Several hours after an explosion ripped through the crowded baggage claim area of the international terminal at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport, no one has yet claimed responsibility for what appears to have been the attack of a suicide bomber. With 35 victims dead and a reported 150+ injured, this senseless tragedy is one of the worst Russia has seen in recent years.
Even though no one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, reports suggest that it may have been perpetrated by insurgents in the volatile Caucasus region of Russia. This attack may have been a ploy to undermine the Russian government’s appearance of a “secure society.” While a search is on for three suspects in the attack, increased security measures in Moscow and the Caucasus region to prevent further attacks could have the opposite effect.
Islamic militants in the Caucasus region of Russia have been fighting for the establishment of an independent state in that area for some time, and have recently resorted to using suicide bombs to undermine the Russian government. Both Putin and Russian President Medvedev have pledged to crush the insurgents, but the threat of violence in the area is now on the verge of spiraling out of control.
Is it too late for someone to bring everyone to the table and mediate a peaceful resolution? Possibly. The insurgents are unlikely to settle for anything less than an independent Islamic state, whereas the Kremlin would refuse to allow that to happen. Can a middle ground acceptable to everyone be found? At this point, probably not without things getting worse before they get better.
My heartfelt sympathies go out to the family, friends, and loved ones of those killed and injured in today’s explosion. I sincerely hope that the Russian authorities will be able to find out who is responsible for this senseless tragedy and see that justice, not revenge, is served.