Remembering what I wrote regarding Russia’s terrorism concerns during the 2014 Winter Olympic games they will host in Sochi, this article I read in As-Safir [CLICK FOR ENGLISH TRANSLATION] about Russian President Putin’s meeting with Saudi intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan is probably the most mind-blowing piece of news I read this morning.
The whole article is worth reading, but check out what bin Sultan told Putin about Syria and safety during the 2014 Olympics:
“There are many common values and goals that bring us together, most notably the fight against terrorism and extremism all over the world. Russia, the US, the EU and the Saudis agree on promoting and consolidating international peace and security. The terrorist threat is growing in light of the phenomena spawned by the Arab Spring. We have lost some regimes. And what we got in return were terrorist experiences, as evidenced by the experience of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the extremist groups in Libya. … As an example, I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics in the city of Sochi on the Black Sea next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us, and they will not move in the Syrian territory’s direction without coordinating with us. These groups do not scare us. We use them in the face of the Syrian regime but they will have no role or influence in Syria’s political future.”
Crazy, huh? Let’s dissect.
First, bin Sultan talked out both sides of his mouth in the same paragraph. He first said that Saudi Arabia, like Russia, is against terrorism. Then, bin Sultan says his country controls the jihad-driven Chechen terrorists who are now fighting as part of the so-called rebel army in Syria!
Second, bin Sultan references a guarantee, delivered in the form of a veiled threat, that he can make the Sochi games drama-free by calling off the Chechen jihadists that he admits to controlling.
All Putin needs to do is drop Russia’s support for Syria President Assad.
Since bin Sultan didn’t explicitly tell Putin “Don’t worry about Chechen terrorists. We got this,” the shakedown attempt appears obvious.
BTW, Putin didn’t bite…
Song currently stuck in my head: “september song” – sarah vaughan & clifford brown