One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. He claimed to have fought for a noble cause, but targeting innocent children was an act both barbaric and despicable. One may emphatise with Chechenya's desire for independence, and with the Russian need to maintain the status quo.
However, Basayev's past actions have become self-defeating, because the first thing that comes to mind about this conflict isn't Chechenya's freedom but the unforgettable, barbaric and inexcusable murder of those children in Beslan.
Oddly enough, there are many Westerners who see him as a national hero and martyr. In that case, then the IRA are freedom fighters, Hamas the better alternative for Palestine's government, Osama bin Laden is the light of reason in this dark world and I'm the Queen of England.
The pro-rebel website have hailed him a martyr, yet claimed that it was accident that killed him, not Russian FSB agents. How typically ridiculous of fanatics.
How can you be a martyr if your own weapons *ahem* ACCIDENTALLY kill you? I don't see anybody hailing Urban, the apostate who made the monstrous cannon (that blew up and killed him) for the Turkish assault on Constantinople in 1453, a martyr.
He will always be remembered as a despicable villain and a mass murderer by all whose reasoning and logic have not shrouded by religious fanaticism:
October 2005: Scores killed in attack on Nalchik
September 2004: Gunmen seized school in Beslan, 331 deaths (many children)
August 2004: Suicide bombers destroy two airliners leaving Moscow, 89 deaths
August 2004: Suicide bomber kills 10 outside Moscow metro
October 2002: Moscow theatre seized, 129 hostages die
June 1995: Hospital seized in Budyonnovsk, 100 deaths
Goodbye Shamil Basayev; you won't be missed.