(MOSCOW NEWS) Russia’s parliamentary commission investigating the September Beslan hostage crisis has announced evidence of the involvement by a foreign intelligence agency, underlining earlier speculations that foreigners-not just Chechens-played a large role Russia’s worst terrorist attack, which claimed the lives of 330 people in a three-day siege.
“For the moment the evidence that we have of this involvement is indirect, so I consider it premature to name exactly which special service it is,” Interfax quoted commission head Alexander Torshin as saying.
Torshin, deputy speaker of the Federation Council, Russia’s upper house of parliament, said that “when we gather enough convincing evidence, we won’t hide it.”
Earlier the parliamentary commission sparked concern when it said that the truth about Besland was “too scary” to reveal.
Russian officials initially said the attackers killed at the school included nine or 10 Arabs, and other nationalities including Ingushetians and Chechens. Chechen separatist leader Shamil Basayev, who claimed responsibility for the raid, said the militants who seized the school included two Arabs.
Following the spate of terrorist attacks in August and September, which included the downing of two airliners in southern Russia and a suicide blast outside a Moscow subway station, Russian officials accused foreign countries, particularly in the West, of double standards on terrorism. In a televised address after the attack, Putin suggested some people with Cold War mentalities in the West, who are bent on weakening Russia, aided terrorists.