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Consider the Muslims, Vlad

VLADIMIR Putin's colonialist occupation of Crimea offers Islamic jihadis a pool of potential recruits among the peninsula's Muslim Tatars, and a new Black Sea coastal forward base for terrorism.

The Crimean Tatars have no love for Russia which, in the 1940s, ethnically cleansed their grandparents from their ancestral homeland to Central Asia, from where they have been returning since the 1980s to a territory outside Russia since 1954.

Faced with new threats to their security and identity, the more embittered Tatars will be natural allies for Chechen separatists to the east of the Black Sea.

A saner strategist than Putin might have considered that the last thing the world needs is any more disaffected Muslims.

DAVID CRAWFORD

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