The US is to blame for the rise of Al-Qaeda and its late mastermind Osama bin Laden, which it empowered to fight Soviet troops in Afghanistan, Vladimir Putin told Oliver Stone. Putin also said there is proof the CIA supported terrorists in Russia’s Chechnya.
In the first episode of Stone’s hugely anticipated Showtime series, which aired Monday night, the Russian leader reflected on the origin of Islamic extremist groups, including Al-Qaeda.
Al-Qaeda is not the result of our activities. This is the result of activities of our US friends. This all started in the times of the Soviet war in Afghanistan, when the US security services supported different movements of Islamic fundamentalism in their struggle against the Soviet troops in Afghanistan,” Putin told Stone, adding that the “US side has nurtured both Al-Qaeda and [Osama] bin Laden.”
Washington should have foreseen that backing Islamists will backfire, with extremists eventually getting out of control.
“It always happens like this. Our US partners should have been aware of it. It is their fault,” Putin said.
Nevertheless, Moscow stood by the US’s side after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, claimed by Al-Qaeda. In a show of solidarity with Washington, Moscow decided to scrap the scheduled war games following the attack, Putin revealed to Stone.
“In these kind of situations the first persons are in need of moral and political support. We wanted to show that kind of support,” the Russian leader said.
CIA styled Chechen terrorists as ‘opposition’
Speaking to Stone, Putin accused the US of both openly cheering and covertly financing the Islamist militant groups in Russia’s North Caucasus republic of Chechnya during the two Chechen wars. Moreover, the president said there is evidence available that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) even admitted keeping in touch with the terrorists, styling them as the “opposition.”