A recent terrorist attack in the subway system of the Belarusian capital of Minsk has left 12 dead and more than 150 hospitalized. (CNN.com) What sets this attack aside from similar acts in other states is that no organization has taken credit for it, and that none are likely suspects. Belarus has no significant minority groups that might be oppressed, nor has it partnered with Russia to take an active role in the Caucasus, which might warrant retribution from Islamic extremists there. So who is to blame?
Several interesting theories have come about as to who might be responsible. Political freedom in the country has been significantly curtailed during the lengthy term of current President Alexander Lukashenko (now approaching 17 years). Some surmise that this plot has its origins within his government, with its end being a justification of further encroachment on civil liberties. Others, that the country’s main political opposition has taken their protests to the next level. Mr. Lukaskenko himself has gone on record with the suggestion that the bomb was “a gift from abroad,” implying that foreigners that do not approve of his regime are seeking to destabilize the country.
Though each of these theories might pique the imaginations of observers, the fact remains that none are conclusive and that no person or group has, of yet, taken responsibility for the action. As discussed in this post from The Economist, what has been most confounding so far is the inability to determine just who would gain from a fatal attack in the heart of this former Soviet nation. Whether the source turns out to be domestic or international, political or religious, predicted or totally unforeseen, all remain to be told.