Originally posted May 6, 2010:
While the BBC was reporting last week: "UN backs tougher stance against Somali piracy" yesterday's headline at the Moscow Times said "Somali Pirates Seize State-Owned Tanker".
If the Somali pirates were up to speed on their history they may have remembered the name Arkady Katkov.
Starting in 1982, and continuing for the remainder of the decade, approximately 100 people were kidnapped in Beirut by various factions of Hezbollah ('the Party of God').
William Buckley, for example. He was the CIA station chief, kidnapped on March 16, 1984.
He was tortured to death. They did it slow, he died in June 1985.
The U.S. did the same thing after his kidnapping that they did after the Marine Corps barracks at Beirut International Airport were bombed in October 1983, killing 241 Marines and Sailors.
On September 30, 1985 four Soviet diplomats were kidnapped and Arkady Katkov was shot in the head by Hezbollah's head of security, Imad Mughniyeh.
The Soviets gave the kidnappers 48 hours to return the hostages and dispatched some guys they call Spetsgruppa A (Alfa Group).
The kidnappers and their relatives were identified by supporting KGB operatives working with the Druze militia, and some of the relatives were taken hostage.
Following the standard policy of 'no negotiation', Alfa proceeded to sever some of their hostages' body parts and sent them to the perpetrators with a warning that more would follow if the Russian hostages were not released immediately. The tactic worked and no other Russian national was taken hostage in the Middle East for the next 20 years, until the 2006 abduction of Russian diplomats in Iraq.
Among the body parts was a decapitated head and some testicles.
This morning Reuters reported: