Chechen field commander Salman Raduev claimed yesterday that the February 9 assassination attempt against Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze had been the work of a Chechen "special operations unit" which he dubbed "Wolves Without Borders." Raduyev’s statement, made on a private Chechen television channel, was partially rebroadcast the same evening on Russian television. Describing Shevardnadze as a "Russian agent," Raduev claimed that forces militating against Russian influence in the Caucasus had sentenced Shevardnadze to death. He warned that those "liberation" forces will continue their attempts to assassinate the Georgian president. Raduev added an appeal to all Moslems to wage a "Jihad (holy war) against America."
Georgian officials responded that Raduev’s statement may be intended to "mislead the investigation." In Grozny, Chechen leaders reiterated their strong condemnation of the assassination attempt and their already supposition that talk of a "Chechen hand" was intended to derail the Georgian-Chechen rapprochement. The Chechen officials also repeated their offer to Georgian authorities to join the investigation on Chechen territory. (RTR, NTV, Russian and Western agencies, February 12) Raduev, who has spectacular exploits to his credit as field commander against Russian forces, has also been known for wild claims that have been exploited by Russia’s "power ministries" before turning out to have been unsubstantiated.
Tajik Opposition Accepts Government Posts.