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Men Hold Moscow Audience Hostage [Reports of 1000 Hostages]
AP News ^ | OCTOBER 23, 14:03 ET

Posted on 10/23/2002 11:12:47 AM PDT by McGruff

MOSCOW (AP) — Armed men entered a Moscow theater Wednesday and took the audience hostage, the Federal Security Service said.

The theater was holding a performance of the musical Nord-Ost, one of the Russian capital's most popular productions.

The Interfax news agency said one of its reporters was inside the theater at the time of the raid. She told them in a telephone call that the men had fired into the air and were preventing the audience from leaving, the agency said.

Police units were on their way to the scene.


TOPICS: Breaking News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Russia
KEYWORDS: chechnya; moscow; religionofpeace; theatresiege
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To: BrooklynGOP
Total number of hostages is 700

wow

51 posted on 10/23/2002 11:43:51 AM PDT by Lucas1
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To: monkeywrench
Sorry, I didn't hear all the details
52 posted on 10/23/2002 11:44:46 AM PDT by Mo1
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To: monkeywrench
and leaving out the fact that muslems were allowed to leave. Only mentioned children.

I thought they were less PC than the alphabet channels...they changing?

53 posted on 10/23/2002 11:44:56 AM PDT by nicmarlo
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To: McGruff
You know what would have been amazing? If the play on stage
had been "The Ransom of Red Chief" or maybe "Dog Day Afternoon"
54 posted on 10/23/2002 11:45:11 AM PDT by isom35
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To: McGruff
Isn't this like one of the scenarios in the AQ training manuals that were found? I thought I remembered hearing about scenarios where the AQ planned to take groups hostage with no intention of letting them go. There was even discussion of decapitations and the like.

This sounds really bad.
55 posted on 10/23/2002 11:45:39 AM PDT by iceskater
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To: isom35
I wonder if Putin is rethinking the war on terror right now?
56 posted on 10/23/2002 11:45:47 AM PDT by My Favorite Headache
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To: Lucas1
Up to 1000 being held hostage according to MSNBC reporter Thomas Bonifield.
57 posted on 10/23/2002 11:46:10 AM PDT by Velveeta
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To: Lucas1
wow

Exactly. This is *bad*

58 posted on 10/23/2002 11:46:18 AM PDT by BrooklynGOP
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To: My Favorite Headache
Maybe he'll go for the "unilateral solution."
59 posted on 10/23/2002 11:46:36 AM PDT by iceskater
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To: My Favorite Headache
Yeah, I just heard this a.m. that Russia was against US on UN desired resolutions.
60 posted on 10/23/2002 11:46:48 AM PDT by nicmarlo
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To: isom35
CNN has a reporter on the scene...broadcasting now live

Saying perhaps up to 1000 people held hostage

61 posted on 10/23/2002 11:47:41 AM PDT by Lucas1
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To: BrooklynGOP
700 hostages, this is huge, on the scale of Bali if things go wrong. Let's hope the Russian SWAT teams can do something.
62 posted on 10/23/2002 11:48:36 AM PDT by SamAdams76
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To: PoisedWoman
Unlike the DC sniper, they are apparently letting the children be free.
63 posted on 10/23/2002 11:48:42 AM PDT by Dusty Rose
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To: Lucas1
Reporter is saying that he saw police entering the building...with dogs. Moscow theater director is saying perhaps up to 1000 people held hostage. Others are saying 500-700 - so some confusion on the numbers.

Alpha-team is on the scene...according to CNN.

64 posted on 10/23/2002 11:49:24 AM PDT by Lucas1
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To: My Favorite Headache
FOX talking sniper...again..nowhere near these stories that are breaking..talking about fake credit cards and sniper...
65 posted on 10/23/2002 11:49:47 AM PDT by My Favorite Headache
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To: Snake65
Unfortunately, Russia has been to willing to whore themselves for Iraqi business.
66 posted on 10/23/2002 11:50:21 AM PDT by kezekiel
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To: nicmarlo
Actually I think this girl on, now, worked at MSNBC at one time. I believe she was a clinton appologist.
67 posted on 10/23/2002 11:50:21 AM PDT by monkeywrench
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To: laconic
Your comment, France Surrenders? relates to what?

Do I have to include [/humor]. Lighten up!

BREAKING: UN Security Council Meeting on whether to condemn Isreal for this action [/sarcasm]

68 posted on 10/23/2002 11:50:30 AM PDT by McGruff
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To: iceskater
Yes, this is exactly out of the AlQaeda playbook. Take over a building, round up the hostages, get the press there and then blow up everything while on TV. The Chechens have been among AlQaeda's biggest supporters; scum "Dr." Zawahiri was there and it has been rumored that bin Laden is hiding out there. A thoroughly bad bunch.
69 posted on 10/23/2002 11:50:33 AM PDT by laconic
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To: BrooklynGOP
Whoa......700 hostages.....wow!
70 posted on 10/23/2002 11:51:59 AM PDT by Dog
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To: McGruff
I repeat; your comments aren't funny or appropriate in the slightest. There are upwards of 1000 people who may be butchered by this garbage and I find nothing funny about it nor will I "Lighten up".
71 posted on 10/23/2002 11:52:05 AM PDT by laconic
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To: cantfindagoodscreenname
According to Fox news, Bush is trying to force a vote of the security council. All 15 members are meeting tonight.
Could it be that the terrorists in the theater are saying, if Russia votes with America, they will kill everyone in the theater?
72 posted on 10/23/2002 11:52:58 AM PDT by philetus
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To: SamAdams76
No expert here, but what is the outcome going to be? I can only forsee mass homicide.

How can 20 people make some ransom demand on 700-1000 hostages?

It's not money. This seems in my UNEXPERT OPINION that mass homicide is in the cards. These people may well be spending their last moments alive on earth.

God be merciful to us.

73 posted on 10/23/2002 11:53:10 AM PDT by SerpentDove
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To: cantfindagoodscreenname
This should help the idiot American liberals (as well as those in the rest of the Anglophone countries) that the Islamists want to kill/convert us REGARDLESS OF WHAT WE DO. War has been declared. They will fight until death or victory.
74 posted on 10/23/2002 11:53:27 AM PDT by American Soldier
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To: Lucas1; knighthawk
BBC reported that Chechens said they have bombs in the theatre. If they blow up that huge crowd, it will be like WTC all over again. The Euroweenies will have to sit up and take notice of this, whether or not the theatre is destroyed...the Muslims among them are potentially very dangerous.

knighthawk, what's the European press reporting? Are they mantioning the fact that Muslims in theatre were let go?
75 posted on 10/23/2002 11:53:42 AM PDT by PoisedWoman
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To: laconic
has anyone seen "siege" with denzel washington? i suggest renting it. unfortunately, many of those horrors have come to pass.
76 posted on 10/23/2002 11:54:50 AM PDT by contessa machiaveli
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To: philetus
Could it be that the terrorists in the theater are saying, if Russia votes with America, they will kill everyone in the theater?

Interesting thought. But the vote can be postponed until after the chechens surrender. The world is not going to be held hostage to these creeps, not in the long run anyway. .

77 posted on 10/23/2002 11:56:34 AM PDT by PoisedWoman
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To: All; Texaggie79
BREAKING NEWS Moscow's radio station "Echo" is reporting that they received a call from a man claiming to be Movladi Udugov (Chechen "rebel"'s official spokesman). He claims that this is an "operation" done by the people of Arbi Barayev (he's chechen warlord, however russians claimed they killed him over a year go). He went on to say that the theater was taken over by 40 "smertnikov" (basically kamikazes), also claimed that the theater was wired with bombs and will be blown up if russians try to storm it. Again, it's still not confirmed if the man was actually Udugov.
78 posted on 10/23/2002 11:56:39 AM PDT by BrooklynGOP
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To: txflake
Male muslims are circumcised. In some countries, that identifies them. E.g, India. That gives the mobs an easy way to decide whom to kill.

I have no information as to the frequency of circumcision among ethnic Russians. I would guess it normal among the Orthodox and pre-1917. Anyone know?

79 posted on 10/23/2002 11:57:04 AM PDT by RossA
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To: philetus
According to Fox news, Bush is trying to force a vote of the security council. All 15 members are meeting tonight.
Could it be that the terrorists in the theater are saying, if Russia votes with America, they will kill everyone in the theater?

Very insightful, and unfortunately very possible.

80 posted on 10/23/2002 11:57:28 AM PDT by Nexus
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Men Take Moscow Audience Hostage

By JIM HEINTZ, Associated Press Writer

MOSCOW (AP) - Armed men entered a Moscow theater Wednesday and took the audience hostage, the Federal Security Service said.

The theater — which Russian media said had 700 people inside — was staging a performance of the musical "Nord-Ost," one of the Russian capital's most popular productions. The number of people inside could not be immediately confirmed.

The Interfax news agency said one of its reporters was inside the theater at the time of the raid. She told them by telephone that the armed men fired into the air and would not let the audience leave.

Interfax said its reporter believed there were about 20 men in the group, and also quoted unidentified law enforcement sources as saying the same. Interfax said some children had been allowed to leave the theater.

Police units and an Alpha special forces unit went to the scene and sealed off the area in the freezing, wet weather.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (news - web sites) was immediately told of the hostage taking, Interfax reported.

Located in southeastern Moscow in a working class neighborhood, the musical is based on Veniamin Kaverin's novel "Two Captains." The romantic novel recounts the story of two students and their different destinies during the Soviet times.

According to the theater's Web site, more than 350,000 people have seen the production since it opened.

81 posted on 10/23/2002 11:58:15 AM PDT by McGruff
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To: laconic
Seems hardly laconic of you.

Humor is important in any foxhole; it is the best antidote against despair. And it has always been thus.

82 posted on 10/23/2002 11:58:49 AM PDT by JennysCool
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To: contessa machiaveli
I saw Siege; it was an awful movie although Denzel's performance was pretty good. The film portrayed charicatured a "fascist" American general responding with force to domestic terror threats.
83 posted on 10/23/2002 12:00:22 PM PDT by laconic
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To: McGruff
Located in southeastern Moscow in a working class neighborhood, the musical is based on Veniamin Kaverin's novel

Crappy writing. The musical is located in SE Moscow? Or the theatre? And no mention of Muslims being let go...I'll trust the BBC report on this one.

84 posted on 10/23/2002 12:00:45 PM PDT by PoisedWoman
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To: All; Texaggie79
More breaking news!!!!!
Chechen rebel's OFFICIAL website is saying that Movsar Barayev has contacted them. He is the leader of the hostage takers. Besides the martyrs he claims that there are 40 widows of chechen rebels with him. The building is mined. All the hostage takers are wearing belts with explosives. They damand for russians to pull out of Chechnya. They are ready to die.
This is on (if you can read russian) http://www.kavkaz.org/russ I cant' seem to be able to connect to their english version (http://www.kavkaz.org/eng) - guess its overloaded.
85 posted on 10/23/2002 12:01:23 PM PDT by BrooklynGOP
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To: MarMema; don-o; FormerLib
Orthodox prayer ping
86 posted on 10/23/2002 12:01:39 PM PDT by Wordsmith
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To: philetus; Nexus
Interesting scenario.

If it becomes clear that the Moscow assailants are holding out for a "No" vote from Russia in the Security Council, and this situation comes to a bad end (a la Bali), then I would not be surprised to see Russian long-range bombers with devastating payloads playing an active role in Iraq.

87 posted on 10/23/2002 12:01:40 PM PDT by Alberta's Child
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To: Wordsmith
Our priest and his family, as well as several other parishoners at our church, are Russian immigrants. The Russians have had it very hard recently, I pray this doesn't end in catastrophe, but I am not hopeful.

Two of my skating coaches are Russian immigrants. I am not hopeful of this situation ending in a good way.

88 posted on 10/23/2002 12:01:44 PM PDT by iceskater
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To: McGruff
I wonder if it could be related to this (excerpted from the Moscow Times):

Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2002. Page 1

Georgia Gives Arab Militants To U.S.

By Peter Baker

The Washington Post

Special forces in Georgia have captured 15 Arab militants linked to al-Qaida in recent weeks and turned them over to the United States, Georgian officials said.

Georgian authorities seized the men during a series of raids in the lawless Pankisi Gorge, where U.S. intelligence agencies have said a small al-Qaida cell operated in recent years alongside hundreds of Chechen separatists waging war against Russian forces across the border to the north.

"There were several Arabs who were detained and extradited to the United States and the investigation continued in the United States," Kakha Imnadze, press secretary for President Eduard Shevardnadze, said by telephone from Tbilisi on Monday. "It turned out some of them had connections [to al-Qaida], or probably all of them. Pankisi is not a tourist attraction."

Two other Georgian officials, speaking from Tbilisi on condition that they not be identified, confirmed Monday that the operations had succeeded in hunting down 15 Arab militants with suspected links to al-Qaida, as first reported by Time magazine. Georgian Security Minster Valery Khaburzania would not discuss the operations at a briefing Monday.

Among the militants caught and transferred to U.S. custody, according to the Time report confirmed by Georgian officials, was Saif al Islam el Masry, identified by testimony in a U.S. court last year as a member of the al-Qaida military committee.

In Washington, a knowledgeable U.S. administration official disputed the assertion that Saif al Islam had been apprehended.

The capture of reported al-Qaida operatives could provide support for U.S. assertions that the terrorist network's tentacles reached into Georgia. Washington dispatched Green Berets to Georgia earlier this year to train local troops how to fight Islamic extremists within their borders.

The Georgian raids in Pankisi came in response to U.S. and Russian pressure to clean out the gorge, where Chechen and Arab fighters had taken refuge since 1999. Some former Shevardnadze advisers have said in previous interviews that the Chechens enjoyed the protection of senior government officials, presumably in exchange for money.

Shevardnadze dispatched troops to Pankisi this summer in a highly promoted move intended to address Russian grievances. But unpublicized raids by Georgian special forces, launched with the help of U.S. intelligence, proved more successful in nabbing key figures in the Arab cell one or more at a time, according to Georgian officials.

"Once we know for sure there is somebody suspicious hiding in a house, we go in and grab that person," said Imnadze, the press secretary. "Should anybody resist, they'll be eliminated. That's the order." Imnadze said there had been some violent confrontations, but few "major casualties."

The special forces conducting the raids had U.S. training before the current $64 million train-and-equip program that began this summer, Imnadze said. The captured men, he said, had passports from Arab countries such as Morocco and Egypt as well as Europe, but the Georgians left it to the Americans to determine their relationship to al-Qaida.

U.S. intelligence agencies have estimated that as many as 100 al-Qaida militants joined hundreds of Chechen fighters who set up base in 1999 in Pankisi. While some of the Arabs worked on charitable projects and constructed a mosque, others built a militant operation that funneled in hundreds of thousands of dollars through couriers or wire transfers and kept in touch with other al-Qaida cells using satellite communications.

The militants split their time between helping the Chechens in their war against Russia and helping the international organization in its war against the United States, according to the Time account. One team was trying to obtain explosives to blow up a U.S. or Western installation in Russia, the Georgian investigation determined, while another six-man unit developed poisons for possible attacks against Western targets in Central Asia.

Saif al Islam, an Egyptian, was trained by the terrorist group Hezbollah in southern Lebanon and was among a group of trusted al-Qaida operatives picked to go to Somalia to fight the U.S. military presence there in the early 1990s, according to testimony at a trial last year stemming from the bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa.

His name surfaced this month in an indictment of a prominent Muslim charity director in the United States. Federal prosecutors in Illinois cited the fact that Saif al Islam had served as an officer of the Chechen branch of the Benevolence International Foundation as evidence of the group's ties to terrorism.

89 posted on 10/23/2002 12:02:16 PM PDT by Smogger
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To: My Favorite Headache
Can someone send me a link to where it actually shows images of the training camps in Afghanistan and them practicing on firing in movie theaters? ASAP thanks
90 posted on 10/23/2002 12:02:31 PM PDT by My Favorite Headache
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To: McGruff
Heaven help these innocent people.
91 posted on 10/23/2002 12:04:41 PM PDT by john in missouri
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To: All
Wednesday, October 23, 2002

MOSCOW — Armed men took a theater audience hostage in Moscow on Wednesday, the Federal Security Service said.

The Soviet Palace of Art was holding a performance of the musical Nord-Ost (North-East), one of the Russian capital's most popular productions.

The Interfax news agency said one of its reporters was inside the theater at the time of the raid, one of approximately 700 people inside. She told them in a telephone call that the men fired automatic weapons into the air and were preventing the audience from leaving, the agency said.

According to Izvestiya newspaper, the 20 or so gunmen, some of whom are armed with automatic weapons, had allowed all members of the audience to make phone calls, and children and Muslim audience members were allowed to leave.

Police units were on their way to the scene, as well as an Alpha special forces unit.

This doesn't sound hopeful. The hijackers allowed all their captives to make phone calls, too.

92 posted on 10/23/2002 12:04:44 PM PDT by Tired of Taxes
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To: JohnathanRGalt
Ping for terror websites.
93 posted on 10/23/2002 12:05:32 PM PDT by Mixer
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To: My Favorite Headache
From Russian Text: "In Moscow is introduced special plan/layout "thunderstorm" in connection with the seizure of hostages in the theatrical center on Dubrovke

23.10.02 22:28

MOSCOW, on 23 October.OF RIA "of news"/. in Moscow is introduced special plan/layout "thunderstorm" in connection with the seizure of hostages in the theatrical center on Dubrovke during the idea of myuzikla "northeast".On this reported RIA of "news" in GUVD of Moscow.
The representative OF GUVD explained, that entire capital militia, and also detachment of "alpha" were transferred into the intensive regime/conditions.

According to the data OF GUVD, during the idea in the hall it was located to 700 spectators.According to the preliminary information the thugs let go children. From Novosti Press (sorry for the awkward Yoda-like translation:it is from Alta Vista translator)!


94 posted on 10/23/2002 12:06:27 PM PDT by AmericanInTokyo
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To: monkeywrench
a clinton appologist.

Well, no need to say anything further; that explains all.

95 posted on 10/23/2002 12:07:01 PM PDT by nicmarlo
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To: RossA
Russian circumcision: not very common
96 posted on 10/23/2002 12:07:21 PM PDT by mikhailovich
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To: PoisedWoman
I guess we're going to find out whether the russians have been infected with weenieism.
97 posted on 10/23/2002 12:07:50 PM PDT by js1138
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To: McGruff
A noted historian said in 1950 that the most important fact of the first half of the 20th century was that the United States spoke English. He said the most important fact of the second half of the 20th century would be that the Russians are white.

For whatever that's worth.

98 posted on 10/23/2002 12:08:21 PM PDT by Alberta's Child
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To: BrooklynGOP
Excellent find...bump
99 posted on 10/23/2002 12:08:41 PM PDT by My Favorite Headache
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To: Mixer

Photo from Russian news site

100 posted on 10/23/2002 12:09:21 PM PDT by AmericanInTokyo
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