Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a Madrid press conference Thursday that Russia is holding talks with Hamas and that he plans on inviting the group’s leaders to Moscow soon.
Hamas rose to power in democratic elections and the choice of the Palestinian people must be respected, Putin said.
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh was quick to accept the invitation.
However, a document distributed by the Israeli Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies reveals that Hamas supports the Chechen rebels in their battle for independence against the Russian regime and considers them part of the global Jihad.
Hamas poster of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin with Chechen rebel leaders
According to the document, Hamas posters, CDs and films depicting the group’s support for the Chechens and for global terror in general were found in the territories; Hamas even offered the Chechens its official website to prove the rebels’ suicide bombings are carried out in accordance with Islamic law.
Moreover, the anti-Russian CDs, filled with messages preaching for hatred and terror, are being distributed by Hamas in Palestinian Authority educational institutions. The document analyzes a number of CDs that included inciting material dealing with Chechnya and were distributed in the American university in Jenin in November 2003 and in Hebron in 2004.
The document states that the terminology used by Hamas in the posters and films is Islamist-extremist in nature; Chechen terror leaders are praised while the Russian army’s conduct is described as terrorism against the Muslim population in Chechnya.
For instance, one of the CDs, titled “Russian Hell,” contains derogatory comments against the Russian soldiers, such as “Fire awaits them in the next world, and the Chechens in this world.”
In addition, the CD hails the Chechens as “Jihad warriors.”
A Hamas poster shows the organization’s founder, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin alongside Osama Bin Laden and Chechen rebel leaders Shamil Basayev, who is known to be one of those behind the Beslan school massacre in September 2004, and Khattab, killed by the Russians in 2002.
A slogan at the bottom of the poster reads “Islam was born in foreign surroundings and will continue to exist in these surroundings (meaning, Islam will continue to exist in those places where Muslims are the minority.)
The poster also includes images of two M-16 rifles below the leaders.
“This is clearly a violent message in which Hamas diverts from its Islamic-Palestinian identity and encourages international Islamic terror,” the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center document states.