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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Israel uses Hamas-Chechen link

The JPost reported yesterday that Israel is trying to use links between Hamas and Chechen rebels to influence the Russian public to oppose President Vladimir Putin's embrace of Hamas.

Government officials are circulating a document showing Hamas's links to Chechen terrorists in an attempt to influence Russian public opinion against President Vladimir Putin's overtures to Hamas.

The pamphlet, put out by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies, an information project sponsored by an NGO set up in memory of fallen members of the Israeli intelligence community, opens by stating that "Hamas support for the Chechen separatists and their terrorist tactics did not prevent it from immediately accepting" Putin's recent invitation to visit Moscow.

According to the document, Hamas "is completely hostile to the Russian regime in that it identifies with the Chechen separatists, regarding them as part of the global jihad, and supports them in their terrorist activities."

A government official said that the document was being circulated so that people "understand the real nature of Hamas - that Hamas has supported terrorism in other part of the world, and has supported a radical jihad agenda, not only against Israel, but also around the globe, specifically in Russia."

"We think that it would be a good thing if Russian citizens became aware of that," he said.


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