Staunton, September 9 – Most observers have argued that over the last dozen years, religious-based terrorism has displaced ethnic or nationalist violence, but now, according to a specialist on the Caucasus, Islamist terrorism there is being overshadowed by a new form, one he calls “social terrorism” which seeks to destroy the institutions of the state as such.
This is an extremely worrisome trend, Artur Atayev, a researcher at the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISI), because unlike nationalist terrorism which has separatist goals and religious terrorism which seeks the victory of one religion over another, social terrorism has as its goal the destruction of the state as such” (regnum.ru/news/polit/1702295.html
Atayev says that Russia is currently “one of the most successful states” as far as the struggle against terrorism is concerned, having decimated the large groups of the 1990s and gradually mopping up the smaller ones. But the new social terrorism presents a new set of challenges, and Moscow is going to have to redouble its efforts in response.
That is because this new form is not limited to one ethnic group or religion but has the potential to involve people of different nationalities or religious affiliations on the basis of their hatred of the state, thus forming groups that are inevitably far more difficult to identify and thus far harder to suppress.