November 28, 2009

Russian Train Destroyed by Terrorist Bomb

The express train carrying passengers from Moscow to St. Petersburg was derailed Friday, killing 30 and injuring at least one hundred. Russian authorities claim that have found a blast crater and chemical residue that indicates the train was targeted in an act of terrorism, using homemade explosives equivalent to 15 pounds of TNT.

If homemade explosives were used I would be surprised to find out if it was anything other than triacetone triperoxide (TATP), an old standby for terrorists that was perhaps most infamously used in the London subway bombings.

No one has publicly taken responsibility for the blast, and a motive remains unclear at this time.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at November 28, 2009 10:29 AM

In the absence of any further evidence of who might have set the bomb, there is an interesting question of whether the bomb (if there was one) was necessarily set by terrorists at all.

There have been persistent rumors that the bombing of apartment buildings in the late 1990s which reignited the Chechen War was conducted, not by Chechens, but by the Russian intelligence services, at the orders of Putin.

Which is most certainly not to excuse the Chechens for their crimes (e.g., Beslan), but to suggest that things are not always what they seem in Russia.

It would be interesting to see whether any group takes responsibility, and/or whether the accused perpetrators are among the "usual suspects".

Posted by: Lurking Observer at November 29, 2009 09:52 AM