Russia Furious Over ABC's Basayev Interview
** How would Americans react to a foreign journalist meeting with Osama bin Laden or Abu Masad al-Zarqawi in a “secret” hiding place, interviewing him, and then posting the video up on their website? **
ABC uses the “Freedom of the Press” excuse to explain their “Nightline” interview with the mastermind behind the Beslan Massacre, the Moscow Theatre Massacre, and countless other terrorist attacks in Russia!
ABC SPREADS CHECHEN TERRORIST LEADER’S PROPAGANDA,
A TV screen grab shows US ABC journalist Andrei Babitsky (L) interviewing Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev. The United States, pleading freedom of the press, steered well clear of a row between Russia and a US television network that interviewed a Chechen guerrilla leader(AFP/ABC NEWS) (AFP)
“I admit I am a bad guy, a bandit, a terrorist!”
Basayev shares with the cameraman as Russian children are shown running from the besieged Beslan school after bombs started exploding during their three days of hell.
As Americans blast Al Jazeera for broadcasting Osama Bin Laden or Al Zarqawi tapes and videos, including beheadings, one of the big three networks from America goes to the backwoods of Chechnya and interviews directly, Shamil Basayev, leader of the Chechen terrorists.
The parliamentarian said the “appearance of an interview of Basayev is unacceptable for Russia, just as an interview of the Russian mass media with Osama bin Laden would be unacceptable for the Americans”.
“This fact cannot but cause indignation,” he said.
Just to refresh you,… This is the same man who is behind the Beslan School Massacre that killed over 200 Russian Beslan children on their first day of classes. This is the same man who made a practice attack video before is men and suicide bomber women attacked the Dubrovka Theater in Moscow and killed 130 Russians in a three day siege.
Russia’s foreign ministry summoned the senior US diplomat in Moscow and expressed “strong indignation” over an interview aired on the ABC television network with radical Chechen rebel leader Shamil Basayev.
Daniel Russell, who as charge d’affairs heads the embassy in the current absence of a permanent ambassador, was called in to hear “strong indignation with the fact of the airing of the Basayev interview,” a ministry spokesman told AFP.
Basayev, a veteran guerrilla commander in Chechnya’s decade-old separatist conflict with Russia, has claimed responsibility for several large-scale attacks on civilians, including last year’s bloody mass hostage-taking at a school in Beslan, near Chechnya.
In his interview, thought to be the first face-to-face meeting with a journalist in years, Basayev said he had turned to terrorism because Russia was killing so many Chechen civilians. (at least it wasn’t Iraq!)
Russia’s most wanted man also warned of further Beslan-type attacks.
More than 320 people – around half of them children – were killed in the attack at the school in September.
Russia is offering $10m (£6m) for the capture of the warlord, who it also accuses of several other major attacks.
The interview with Shamil Basayev – recorded at his hideout in Chechnya – was aired on ABC’s Nightline programme.
“It’s not the children who are responsible,” Basayev said. But he added: “Responsibility is with the whole Russian nation… If the war doesn’t come to each of them individually, it will never stop in Chechnya.”
** “Nightline” still has the video up on their page here. **
Update: (Saturday PM) The Great Lori Byrd at Polipundit is linking to this news story and has another horrific account of the Beslan Massacre with her posting.