Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said the killing of Osama bin Laden directly impacts the country’s security and called for beefing up security at Russia’s embassies abroad.
In his first public comment on bin Laden’s killing, Mr. Medvedev noted links between al Qaeda and the simmering insurgency in Russia’s North Caucasus.
“The liquidation of terrorists, as high-profile as the recently killed bin Laden, is directly related to the level of security in our country,” Mr. Medvedev told a meeting of the Security Council in his Gorky residence outside Moscow on Wednesday.
“It is no secret that the terrorist network al Qaeda has regularly sent and continues to send its emissaries to the territory of our country,” Mr. Medvedev said during a meeting of his Security Council.
The Russian leader stopped short of directly praising the U.S. commando operation in Pakistan. However, the Kremlin press service on May 2 called bin Laden's killing a “serious success” and said that “retribution is inescapable for all terrorists.”
A number of al Qaeda militants have been killed in Chechnya and neighbouring territories, where Russian security forces continue to fight low-intensity Islamist insurgency. An al Qaeda emissary, Doger Sevdet, also known as Abdulla Kurd, was nabbed in Chechnya only last week.
Mr. Medvedev instructed Russian embassies on Wednesday to be prepared for emergencies including terror attacks. Last week he signed off on a bill that grants him authority to impose additional security measures in the event of an increased terrorist threat.