April 2014
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Commercial Dispute, Hooliganism, or Terrorism?

Maybe it’s all three:

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — More than 70 people were sickened after gas was released Monday in a chain store and boxes with glass containers attached to wires were found in three other outlets of the same store. Police said they believed a commercial dispute or blackmail attempt was behind the incidents. A spokesman for the Emergency Situations Ministry, Viktor Beltsov, said 78 people sought medical care and 66 of them were hospitalized. None of them were assessed as being in life-threatening condition, he said.

Stepchenko said that a custodian at a branch of the Maksidom home-supplies chain found a suspicious box before the store’s opening and when she opened the box, she found ampoules attached to wires and a timer. The woman inadvertently broke one of the ampoules and noticed a repulsive smell, but apparently was not sickened, he said.”

So was it terrorism?

“Officials of the store chain, which has outlets only in St. Petersburg and sells furnishings, home-repair material and other domestic articles, had told police that they had received threatening letters in recent weeks, Stepchenko said.”

Sounds like the use of terror as a means to an end. However, “Police initially are considering the incidents as “hooliganism.”

Others: “A local police spokesman said: “The likely explanation for what happened is that it was malicious competition…”Now we can definitely say that the possibility of a terrorist act is ruled out,” he added.”

So, guess which act it was:

A) Commercial dispute.
B) Blackmail.
C) Hooliganism.
D) Malicious competition.
E) Terrorist act.

Maybe it’s all of the above. Maybe hooligans engaged in a commercial dispute and used terror tactics. Why say it’s not terrorism? Is it only extreme and violent religious fundamentalists who use terrorism? No. This sounds like terrorism to me.

2 comments to Commercial Dispute, Hooliganism, or Terrorism?

  • Maybe it’s just a difference in translation?

  • Joshua

    I don’t think so. I think they are clear on the distinctions between terrorism and hooliganism and can translate that to the international press. You don’t hear much of Putin saying, “We have to stop those hooligans in Chechnya.”