Posted by: Christian | August 26, 2007

Whoops! They Caught A Chechen.

August 27, 2007.

Aaaargh! I spent so much time trying to debunk the idea about Chechens being in Afghanistan and one is caught in Paktia. How would I know that they would catch a Chechen literally one day after I wrote about the “Chechen Myth?” According to the blog writings of “John,” an officer at FOB Gardez in Paktia, this happened:

“On a completely different topic, Afghan police at a checkpoint near here captured a Chechen fighter fleeing from an operation in the K-G pass — dressed as a woman. We were at the governor’s compound yesterday when the police rolled in with him, still wearing a burqa, and proceeded to interrogate him in front of a tribal shura the governor had been mediating. Fun times for everyone. Except the Chechen. I’m currently trying to get authorization to release the photo I took of him publicly — hopefully should get it by this evening.”

This is all so sad. I attempted to find out about this incident and fought some interesting facts about this Chechen:

A Russian man, disguised as a woman, was arrested during a search in the restive southeastern province of Paktia Saturday afternoon. Governor Rehmatullah Rehmat produced the detainee – named Andrei – before tribal elders at the governor’s house here.

 

Hmmm. “Andrei” doesn’t seem like a proper name for a Chechen. What else did Pajhwok news say?:

The suspect insisted he had arrived in Afghanistan to return to his country, and that he did not want to support militants or perpetrate violence against anyone. However, he would not say what prompted him to put on women’s clothes.

I won’t judge this man based on how he dresses. But I’m still curious (added by editor: not a freudian slip. I swear). Why was he in the area?:

Initially, he went to Egypt for receiving religious education. Later on, the young man moved to Iran for higher Islamic studies. Prior to his entry into Afghanistan, he was studying in a Pakistani seminary. Andrei continued he spent some time in the southern port city of Karachi before shifting to Mir Ali town of Waziristan, lying close to the Pak-Afghan border. He lived in Pakistan’s troubled northwestern tribal region for six months. From Mir Ali, he managed to enter Khost in an effort to reach Kabul. The detainee planned to go from the Afghan capital to Tajikistan and then to Russia.

Aaaaw! He wants to go home. He hates Pakistan. It’s so sad. (But what’s the deal with hanging out in Iran? They’re like, so munafiqeen and stuff). Anyways, this is the gist of it:

The lanky man, in an exclusive chat with Pajhwok Afghan News, said he was a resident of Siberia. Sporting a long beard, the 28-year-old added he had embraced Islam.

 

He’s not even a Chechen. He’s likely an ethnic Russian or the member of some ethnic minority in Siberia who thinks that naming your kid “Andrei” is cool (and who can grow a beard).

Even The Frontier Post of Pakistan, who identified the man as a Russian, got into the action:

The suspect insisted he had arrived in Afghanistan to return to his country, and that he did not want to support militants or perpetrate violence against anyone. However, he would not say what prompted him to put on women’s clothes.

They’re really comfortable? They’re like wearing a mu-mu?

OK. I guess I’m beating this subject to death. My point is, other than that US troops and Afghan security officers are mistakenly using “Chechen” in the place of “Russian” and “not Chechen at all,” is that I’m right. Oh, and there are no Chechens in Afghanistan or nearby. Sorry, for being so unbearable about the whole thing. But this is only the second time that I’ve actually been right about anything. Celebrate when you can I guess.

[added: I’m not picking on “John” or even on the locals in Paktia. They are just going on what I talked about in the post about imaginary Chechens.]


Responses

  1. […] myth of Chechen fighters in Afghanistan is ruthlessly torn apart.  Then, a new example of this kind of misinformation concerning a non-Chechen “Chechen” cross-dressing incident is analyzed to underscore […]

  2. […] Sorry for the disjointed posting here, but none of this seems to add up at all. I confess my skepticism is conditioned by Afghanistanica’s excellent post on the mythical Chechens in Afghanistan and Pakistan. […]

  3. […] (noting that it wasn’t my “cup of tea” – and he is certainly right), as well as a few other links.  He asked if I had any more data on them to justify calling them […]


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