: NYT: Russia shows what happens when terrorists' families are targeted

18:59 Mar. 29, 2016

NYT: Russia shows what happens when terrorists' families are targeted

A Russian soldier rides atop an APC during a patrol of Chechnya's capital Grozny, Nov. 27, 2007 (AP Photo)

In the conflict that began in Chechnya, Russian security services routinely arrest, torture and kill relatives, rights groups say

Donald J. Trump, the leading Republican presidential candidate, was widely condemned when he called for the United States to 'take out the families' of terrorists.

His approach — even after he clarified that he was not talking about killing the relatives — was dismissed by many as immoral and unlawful.

Yet, it is the very tactic that Russia has pursued for decades.

It is the signature, though officially unacknowledged, policy behind Moscow's counterinsurgency and counterterrorism strategies, and Russia's actions in smashing a Muslim separatist rebellion in the Caucasus provide a laboratory for testing Mr. Trump's ideas. 

The family ties that bind in terrorist groups came into focus last week after the police in Brussels disclosed that two of the three suicide bombers in the attacks there were brothers, Ibrahim and Khalid el-Bakraoui. All told, analysts estimate that a third of the participants in terrorist acts are related to another attacker.

In the conflict that began in Chechnya and has since metastasized into a loosely organized Islamic rebellion throughout the Caucasus region, Russian security services routinely arrest, torture and kill relatives, rights groups say. Full story 

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