A couple of Turkish mercenaries -- Aidyn Kai and Burkhan Tchelebi -- in Chechnya were "eliminated" by federal commandos. One of them had on his person a very interesting letter summarized in some detail by the Russian News & Information Agency RIA Novosti:
The letter contains the information that the militant crossed the Russian-Georgian border having paid $70 to a guide sent by Mukhretdir's agents.
Speaking about his plans to return to Turkey, the mercenary asked to help him get a Georgian visa and to contact "our friend Erkhan-bei" for this purpose. According to the data of the regional operative staff, this man whose real name is presumable Erkhan Eszai, is a Turkish intelligence officer involved in financing and material provision of Chechen gangs
As appears from the letter, Chechen militants lack money promised by their foreign sponsors. Speaking about his meetings with many warlords, Aidyn Kai says that "they were very indignant at the reduction of Turkish and Arab financing".
"Chechens are very offended and resentful. They accuse us of misappropriating their money. They said they received no money for several months. Shamil-Pasha [Shamil Basayev] gave nothing either. They hoped for new financing after Beslan [the terrorist attack on this North Ossetian town was performed on September 1 to 3] but in vain. They added that we would have problems if it continued," RIA Novosti's interlocutor quoted the militant's letter.
The mercenary also called on Mukhretdir to contact a number of public organizations in Turkey, which back Chechen militants, to prepare some terrorist attack with the use of chemicals.
"Send chemists here as soon as possible. This area is not piped for water yet. But there are other place where the Silver Fog plan can be implemented," Aidyn Kai wrote.
According to the regional operative staff, the organizations Caucasian Fund establish with the support of the Turkish intelligence service, the Mazlum (Oppressed) society and the Society of Solidarity with Chechnya recruiting mercenaries were mentioned in the letter.
From this letter it emerges that foreign mercenaries are in a tight situation in Chechnya.
"On the whole, the situation here is nasty. There are many servicemen everywhere. We are moving only at night and leave [live? ed.] in vaults. Threats and arsons are no help already. Commanders do not trust each other. Arabs do not believe Chechens and flee abroad. There are no medicines, as well," the letter reads.
I don't draw any grand conclusions about this, but I find the operational details described quite fascinating. Although the political situations are radically different, I am reminded of Simon Mann's infamous letter from jail which also ended up in the hands of the media.
MEANWHILE, the Air National Guard takes up the slack on school attacks.