Finland: A Bit More About Terrorist Haven

Finish officials started to interact with Chechen terrorists as far back as 1999. Rene Nyberg, a high standing official from Finish Foreign Ministry, first met Chechen representatives at the Helsinki EU summit by the end of 1999. The criminal gangs of Basayev and Khattab invaded Dagestan from the territory of Chechnya and then launched a string of bomb attacks across the territory of Russia from Volgodonsk to Moscow. Exactly at this time the Northern Dimension European Union initiative, worked out by Finland’s Foreign Ministry in November 1998, entered the phase of practical implementation. The initiative is targeted at drastic changes related to defining the borders with Russia and encompasses Karelia, the Karelian Isthmus, the islands of Finish Gulf and Novgorod region bringing all these territories into the «hot-tempered Finish guys» sphere of interests. Finland plans to invest around 80 billion dollars into the program till 2020... 

Pro-Karelia, a revanchist organization, funded by Finish Foreign Ministry, is made responsible for propaganda efforts. It is supported by former speaker of Parliament Riitta Uosukainen, Pertti Salolainen, former Ambassador to London and the architect of Finland’s EU policy, Jukka Valtasaari, Secretary of State, Risto Kuisma, MP, the Reform Party presidential candidate, retired Lieutenant General Rainio Merie, retired Brigadier General Kari Hietanen, former Commander of the Kymi Military Province, Russia expert Ilmari Susiluoto, former advisor to Finland's Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Mark Laikkanen, the head of Karjalan Liitto – the Karelian League, boasting 60 thousand members and maintaining the dreams of restoring the «lost Karelia» and «Greater Finland», as well as others of the kind. As polls show, under the influence of propaganda some 20-38% of Finns (up to 40% of youth) actively support the idea of putting forward demands that envision the return of Karelia to Finland and believe that the resources of Siberia belong to Finno-Ugric peoples. 

The contemporary Finish Air Force flag. According to the Finish Defence Forces website, swastika was adopted in 1918 as an ancient symbol of good luck and protection. It was to be abandoned by the 1945 treaty but the provision was not complied with. The contemporary flag was approved on November 8, 1957. 

In the summer of 2002 the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) had to issue an admonition seriously warning Finland about brazen anti-Russia propaganda activities. But it was not followed, the activities went on. Some time later the terrorist Internet media outlet started to function in Helsinki with the Finish authorities consent. In April 2013 the Guardian wrote, «This call to global jihad may perhaps offer a motive for an attack inside the US. As perhaps were trips back to Caucasus by the two bombing suspects. The new generation of twentysomething rebels is also exploiting a powerful new weapon: the internet. The main Chechen rebel website, kavkazcenter.com, posts reports from the jihadist movement worldwide: from Syria, where Chechen diaspora fighters are battling government forces in Aleppo, from Pakistan, and from Turkey».

Finish human rights activists openly put the blame for supporting terrorist groups on the Kavkaz Center. They think the United States law enforcement agencies should do their best to immediately close the Helsinki Kavkaz Center office and bring the owners and sponsors to justice. Comment of Janus Putkonen, editor in chief of «Verkkomedia», 

«Until now, the radical terrorist website "Kavkaz-Center" is located in Finland under the special political and even governmental protection. I think that soon it will stop. Given the many victims of the terrorist attack in the U.S., hardly anyone dare to call "Kavkaz-Center" human rights organization. It should be noted that this site has been closed for many years. However, our government does not want to recognize the obvious: operating in Chechnya rebels and their foreign accomplices linked to international terrorists». 

Finish human rights activist Johan Backman says the Kavkaz Center provoked the Boston bombings. The defunct Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s Facebook account proves he was fond of the video clips transmitted by Kavkaz Center. 

The US post bombing media reports appeared to have scared Finish politicians. Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja told Iltalehti that he condemned any contacts with the Kavkaz Center. The Finish foreign policy chief admitted in an interview to the newspaper that the website’s broadcasting was becoming more and more aggressive and the Boston bombers were connected to it. I’m sorry to say such statements get «hung in the air». I remember 2004, a Russia’s Foreign Ministry official informed the Finish government on the Kavkaz Center’s activities after the Beslan bombing, and the website appeared to get closed. Back then Erkki Tuomioja said the websites like the Kavkaz Center, which call for violence, cannot exist. A few months passed… the outlet started its operations in Finland again, carrying out the functions aimed at: 

Collecting funds for terrorist underground;

Recruiting militants;

Propaganda dissemination;

Finding jobs for suspected terrorists 

Coordination of their activities. 

Picture: Chechen terrorist Aslambek Khunchukayev, one of those who are protected by Minister Heidi Hautala. He is on the Interpol’s wanted list for dozens of committed crimes, including terrorism, fraud, human trade. On the picture he is shown giving an interview to Georgian PiK TV-channel on the terrace located on the rooftop of the Kavkaz Center’s Helsinki office (Bulevardi 2).

For many years the interests of Chechen terrorist organizations in Finland are lobbied by media activists Kerkko Paananen, Ville Ropponen, Esa Makinen, Finish PEN-Center (including its former head Jukka Malonen), human rights watch groups: Helsinki Group and Amnesty International (Eva Martinson), a number of officials openly exposing anti-Russia, revanchist views. 

Here are the excerpts from Helsingin Sanomat newspaper publishing terrorist threats (To the People of Chechnya) and the book called The Chechens by Antero Leitzinger, a researcher at the Finnish Migration Service, being responsible for political asylum applications from the Caucasus. He compares the Chechen conflict to the war between Finland and the Soviet Union coming to the conclusion that the Finns should not only give refuge to Chechen militants, but also join them fighting Russia. He was personally involved in providing asylum to dozens of terrorists. 

The Kavkaz Center has two vectors of activities – external and internal. The internal is tied to the anti-Russian project Eastern Partnership and has two vectors – southern and northern. 

Southern vector. It is focused on partnership with Turkey, where, according to US media, the Tsarnaev brothers came to the United States from, and the country from which Mikael Storsjö sent militants from the group previously led by Shamil Basayev (deceased) and called Chechen Martyrs Riyad-us-Saliheen to other countries. Islam Matsiev, the website’s administrator, came to Finland from Turkey too. Turkey is home to the Basayev founded organization IHH, which collects funds in Turkey, Dubai, the United States of America, Great Britain and France for the Caucasus Emirate international terrorist network, which uses the Kavkaz Center as its mouthpiece (the official representatives are: Turkey – Musa Itayev, Finland – Islam Mahauri, the brother of Rustam Mahauri – the Emirate’s «defence minister», who serves as personal bodyguard of Doku Umarov and personal representative of terrorist Ali Taziev who goes around by the name of Magas). 

Picture1: Mikael Storsjo – a Swedish speaking Finn, he chairs the board of Pro-Caucasus association (the Kavkaz center’s publisher) providing hosting to the website. He is believed to be involved in illegal transfer of around a hundred of terrorists (including the relatives of Basayev and Umarov). Storsjo posted an article on his own website expressing admiration of suicide bombers actions when a Moscow metro bombing took place in 2010. He is close to Finish political elite (Pekka Haavisto, a presidential candidate and others). Picture 2. CCTV cable network - (Ahlfors-Koski) Mikael Storsjo and his wife Agneta Storsjo help Chechen terrorist Musa Amagov cross the finish border at Helsinki-Vantaa airport. 

Northern Vector. The website located in Sweden, the country where the Kavkaz Center had functioned too before moving to Finland in 2004. The owner is Isa Dzhabrailov, Doku Umarov’s deputy information minister, who is in contact with Martti Ahtisaari, former President of Finland. The website’s activities are supported by Finish-Russia Civil Forum (Finrosforum, Suomalais-venalainen kansalaisfoorumi) and Pro-Caucasus, a Sweden registered association supported by Soros Fund, which has vast interests in Finland. Pro-Caucasus publications are regularly posted on the website the way the Finish and Estonian revanchist organizations Pro-Karelia and Pro-Estonia do demanding territorial concessions on the part of Russia. The Kavkaz Center’s interests are lobbied by Estonian member of European Parliament Kristiina Ojuland and Heidi Anneli Hautala, Finish Minister for International Development and a member of the Russian-Chechen Friendship Society (RCFS), banned in Russia as an extremist organization. She is also the founder of Finrosforum. 

Heidi Hautala at a press-conference at the Kavkaz-Center's office. Picture 1 and 2 – with Mikael Storsjo, picture 3 – with website’s administrator Islam Matsiev. 

The Kavkaz Center’s staff gets access to Finish special services information thanks to the support of Heidi Hautala and Foreign Ministry’s special advisor Tarja Kantola, the head of Finrosforum. In 2011 Finish police was searching for an Islamic trace after revealing hidden activities aimed at committing terrorist acts, including manufacturing of explosives. It was not an occasion, that exactly at his time the Kotka sea port customs officials stopped a ship allegedly on the way to China trying to smuggle 160 tons of explosives (!) designed for military purposes. Mikael Storsjö was acquitted by Vantaa District Court (the man faced the second trial after a period of over a year). The court also set free his accomplice Abdulahmid Mechiev – the cousin of Shamil Basayev: the case was based on accusations of illegal immigration involvement and transferring Chechen terrorists to other countries. 

Picture 1: Finrosforum registration document with the list of founders (in order): Hautala Heidi, Kantola Tarja, Norren Stella, Storsjo Mikael. Picture 2: Website administrator and Kavkaz Center’s chief editor Islam Matsiev, the man who has addressed the Finish parliament under the fictitious name of islam Tumsoev, speaking at the press-conference organized by Mikael Storsjo and Heidi Hautala in support of Doku Umarov and his Kavkaz Center. By his side - Tarja Kantola, the Foreign Ministry’s advisor, who has said that the Arab Spring would soon spread to Russia. 

Finrosforum is a cover organization for those who fund and try to unite all the forces opposing Russian President Putin in Europe and Russia itself. It is reported that Helsinki officials, who sponsor Chechen terrorists, render support to the forces opposing President Lukashenko in Belarus, the country which serves as a testing ground for the methods to be used against Russia. For this purpose they use Vladimir Neklyev, arrested for criminal offense related to the public unrest in Minsk on December 19, 2010 during the elections and his daughter Eva Neklayev, the citizen of Finland, who accompanies Heidi Hautala during her visits to EU member countries in the capacity of a «shadow foreign minister» of the Belarusian government in exile. 

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The Finish authorities render wide support to international terrorism and it makes Finland be the disgrace of Europe. Finish human rights activist Juha Molari said in this connection, that when the country’s leaders actually turn a blind eye on the activities of terrorist information networks and their funding, then a very serious political issue pops up: how come such a state could be a United Nations Security Council’s non-permanent member while ignoring the UNSC demands for terminating any support to Doku Umarov and his terrorist network in Finland?