Mujahideen Sentenced for Attempted Sabotage of a High-Speed Russian Train

As I understand it, “IGIL” is an alternate designation for ISIS, the Islamic State. It may be a transliterated Russian acronym of the name.

Many thanks to D@rLin|{ for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:

Video transcript:

00:00   Before sentencing, all seven claimed they had nothing to do with it, even though investigation
00:05   shows that these Middle Easterners had joined a terrorist group in spring 2017.
00:11   They planned to crash a high speed “Sapsan” train.
00:14   You don’t have any proof , no proof at all…
00:18   We have two or three underage children. We came here to make a living.
00:25   How can I support them if I am in prison for 22 years? We have nothing to do with “Sapsan”.
00:29   But two years earlier, during the arrest, these people told
00:32   an entirely different story in broken Russian:
00:35   What were you planning to do? Train… the crash…
00:39   The tragedy would have happened in St. Petersburg, near the Farforovskaya train station.
00:44   The handymen installed a device on the rails — a so-called “braking shoe”,
00:47   usually placed under the wheels and used to keep a standing train in place.
00:51   However, in this case the device was supposed to cause a crash between two “Sapsan” trains, racing
00:56   past each other in opposite directions. Their combined speed would have been more than 300 km/h.
01:01   One of the trains, after hitting the device, was supposed to derail and crash into the other one.
01:06   I assure you that there is more than enough evidence, presented by the state during the trial,
01:13   which proves without a doubt the guilt of each of the accused.
01:19   Tragedy was avoided only because the suspects were technically challenged
01:22   and did not mount the device properly.
01:25   Five train cars were damaged in the St. Petersburg-bound train, but there were no fatalities.
01:30   The damage is estimated to be 55M rubles (about $900,000).
01:38   The lawyers for the accused disagree with the sentences given to their clients —
01:41   15 to 21 years in a high security prison.
01:44   They plan to appeal. But the investigation shows that after “Sapsan”
01:48   these members of IGIL [a.k.a. ISIS] — a group outlawed in Russia — also planned
01:52   a terror bombing in a crowded place. The Northern capital miraculously escaped a new terrorist act.
01:57   And St. Petersburg knows about them not through hearsay. In the year 2017
02:01   a suicide bomber blew himself up in a subway car. 16 people died.
02:06   The crash of the Moscow-Petersburg train “Nevskiy Express” is still fresh in memory —
02:11   in 2009, 28 people died as a result of a bomb explosion.
02:15   There was another attempted attack on the same line in 2007 — a bomb was planted on the rails.
02:21   No one died due to the alertness of the train driver.
 

7 thoughts on “Mujahideen Sentenced for Attempted Sabotage of a High-Speed Russian Train

  1. ИГИЛ – Исламское Государство Ирака и Леванта
    Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
    I don’t know, for some reason this name is adopted in our country. But also called the IG – the Islamic State.

  2. My beloved and I are just planning a trip to Russia next year, including a train journey from Moscow to St Petersburg. She hates flying anyway; hope I’m not being deceitful if I don’t mention this item to her!

    • My beloved and I are just planning a trip to Russia next year, including a train journey from Moscow to St Petersburg.

      A man of your flagrant acculturation (and I do mean that in the nicest possible way) will regard the Hermitage as de rigueur. Ergo, be sure to read Steve Berry’s, “The Amber Room”. Be advised, I’m a voracious reader (20k-40k pages annually) and there’s another book by the same title, so I may be thinking Bunn’s (tho’ that wouldn’t be unusual).

      Not many remember that several years ago, a Polish Museum Claims to Have Located the Elusive Amber Room. As to Berry’s yarn, it’s just like Gromit’s toast … Cracking good!

      Your next vacances artistique is das Grünes Gewölbe, to be multilingual (I like swapping tongues!) about museum menus and all that. This obsessive art collector’s (variously: Augustus II the Strong, Elector of Saxony, Imperial Vicar, King of Poland, and Grand Duke of Lithuania) collection defies casual description.

      This is the staggering collection of Saxon Elector and Polish King, August the Strong and, collectively, represents a mastery of the arts as to defy all description.

      One spectacular tableau comprises about a square meter and is called, “Aurangzeb’s Throne” (The Birthday of the Grand Moghul Aurangzeb). It is a miniature tableaux of superlative detail. Rendered in precious metals by the much sought after goldsmith, Johann Melchior Dinglinger (1664-1731), it depicts a lavish court celebration. A single image cannot do even remote justice to the intricate skill contained in this one piece.

      Some other examples: A nautilus shell crafted into a drinking vessel or a statuette titled, “The Happy Vintner”, that is made of numerous irregular freshwater pearls. He holds aloft a cluster of amethyst and garnet grapes.

      Now for the secret:

      Normally, tickets to the Green Vault must be purchased months in advance. However, there is a shortcut. It involves arriving somewhere around 7:30 or 8:00 AM on the morning you wish to tour the museum. When the doors open at 10:00 AM there will be sold 100 walkup tickets. Of course, these tickets are good only for the Green Vault and you cannot make reservations any earlier than the noontime slot. In fact, I believe that separate tickets must be purchased for the New Green Vault (das Neue Grüne Gewölbe). Count on spending almost $50.00 per person on tickets. Trust me, it’s worth it.

      This is why you also buy the all-day all-museum pass for that date. Just across the street is the Old Masters collection. Touring the entire museum will take several hours. It is far better to schedule your Green Vault tickets for noon in order to give yourself the maximum time for that set of collections.

      Finish the Old Masters when time permits. Also, do not miss the Rustkammer, Dresden’s old city armory. However small, it has superb examples of ancient arms including my favorite, half-sized suits of armor, perfect in every detail, that were worn by young nobility as they learned to be knights. Also nearby is the fascinating Mathematisch-Physikalischer Salon, an outstanding collection of timepieces and scientific instruments.

      Budget a solid $40.00 for your restaurant lunch so that you are not burdened by any thoughts of a time-wasting picnic. You will want a second day in Dresden just to sight see elsewhere. The newly reconstructed Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady) is a must.

      For fun, cross the river and take a ride on the Dresden Suspension Railway (Dresden Monorail). Park at the upper platform, walk downhill to the lower station for a great little neighborhood tour and then ride back up to the top while enjoying the splendid view.

      Train buffs will also want to visit the Verkehrsmuseum Dresden (Dresden Transport Museum) which contains Germany’s finest collection of railway equipment. For live steam action, there is the nearly ten mile Radebeul–Radeburg narrow gauge railroad.

      From Dresden, it is a few hours’ drive east to Görlitz, one of Europe’s most perfectly preserved ancient cities. Located on the border of Poland, it is well worth visiting. Do not miss the pipe organ demonstration at St. Peter and St. Paul Cathedral. This Italian made instrument has ranks devoted to chimes and even bird whistles. After visiting the church stroll across the bridge and add Poland to your list of countries visited.

      On your way back towards Dresden, drop by for lunch in Bautzen. This quaint hilltop city has the poignant ruins of a cathedral and many other charms.

      Now, it’s time to backtrack.

      For purposes of expediency, you may wish to hit Berlin as your first stop. This will place you atop Germany with all other destinations ready to unfurl before you. One of the best ways to see Berlin is by taking a barge tour.

      Sit back, drink some refreshing German wine and enjoy the scenery as it rolls by. When passing by some of the older monuments, look for pockmarks from wartime gunfire. Berlin is said to rival Venice for its number of bridges and I find this easy to believe. Here is just one of them, the Oberbaumbrücke a brick layer’s delight.

      While in Berlin, budget one night’s stay at the Hotel Teirgarten. Hint: Flashing a corporate credit card may get you a substantial discount.

      This Hotel’s breakfast buffet is the stuff of legends. There is no way to adequately convey the sumptuousness of this decadent display.

      • Eggs three ways
      • Several cured meats
      • Sausages (of course!)
      • Fresh cut fruit
      • Almost a dozen cheeses (firm and soft)
      • Pastries
      • Freshly baked bread and rolls

      And more. Would you believe that they even had fresh black raspberries for your yoghurt? Having worked as a professional chef, this was something straight out of a fantasy world.

      Once you are well-stuffed there is a slight chance of surviving a visit to Ka De We or Kaufhaus des Westens (literally: “Department Store of the West”). Second only to Harrod’s of London, this is where high ranking Communist officials did their shopping back in the Soviet era. With over 60,000 square meters of floor space on eight floors and some 380,000 items of inventory, there is no doubt about shopping until you drop. Second only to Harrods’s of London, this is retail gone mad. It is quite probable that this one building holds well over a billion dollars in inventory.

      The very top floors are devoted to food. Over 3,000 wines in stock, plus every other gourmet nosh you can imagine. On the topmost floor is a “food court” that is easily worthy of a Michelin star.

      The big secret is their “grocery store” (as if you can even call it that) in the basement. This is why you wanted that huge breakfast. Otherwise, spending every cent you have is a genuine possibility. It was here that I tasted and bought some air-dried beef cured with stone mushrooms that had one of the most ethereal and unmatched flavors I have ever tasted in my entire life. With an unlimited budget, I’m sure you could find another dozen or two culinary delights to match it.

      My advice? Spend around $100 and bring back to your hotel a tasting dinner which you will never, ever forget.

      Berlin has a multitude of museums which I will not delve into (having not visited a single one of them). Instead, this where you hit the road for Dresden, Görlitz, Bautzen (as covered above) and points beyond. It is also where you must rely upon my own limited experience gathered over two visits and about eight weeks spent in Germany. That said, here goes…

      From Dresden, I recommend finding your way to the famous Romantische Straße (Romantic Road). Be sure and take the bypass on Bundesautobahn 71 through the Thuringian Forest. It is incredibly scenic and the road passes through almost a half dozen tunnels—including the Rennsteigtunnel which, at five miles in length, is Germany’s longest—while passing over eight bridges including some breathtaking viaducts, as this masterpiece of engineering traverses the mountainous terrain. Construction averaged a stunning 16 million dollars per mile.

      On to the Romantische Straße! One of the most famous destinations on the Romantic Road is Rothenburg ob der Tauber, one of Europe’s best preserved medieval towns.

      At this time you have some important decisions to make. Continuing down the Romantic Road will take you to Bavaria and the road itself terminates near the famous Neuschwanstein Castle.

      It is vital to understand that this “castle” never defended a square centimeter of land and, for this reason, Germans tend to look down upon it as a tourist trap. Despite possessing immense visual charm—Walt Disney modeled Disneyland’s famous Sleeping Beauty Castle after it—this elaborate façade is the equivalent of an architectural folly.

      Fortunately, nearby is Hohenschwangau Castle, a fortress in its own right.

      Should you follow my advice you will be somewhere about halfway or more into your three weeks. Proceeding to Munich would be the logical progression. There awaits you the BMW museum and beer beyond your wildest imaginings. On a more sober note, close by to Munich is the Dachau concentration camp which is another worthwhile stopping point.

      However, even a (two) daytrip to Vienna, Austria is not out of the question and totally worth it, if only to visit Schweizerhaus. This gasthaus’ serves a deep fried pig knuckle that would put most Mexican carnitas to shame.

      While in Vienna, do not miss the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Historic Art Museum). Again, have some comfortable walking shoes because it’s a solid few miles to complete this fabulous collection.

      However, if you forego all points south of Rothenberg ob de Tauber, there is a world of Teutonic culture awaiting you in all sorts of strange places.

      The Wuppertal Sculpture Park:

      While I am not a big fan of modern sculpture, this landscaped vision of artist, Tony Cragg, is impossible to ignore.

      Wuppertal is also home to the world’s first extensive monorail line (as seen in Fahrenheit 451) and gets major points for that alone.

      • Oh Norse Radish, thank you for this long post-must have taken you a while!

        At the risk of boring some readers, in 2013 I blew a quarter of my small private pension on a seven-week trip around Europe, mostly by train; London to Cologne (side trip to Bonn and Beethoven’s birthplace), Dresden, Prague, Vienna (many musicians, trip to Eisenstadt and Haydn’s tomb), Munich, Venice, Florence (trip to Pisa), Rome, Barcelona, Madrid (the Prado!- still don’t like El Greco, but appreciate Goya and Velasquez better) and home via the Basque Country and Paris. Best five grand or so I ever spent, and I saw most of the treasures you describe.

        Were doing a mostly guided tour next year (flying to Moscow, back from Petersburg) thanks to my partner’s generosity; only seven days, but trying to add a day as half a day in the Hermitage will not be enough!- and Russian museums, like French ones, close on Mondays.

        Berlin will have to wait for another day. Thanks again for your trouble.

  3. This entire case is proof positive that RussPutin™ has gone soft on Islam and crime.

    In the good old, bad old days, hurricanes of “crossfire” would have heralded the lamentably unsuccessful (and room temperature) arrests of these terrorists.

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