12/13/2010, 00.00
RUSSIA - ISLAM
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Russian Islam, the flop of financing terrorism

by Nina Achmatova
In 20 years Russia has been flooded with funds from abroad to spread terrorism in the Federation. But the money was diverted to villas and luxury cars. The view of an expert.

Moscow (AsiaNews) – Over the past 20 years, billions of dollars sent from abroad for the radicalization of Islam in Russia have been squandered. This is according to one of the most famous Russian sociologists and experts in Islam, Roman Silantyev in a recent article on the  Journalist Against Terror website.

"Thank God, more than 90% of funds allocated for the spread of wahhabism among the Muslims of Russia have been used for other purposes. Instead of hundreds of centres for training terrorists and their accomplices, the establishment of newspapers and websites, that money was used to build resorts and villas, luxury apartments and to buy cars”, writes Silantyev, also a former Executive Secretary Interreligious Council of Russia.

Considering the wide dissemination in the country of "aggressive Islamic sects - notes sociologist - we can only imagine what would have happened if the Russian partner of al-Qaeda had not been a spendthrift."

The article cites information from Russian intelligence, according to which 60 Islamic extremist organizations, about 100 companies and 10 foreign commercial banks have financed the terrorist groups in the Federation. Among the organizations mentioned, Al-Haramain, Islamic Relief, Taiba, Al-IGAS, Assembly of Muslim Youth, Revival of Islamic Heritage, Social Reform Society, Qatar Charitable Society.

"The exact amount allocated to these groups is not known - says the expert -. But the approximate volume of investments of terror can be estimated at around 10 billion dollars since 1990. Thousands of people have received money to establish control of the Russian Muslim elite, to penetrate the highest levels of power and form an influential lobby with the aim of bringing extremism to the faith communities in some regions, alienate the population from the idea of nationhood and establish large-scale anti-government activities and proselytizing among the citizens of Islamic faith".

"Comparing the volume of funds transferred to the number of mosques or Islamic centres that have been opened - says Silantyev - we can safely say that most of that money is not used for the intended purpose." This can be explained "not only by the ingenuity of the foreign 'philanthropists' , but also by the presence of different mediators for the delivery of the funds who have duped the donors."

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