Russia’s security services knew of ISIS threat before concert attack, new evidence from investigative body suggests

Several gunmen burst into the Crocus City Hall on the western edge of Moscow and fire automatic weapons at the crowd on March 22 in the deadliest attack on Russia in decades. Dmitry Serebryakov/AP
Published March 29, 2024
CNN — The Kremlin’s security services were aware of an ISIS threat days before a deadly attack on a concert hall near Moscow, Russian intelligence documents obtained by a UK-based investigative organization suggest.

According to the London-based Dossier Center, the documents showed ethnic Tajiks radicalized by ISIS-K – the Central Asian offshoot of the terror group ISIS – could have been involved.

At least 143 people were killed last Friday in the deadliest attack on Russia in decades, when assailants stormed Crocus City Hall with guns and incendiary devices, just before a concert was to be held.

ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack with statements, photos, and a propaganda video filmed by the attackers.

The Dossier Center is a Russian investigation group backed by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, an exiled former Russian oil tycoon turned Kremlin critic. It has previously unearthed details about Russian President Vladimir Putin and his regime, often using documents and leaks from inside the Russian government.

“A few days before the terrorist attack, members of the Security Council received a warning that Tajik citizens could be used in terrorist attacks on Russian territory,” said the group’s latest report, released on Sunday, referring to the Russian security agency.



RELATED: Putin sees Kyiv in Moscow terrorist attack. But ISIS is its own story.

Published March 27,  2024

After a hideous slaughter in Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin is still intent on pointing the finger at Kyiv. It’s been five days since Russia experienced its worst terrorist attack in two decades, when a clutch of Islamist gunmen burst into a crowded concert venue in the capital, opened fire and set the hall ablaze, killing at least 139 people. The extremist Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the assault, but Kremlin officials continue to gesture to their more immediate enemy — a Ukrainian government that has resisted Russia’s costly and bloody full-scale invasion for more than two years.

“We know that the crime was committed by radical Islamists,” Putin acknowledged in a televised government meeting Monday evening, before taking an angrier, conspiratorial turn. “We also know that the U.S. via various channels tries to persuade their satellites and other countries that, according to their intel, there is allegedly no Kyiv trace in the Moscow terrorist attack and that it was carried out by members of ISIS.”

Never mind the prevalence of extremist Islamist plots in Russia, nor Putin’s own long history in helping battle and ruthlessly quash Islamist insurgencies at home and abroad. For a regime that has staked much of its credibility and political future on the war in Ukraine, Putin and his Kremlin allies need to keep the domestic focus on the perfidy of the foes next door.

“The question that arises is who benefits from this?” Putin went on to say. “This atrocity may be just a link in a whole series of attempts by those who have been at war with our country since 2014 by the hands of the neo-Nazi Kyiv regime.”



RELATED: Moscow Attack – Why did ISIS-k Target Russia?

Published March 27, 2024



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