Russia is the birthplace of modern terrorism. The Russian nihilists of the 19th century combined political powerlessness with a propensity for gruesome violence.
In the 1960s and 70s, the Soviet Union sponsored waves of political violence against the West. The Red Brigades in Italy and the German Red Army Faction both terrorized Europe through bank robberies, kidnapping, and acts of sabotage. The Soviets wanted to use these left-wing terror groups to destabilize Italy and Germany to break up NATO. State-sponsored terrorism was a deeply Soviet phenomenon, but its practice did not stop when the Soviet Union ended. While state sponsorship continues, terrorism has mutated into something even harder for us to understand and respond to. But some of the roots of today's terrorism go back to the Soviet Union.
Palestinian groups were enthusiastic participants in Soviet terror largesse. General Alexander Sakharovsky, head of the KGB's First Chief Directorate, famously said in 1971, "Airplane hijacking is my own invention," referring to the Palestinian Liberation Organization's hijackings. In the 1950s and 60s there was, on average, five hijackings a year; in 1969, Palestinian terrorists hijacked 82 aircraft. George Habash's Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine was crucial. The secular, left-wing Habash boasted, "Killing one Jew far away from the field of battle is more effective than killing a hundred Jews on the field of battle, because it attracts more attention."
In July 1978, U.S. President Jimmy Carter granted political asylum to Lt. General Pacepa, who eventually became a U.S. citizen. Pacepa is the highest-ranking intelligence officer to ever defect from the Soviet-bloc. He has assisted the CIA, which praised him for providing “an important and unique contribution to the United States.”
In his article, Pacepa notes “the day of our ambassador’s murder, Sept. 11, 2012, also happened to be the very day the Kremlin celebrated a significant anniversary — 125 years since the birth of Feliks Dzerzhinsky, the founder of the KGB, now rechristened FSB.
He goes on to cite a personal encounter in 1972 with then-KGB chairman Yuri Andropov, in which Andropov outlined a secret Soviet plan to ferment revolution in the Islamic world via the use of anti-American and anti-Semitic propaganda, including the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” translated into Arabic and disseminated throughout the Middle East.
“The idea was to portray the United States as a war-mongering, Zionist country financed by Jewish money and run by a rapacious ‘Council of the Elders of Zion’ (the KGB’s derisive epithet for the U.S. Congress) intent on transforming the rest of the world into a Jewish fiefdom,” Pacepa recalls Andropov as telling him.
Pacepa refers to Andropov as the “Father of today’s anti-Semitism and international terrorism.” Most notably, Pacepa recalled:
Andropov made the point that one billion adversaries could cause far greater damage than could a mere 150 million. Even Muhammad, he said, had not limited his religion to Arab countries.
The KGB boss described the Muslim world as a waiting petri dish, in which we could nurture a strain of hate-America, grown from the bacterium of Marxist-Leninist thought. Islamic anti-Semitism ran deep, he said.
In 1984, the Communist Party-controlled Novosti press, in Moscow, published a small booklet entitled Soviet Power and Islam. This booklet detailed the history of Soviet-Muslim collaboration, starting with the infamous October Revolution of 1917. Muslims living in Central and Eastern Russia initially supported Lenin and his Bolshevik Revolution against what they perceived as the anti-Islamic government of the Tsar.
After the fourth Arab-Israeli war in October 1973 the leaders of the Muslim religious institutions of the USSR convened a conference on November 13-14, 1973 under the motto “For Support of the Just Struggle of the Peoples of the Arab Countries for the Liberation of Their Territories, for National Independence and Social Progress.”
The conference was attended by delegations from Egypt, Iraq, Libya, the Yemen Arab Republic, and Kuwait. It also adopted an “Appeal to All Muslims and People of Good Will,” which stated:
We, Muslims of the USSR, express our full solidarity with the fraternal Arab peoples fighting for the unity, freedom, independence and national sovereignty of their countries. In accordance with our religious duty, we insist on the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East — the sacred land of the followers of various religions. To promote the establishment of such a peace we demand the implementation of the resolution passed on October 22, 1973, by the UN Security Council, the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Israeli troops from all occupied Arab lands, and recognition of the legitimate rights of the Arab people of Palestine to determine their own future.
This notion of self-determination has been the historic linchpin for the Soviet-backed communist revolutions and insurgencies in China, Cuba, Vietnam, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Uruguay, and Angola. Realizing the unique nature of the Middle East, the Soviet Union knew it could not rely on traditional Marxism-Leninism or a Russian white face to ferment anti-capitalist and anti-Western revolution. Instead, the Kremlin adapted its rhetoric to a more Islamic tone and employed the use of Muslims already living in the Soviet Union, who remained loyal toward the Soviet government, to help carry out this mission.
Another publication that also provides relevant information about the Soviet penetration and exploitation of Islam for the purpose of revolution is New Lies for Old, written in 1984 by KGB defector Anatoliy Golitsyn:
In March 1965 the First Conference of Muslims of Asia and Africa was held in Bandoeng. Thirty-five countries were represented. The Mufti of Central Asia and Kazakhstan, Babakhanov, led the Soviet delegation. The conference discussed the use of Muslim proselytizing societies as weapons against imperialism. The need to harness Islam to the service of the revolution has been openly discussed by communist strategists. Based on Soviet experience in Central Asia, the problem of achieving this is considered difficult but soluble. (Emphasis added).
He also explained the reasons behind the Soviet Union’s sponsorship of terrorism:
The objective of violence is to create chaos and anarchy, to impose additional strains on ruling democratic parties, to eliminate their ablest leaders, to force them to resort to undemocratic measures, and to demonstrate to the public their inability to maintain law and order, leaving the field open to the legal communist party to present itself as the only effective alternative force.
In addition to Golitsyn, General Alexander Sakharovsky, the head of the KGB 1st Chief Directorate (responsible for foreign intelligence) from 1956-1971, said, “In today’s world, when nuclear arms have made military force obsolete, terrorism should become our main weapon.”
The Soviet KGB fathered state-sponsored terrorism. The PLO was dreamt up by KGB. In 1960s a new element was added to the Soviet/PLO war; international terrorism. Today's international terrorism was conceived at the Lubyanka.
As Yuri Andropov once explained to Ion Pacepa, the Muslim world was a Petri dish in which the Russians might "nurture a virulent strain of America-hatred from the bacterium of Marxist-Leninist thought." KGB General Alexander Sakharovsky once said to Pacepa: "In today's world, when nuclear arms have made military force obsolete, terrorism should become our main weapon."
The right hand of bin Laden, the Number Two in "Al-Qaeda" was trained at the secret base of the Russian secret services on Caucasus, the former Lieutenant Colonel of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) Alexander Litvinenko told the Polish Rzeczpospolita newspaper. Until the end of 1998, Litvinenko had served in several top-secret units that specialized in struggle against the terrorist and the mafia organizations. Litvinenko claims that Ayman al-Zawahiri, who headed at that time the terrorist organization "Al-Jihad al-jadid" (it was formed from the Egyptian emigrants - activists of "Al-Jihad" and "Al-Jamaah al-Islamiyah"), in 1998 secretly stayed on the territory of Russia.