Evidence shows Beslan attack was well planned

Evidence shows Beslan attack was well planned

CTV.ca News Staff

Updated: Mon. Sep. 6 2004 12:10 AM ET

As grieving families in Beslan, Russia buried their dead, evidence came to light of the careful planning that went into the siege on the school.

After the militants stormed Middle School No. 1 on Wednesday and filled the gymnasium with hostages, those hostages were forced to lift up pieces of the gym's flooring.

Large numbers of automatic weapons, ammunition and explosives had been left there in advance. There's some speculation they were planted during renovations over the summer.

The interior minister of North Ossetia submitted his resignation Sunday over the government's handling of the crisis. It was rejected.

In another development, the early government claim that up to 10 of the militants were Arab was coming under scrutiny.

No evidence has been presented to support that, and residents of Beslan were skeptical. Some who had looked at the bodies of dead militants said it didn't appear there were any Arabs among them.

A few former hostages said they thought the militants were Chechens, and one suspect shown on Russia's state-controlled Channel One spoke Russian.

Channel One, without citing sources, said the hostage-takers included Chechens, Ingush, Arabs, Kazakhs and Slavs. Earlier reports by Russian media said the hostage-takers included Chechens, Ingush and a North Ossetian.

Beslan is a city of about 30,000 located in the southern Russia province of North Ossetia. It is neighbored by Georgia to the South, Ingushetia to the east and shares a small northeastern border with Chechnya.

The militants were calling for a withdrawal of Russian troops from Chechnya and the release of people captured during rebel raids in Ingushetia in June.

However, Aslan Maskhodov, the official leader of Chechen separatists, has condemned the attack and said none of his people were involved -- although he didn't claim that no Chechens were involved.

There still isn't a final tally on how many militants were involved. The latest number is that 32 were involved and the bodies of 30 had been found. Earlier reports had three hostage-takers being captured.

CTV's Ellen Pinchuk said there were reports that some of the rebels had been identified as Syrian and Jordanian citizens who had trained at al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan.

"Also, while investigators believe the mastermind behind the attack was a leading Chechen rebel (Shamil Basayev), they also believe the financial trail will eventually lead to Abu Omar As-Seyf, believed to be the al Qaeda representative in Chechnya."
I've been following this story very often and I'm in total awe over the actions of the terrorists/militants. Anybody who would turn to children in these disgusting and violent acts is horrible.

I can understand attacking government posts and intelligence compounds, but schools, playgrounds and daycares is beyond anything that I could ever comprehend.

I will never understand what the families are going through having so many children in one place a victim to this.
These people must have planned this attack and it was very well organized. Take a small look at all of the big attacks in recent history. It is obvious that all successful terrorist attacks of such degree are well planned.
The fantasy that terrorists live in caves in the dirt, are uneducated and have no access to or knowledge of technology needs to end. Of course attacks are well planned and executed. Terrorists were taught and supplied by various governments throughout modern history. Now these very governments are dealing with the results of their actions. Or, in sadder truth, the innocent people these governments swore to protect are.