Today’s bomb attack on a power plant in the North Caucasus, which left two dead and put the plant out of service for weeks, might signal Russian extremists’ shift toward economic targets in the region, experts say in a Reuters report published in the New York Times:
“I’m afraid this may have been a rehearsal for something much larger,” a member of the FSB’s National Anti-Terror Committee, Alexander Torshin, told Ekho Moskvy radio.
Analysts said the raid indicated rebels were fulfilling their promise to target economic infrastructure as part of their fight to create an Islamist pan-Caucasus state in south Russia.
Chechen rebel leader Doku Umarov, who calls himself the “Emir of the Caucasus Emirate,” has vowed to attack Russia’s energy pipelines and power stations.
Umarov claimed responsibility for March suicide bombings in the Moscow metro that killed at least 40 people and his group said it was behind a disaster which killed 75 people at the Sayano-Shushenskaya dam in Siberia in August last year.
“I think this is a change in tactics,” said Grigory Shvedov, editor-in-chief of the Caucasian Knot www.kavkaz-uzel.ru Internet news agency. He said it would be reasonable to expect more attacks on economic targets.
Russia is tightening security around its power plants in response to the blast.