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Is Putin Losing Russia’s War on Terror?

January 29, 2011

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, center, and other Cabinet members observe a minute of silence in memory of the victims of Monday's suicide bombing at Moscow's main airport, in Moscow, Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011. Putin is vowing retribution for the suicide bombing attack at Russia's busiest airport that killed several dozen people. (AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Pool)

By Kaeleigh Forsyth, Contributor

The Moscow suicide bombing at the Domodedovo airport that killed 35 people and injured approximately 130 more is raising questions about how to increase security measures in large public places with public access, known as “soft targets.”

This attack on an area of relatively little security is similar to past acts of violence by militants from the northern Caucasus region of southern Russia.  Rebel groups from republics such as Chechnya, Ingushetia, and Dagestan have attacked Russian interests for years.  In 2010 these groups were responsible for a similar attack on the Moscow subway system.

This incident raises questions about the effectiveness of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s war on terror.  He was appointed in 2008 under the banner of fighting terror, yet jihadist acts of violence have grown six times since he’s been in power, according to former Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov.

Putin and Medvedev’s challenge now is to reign in national security in the face of growing public fear and anxieties. The political obstacles only increase as mistrust and disapproval of the government become stronger.

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