Dear friends,

I am posting today the speech of Colonel-General Igor Sergun, Head of the Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia.  To say that his man, or the GRU is secretive would be an understatement.  Almost all the information publicly available about Sergun is in the short biography (researched by Scott) which I have placed at the end of this post.  As a general rule, the GRU never makes a public statement, nor does the person heading it.  It is thus interesting that on one of the very few occasions were General Sergun agreed to speak in public, he chose to focus on the risks of the so-called “Islamic” extremism and that in a relatively short presentation, he made four reference to the fact that these “Islamic” terrorists are basically a creature of the West.  One might be tempted to say “nothing new here, we all know that” – but that would be missing the point.  The point is that the head of Russian military intelligence is openly declaring that the so-called “Islamic terrorism” is not an original or indigenous phenomenon, but an instrument in the toolset of western imperialism which is used to subvert the countries which dare oppose the worldwide hegemony of the AngloZionist Empire.

The Saker

Translated by Shed

of the Head of the Main Directorate of the General Staff
at the IV Moscow Conference
on International Security
devoted to: “Global Security: Radical Transformation
or Creation of New Rules for the Game?”
(April 16, 2015 г.)
The subject:
“Hot Points” of the Global Fight with Terrorism “

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

One of the most dangerous challenges of the current times is presented by the international terrorism, which is rapidly acquiring a political nature and is being turned into a real force, striving to come to power in certain countries.

We are witnessing a steady trend towards globalization of activities of extremist organizations. This includes a wide geographic spread, strengthening of the interaction between previously disparate groups, as well as swift adaptation to situational changes.

Among international terrorist organizations, the role of radical Islamists is increasing. Their leaders are developing collaboration and seek to create zones of instability, which include not only countries but entire regions.

The “Terrorist International” under creation aims at restoration through military force the “Great Caliphate” within the borders encompassing the Middle East, the Caucasus, Northern Africa and Iberian Peninsula. A campaign for formation of the united front of the “Global Jihad” was announced, with the aim of conducting armed struggle against the “main enemies of Islam”, represented by the USA, Western European countries, Russia and Muslim countries with the secular governments.

Currently, terrorism presents the greatest threat for Iraq, Syria, Libya and Afghanistan, where ” Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant “, ” Al-Qaeda “, ” Jabhat al-Nusra “, Islamic Taliban Movement and other radical groups are active,

Al-Qaeda’ remains one of the most powerful terrorist organizations, although in current conditions it has become to a greater extent “the banner of the war against infidels” for the Islamists, while the related regional groups operate virtually independently.

Lately, the ” Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant “, which managed to force its control over a significant part of Iraq and Syria, is successfully striving to occupy leading position among the extremist organizations.

The terrorists have declared the establishment of an ‘Islamic Caliphate’ on occupied territories and started to set up their own ‘public institutions’, including financial and judicial systems. Sustainable centralized control over the armed groups has been organized.

The strengthening of ISIS has seriously destabilized the situation in Africa. ISIS provides substantial military and financial assistance to the local extremists, sends reinforcements composed of the Syrian and Iraqi terrorists. The groups receiving such support are ‘Ansar al-Sharia’, operating in North Africa, and ‘Boko Haram,’ in the West of the continent, while the greatest threat to the stability of East Africa is the Somali terrorist organization ‘Al-Shabab al-Mujahedeen,’ responsible for a number of high-profile actions.

Equally alarming is the situation that is developing in the Middle East and Central Asia, where extremist organizations such as the ‘Taliban’, ‘Hizb-ut-Tahrir’ and Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan maintain high combat potential. We estimate that currently, in Afghanistan alone, about 50 thousand militants are fighting. Afghan and Pakistani territories host a network of terrorist training camps, including the training camps for suicide bombers.

Active dissemination of radical Islamist ideas has a negative impact on the development of the situation in Southeast Asia. In particular, unpredictable consequences could be caused by the extremist organization, ‘Jamaa Islamiya’, whose main goal is the creation of a single Islamic theocratic state within the borders of Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and the Muslim provinces of Thailand and the Philippines.

In recent years, the level of terrorist threat in Europe has increased. This is primarily due to the insurgents returning from the “hot spots” ready to use the gained experience at home. About 600 jihadists returned in the past four years to Germany alone.

The extremists’ influence has spread to include some South American regions. The Tri-border Area, located along the junction of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, is considered a springboard by the extremists.

An undercover activity of some of the states aimed at achieving their own foreign policy missions through secret financing of Islamic structures destabilizes the situation.

While flirting with the extremists, some Western countries seem to be sure that the so-called policy of controlled chaos in far-away regions shall not result in tragic consequences, at least, in the middle term, but I think such opinion is unsound.

It is no secret that it was at the instigation of Western ‘partners’ that since the 1980s, Islamic extremism was rapidly gaining momentum. To counter the Soviet troops in Afghanistan, there was heavy arming – with the funds from the United Stated of America and other NATO states – of scattered groups of Jihadists and Mujahideen who subsequently merged into major terrorist groups and movements. With financial and military assistance from Washington and its allies, rendered in order to eliminate the regime in Syria, unwanted by the West, the ‘Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’ and ‘Jabhat al-Nusra’ were created. Military intervention in Libya by the Alliance entailed similar results.

Availability of the stable sources of financing for the extremists is the reason for a serious concern. The most reliable cash-flow channels include various non-governmental organizations and foundations. For example, in the states of the Arabian Peninsula there are about 200 such organizations.

A major source of income is the control over drugs production and trafficking. This activity brings the Islamists of the Middle East and Central Asia up to US $500 million a year.

It happens quite often that actions of Washington and the West in general in various regions of the world contribute to creation of serious problems, including drug trafficking, religious extremism and terrorism, after which Washington heroically mobilizes the international community to neutralize the problems.

In general, under the slogan of struggle for ‘pure Islam’, international terrorism is becoming a form of transnational crime. In fact, it has become a lucrative business with capital turnover running into billions, with drug trafficking, hostage taking, smuggling weapons and precious metals.

In search of additional sources of funding, jihadists purposefully develop links with nationalist organizations, pirates and separatists.

Thus, we should expect that, in the short term, the level of terrorist threats in the world would remain high enough. Scaling up of extremist groups, among others at the instigation of the United States and its allies, especially in the Middle East and Central Asia, poses a real threat of terrorism export to European countries, the republics of the CIS and the Asia-Pacific region.

Thank you for your attention.


Biography of Igor Sergun (researched by Scott)


Official Emblem of the GRU

Official biography of the Chief of the New Russian Military Intelligence, Igor Sergun, official website of the Russian Ministry of Defense. [Source]

Igor Sergun was born in March 28, 1957. He served in the Armed Forces since 1973, and graduated from the Moscow Suvorov Military School [Source] and [Source]

and the Moscow Supreme Soviet Higher Military Command School [Source]

and the Military Diplomatic Academy of the Soviet Army and as well in the Military Academy of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation [Source]

He worked in military intelligence since 1984, and served in various positions in the Main Intelligence Directorate. He speaks several foreign languages and was awarded state awards. In 1998 as a colonel, he served as a RF Military Attaché in Tirana, Albania. At this time he was awarded with a medal “Participant of Operation March-Shot Bosnia-Kosovo 12 June 1999.”

In December 2011, he was appointed as Head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Russian General Staff.

Mark Galeotti in his book Spetsnaz: Russia’s Special Forces writes by the 2000s the Russia’s military intelligence was on the brink of complete annihilation brought by the reforms of General Shlyakhturov. However, he was forced into retirement at the end of 2011, and his successor, Lt. Gen Igor Sergun, proved a much more active and effective chief. [Source]

In 2014 Igor Sergun became a target for the Western sanctions against Russia.

“Brussels: Russia’s armed forces chief of staff and its military intelligence chief were among 15 people listed on Tuesday as targeted by the European Union’s latest sanctions over the Ukraine crisis. General Valery Gerasimov, army chief and the country’s deputy April 29, 2014″ [Source] Igor Sergun has been was targeted “for the activity of GRU officers in eastern Ukraine” while Gerasimov was listed as “responsible for the massive deployment of Russian troops” along the Ukraine border and “lack of de-escalation of the situation”.

Articles, Speeches, and Interviews

1. Russia Names New GRU Chief [Source]

December 27, 2011 – Major General Igor Sergun was named head of the General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate on Monday. He replaces outgoing GRU chief Alexander Shlyakhturov, who was said to have reached retirement age.

Игорь Дмитриевич Сергун, помимо прочего, награждён медалью «Участнику марш-броска 12 июня 1999 г. Босния — Косово», т. е. о событиях в этом регионе он осведомлен особо.

2. Major General Igor Sergun becomes the Head of GRU

ГРУ возглавил генерал-майор Игорь Сергун [Source]

2. Russian general says USA is behind every war in the world today [Source]

The head of Russia’s chief military intelligence directorate, Colonel-General Igor Sergun, says the United States is preparing to deploy its troops on a permanent or temporary basis to more than 100 countries around the world. Sergun says the US hopes to create in these countries the facilities necessary for “prepositioning weapons and military equipment necessary for armed operations in forward zones.”

3. Interview with the Head of GRU Igor Sergun: we don’t reveal secrets

Начальник ГРУ Генштаба России Игорь Сергун: Тайны не раскрываем! [Source]

4. Russian spy agency: Global crisis demands new tactics [Source] January 19, 2012

5. Igor Sergun: “Terrorists intent to grab power in some states.”

Игорь Сергун: “Террористы реально претендуют на приход к власти в ряде государств”

6. Middle East, Central Asia Terrorists Earn $500Mln in Drug Trade [Source]

April 16, 2015 – Terrorists in the Middle East and Central Asia receive up to $500 million from production and trafficking of illicit drugs, the chief of the Russian General Staff’s Main Intelligence Directorate said.

7. Head of GRU: Terrorism has become multibillion dollar business [Source]

Начальник ГРУ: Мировой терроризм стал миллиардным бизнесом

8. Jihad turns global [Source]

April 23, 2015 Andrey Ilyashenko, specially for RIR

International terrorism has become one of the most dangerous threats to mankind and it has turned global. This is the considered opinion of Colonel-General Igor Sergun, Director of GRU, the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Gen. Staff of the Russian Armed Forces. Speaking in mid-April at the IV Conference on Security in the Defense Ministry in Moscow, Sergun provided a detailed analysis of the problem. Since he is not among the public figures frequently cited in the media, RIR decided to offer its readers the most complete summary of the key theses of the general.

9. Moscow Conference on International Security 2014 (Part 2: The panels) [Source]

10. Igor Sergun’s Speech at Moscow Conference on International Security 2014 [Source]

Igor Sergun’s speech was made available on the conference website. He noted that the Taliban views the withdrawal of ISAF forces as a success. They expect victory, so see no reason to bother with negotiations at this point. He discussed the three most likely scenarios for future developments in Afghanistan, including some fairly ridiculously exact percentage likelihoods for each scenario:

1.Balance of political forces within the country remains relatively unchanged, supported by a limited Western presence. Afghanistan remains a source of terrorist, extremist, and drug threats for Central Asia. Likelihood 39 percent.

2.Taliban seizes power in the absence of a foreign presence. Islamists could begin infiltrating Central Asian states. Likelihood 27 percent.

3.Afghanistan disintegrates and is divided into ethnic enclaves. This scenario leads to an increase in battle for influence by local and regional powers. Likelihood 31 percent.

In the second part of this speech, Sergun discussed the logistics of the ongoing withdrawal of ISAF forces from Afghanistan. Given the amount of equipment present in the region, his analysis showed that Western states would not be able to withdraw their equipment in the allotted time frame. He argued that while the 40,000 personnel could be withdrawn by the end of 2014, it would be impossible to complete the withdrawal of 40,000 vehicles and 300 helicopters any earlier than 2017. As a result, he claimed that Washington will soon need to start a propaganda campaign to convince the international community that U.S. presence in the region will need to be extended at least through 2024 in order to ensure regional stability. However, this will not change the threat posed by the Taliban to Central Asian states.

The Essential Saker: from the trenches of the emerging multipolar world