• August 2002. Sweeps of the Chechen-inhabited Pankisi Gorge in Georgia by American-trained Georgian forces nab one Saif al Islam el Masry, a member of Al Qaeda's shura (council) and disrupt a plot by Arab jihadis training there to bomb or use improvised chemical weapons against Western (not Russian) targets in Russia and Central Asia. Interpol and Western intelligence agencies also believe that Abu Khabab (Al Qaeda's 'mad scientist' seen experimenting with poison gases in an Al Qaeda video seized by coalition forces in Afghanistan) transferred his operations to the Pankisi after the destruction of the Taliban.

  • January 2003. British authorities arrest six North African Arabs in London accusing them of attempting to produce ricin poison in their flat. Several of those arrested are later found to have trained in the Pankisi Gorge camps with the aim of eventually fighting jihad with the Chechen-Arabs in Chechnya.

  • May 2003. The Saudi mastermind of the Al Qaeda bombings in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (which galvanized the Saudis to move against domestic Al Qaeda influence) is found to have fought in Chechnya before later traveling to Afghanistan to fight the USA and coalition forces at Tora Bora.

  • November 2003. Turkish authorities claim that a deadly wave of bombings in Istanbul of British and Jewish targets were carried out by domestic militants belonging to the Islamic Great Eastern Raiders Front who were trained by Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Several of this group's members previously fought jihad in Chechnya.

  • November 2003. Yemeni authorities arrest Mohammed Hamdi al Ahdal, a 32-year old Saudi citizen responsible for the bombing of the USS Cole in Aden, Yemen in 2000. Al Ahdal, one of the top 20 Al Qaeda leaders, previously fought in Chechnya, where he lost a leg (currently he has a prosthetic leg).

    As this sampling of evidence of 'Chechen-Arab' involvement in Al Qaeda terrorism clearly indicates, the FBI and other Western intelligence agencies should focus their investigations on the 'Chechen-Arab' alumni of the 'jihad' in the Caucasus. Many further such examples of Chechen-Arab involvement in Al Qaeda terrorism and this group of fighters, like the Afghan-Arabs before them, represent a clear and present danger to Western interests.

    While Osama bin Laden and radical Islamic extremists from across the globe are prone to see the Chechens as victims of Russian infidel aggression and a people in need of assistance, this effort to support the Chechens' struggle does not translate into Chechen support for Al Qaeda's struggle against America or the West. As for the Chechens themselves, the world awaits the arrest of a single Chechen by coalition forces for involvement in Al Qaeda terrorism anywhere in the globe.