “soft Islam” conducted through the Turkish education system (whether in Africa, Central Asia or other regions), the hidden problems in Erdogan and Gulen relations at the beginning of 2014 led to a break in their union, which be restored. The question of whether Erdogan’s decision was to take away from Gülen’s schools the training at Turkish universities, significantly limiting his influence and sources of income, the reason why Jemaat openly opposed the prime minister, or was quite the opposite meaningless in principle. It matters only to those engaged in the internal cooking of Turkish politics. However, in the relations of the Turkish leadership with the Turkish Islamists there was a split of historical proportions.
Gülen and his people not only provoked a media injection of information about the scale of corruption in the government, the leadership of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the party leader’s closest circle, but also organized an interception of Erdogan himself. The anti-corruption measures by the top officials of the police, the prosecutor’s office and the judges who were part of Jemaat, were not only a surprise to him, but were also regarded as a betrayal. The staff purges undertaken by the Prime Minister in response affected thousands of Turkish security officials, lawyers and officials found to belong to the system created by Gulen during the time Erdogan supported him.
At the same time, it was not possible to cause substantial damage to the Turkish Prime Minister, judging by the results that the AKP achieved in the March 30 elections. Moreover, his positions were weakened by the economic collapse of the areas bordering on Syria and the discontent of the population with the presence of one million Syrian refugees in Turkey. The MIT secret service failed to bid on the Syrian free army and was unable to establish a dialogue with the Kurds and create Turkish-controlled Kurdish troops fighting against Assad, although its leader Erdogan’s protégé, Hakan Fidan, entered into a direct clash with the gendarmerie, in which he chose the Kurdish dossier. He remained open, despite urgent attempts to complete it at the height of the confrontation with Gülen, the conflict between the Prime Minister and the Turkish generals. The foreign policy of the head of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ahmet Davutoglu, “zero problems with neighbors” failed at the same time in all directions.
Despite all of the above, Erdogan beat, at least at the end of April, his rivals in the face of Islamists Gülen and his support group in the face of the US leadership. In my opinion, the directorate of the CIA is more likely than the president, but these are already particulars that the Turkish leadership does not intend to enter. So, for example, Erdogan blames the company against him not only Americans, but also Israelis, primarily MOSSAD, without being too aware of what exactly Israeli political intelligence is doing. For Russia, the main thing here is the simultaneous cooling of American-Turkish and Erdogan-Gyulenov relations. This dramatically reduces the possibility of using Turkey as a neighbor of Russia, which has a visa-free regime with it, at least with the consent of the Turkish leadership and with the support of its special services.
It is by no means a question of easing control over persons entering the territory of Russia, including the Crimea, through Turkey. The presence of jihadists in Syria around 2000 of immigrants from Russian regions, including 1500 ethnic Chechens, as well as several thousand militants from the Central Asian republics, facilitates the “reverse” of terrorists to Russia if they find sponsors who are ready to use them against Moscow, not Damascus. The latter are in both Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
This is indicated by the financing of the General Intelligence Agency (RBD) KSA (headed by the organizer of the Syrian civil war Bandar bin Sultan until mid-April) of the terrorist underground in Dagestan, through which both the attacks in Volgograd took place at the end of 2013, and Qatar’s role in sponsoring the Emirate of the Caucasus (IC) in the last period of activity of Doku Umarov. The new leader of the IC, Aliashkhab Kebekov, studied at KSA and will undoubtedly try to rely on the local sponsors as well, which, after the death of the last Saudi emissary in the North Caucasus, Moganneda Umarov could not do.
Returning to the beginning of the article, I would like to note that today we are talking about using radical Islam to destabilize Russia, since opponents of the government from among its liberal opponents or extra-parliamentary opposition are just as little for this as for governing the country. Regarding other denominations common in the Russian Federation, they passed a period of “passionarity” so long ago that religious radicalism in their ranks is radicalism of words, not actions. The collapse of the country along ethno-territorial boundaries is possible only in the event of a catastrophic weakening of the central government, which is not observed in Russia. Islamists remain.
According to the information of experts, the ranks of the domestic radical imams are replenished with “graduates” of the university in Medina (KSA), the Egyptian Al-Azhar, which was closed due to the war of Damascus University and the Yemeni University of IMAN, where the military training of students practiced, although it was controlled by the party “ Islah ”, which tried not to participate in the world jihad. The House of Hadis in the Yemeni province of Damaj, defeated in February by Shiite Hausitas, where about two thousand foreigners, including those from the North Caucasus, the Urals and the Volga region, trained, on the contrary, was much more dangerous in terms of their participation in jihad in Russia but there is no information about where his “listeners” are today.
As a consequence of all the above, what direction will become the line of the main blow in the confrontation of the West with Russia, who its organizers and sponsors are, where and how exactly the necessary personnel will be prepared for this is understandable. The only question is how to prevent it.