ISIS claims credit for Russian concert hall massacre, Putin allegedly ignored warnings of impending attack

The terrorist group ISIS has claimed responsibility for the Friday terror attack in Moscow that left at least 93 people dead and hundreds injured.

ISIS took credit for the terror attack through a statement issued through the ISIS-affiliated news agency, Amaq Agency.

“A security source told Amaq Agency: Islamic State fighters attacked a large gathering of Christians in the city of Krasnogorsk on the outskirts of the Russian capital, Moscow, killing and wounding hundreds and causing great destruction to the place before they withdrew to their bases safely,” the news agency reported.

The terrorist attack comes four months after intelligence sources began warning that ISIS was planning to commit a terror attack in Russia and weeks after the U.S. embassy in Russia said it was “monitoring reports that extremists have imminent plans to target large gatherings in Moscow.”

“US National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said the US government had had information about a planned terrorist attack in Moscow – potentially targeting large gatherings, to include concerts – and that this is what prompted the State Department to issue the public advisory,” according to CNN.

“The US government also shared this information with Russian authorities in accordance with its longstanding ‘duty to warn’ policy,” Watson said.

But Russian President Vladimir Putin, for his part, dismissed the warnings as “provocative” Western propaganda, saying on Tuesday that “these actions resemble outright blackmail and the intention to intimidate and destabilize our society.”

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The Friday terror attack reportedly began with gunmen wearing combat gear bursting into Moscow’s Crocus City Hall, which is home to a music hall and shopping center, as concertgoers were getting ready to listen to the Russian band Picnic perform.

The gunmen subsequently “opened fire with automatic weapons” and “threw a grenade or an incendiary bomb, which started a fire,” according to the Russian state-owned news agency RIA Novosti.

The gunmen then “allegedly fled in a white Renault car,” the news agency added, while the concertgoers struggled to exit the building.

It reportedly took six hours to extinguish the fire.

“There are still some pockets of fire, but the fire has been mostly eliminated,” Moscow Gov. Andrey Vorobyov reportedly announced on the social media platform Telegram.

As of early Saturday morning EST, 11 suspects had been arrested.

“Russia has arrested 11 people, including 4 suspected of carrying out the attack at a crowded concert venue in a Moscow suburb last night, the head of the country’s Federal Security Service (FSB) has told President Vladimir Putin,” according to NBC News.

Meanwhile, Ukraine, with which Russia is currently embroiled in a war, has denied any involvement in the terror attack.

“Ukraine certainly has nothing to do with the shooting/explosions in the Crocus City Hall (Moscow Region, Russia),” Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak wrote on the social media platform X.

He went on to cite two reasons why it’d have made no sense for Ukraine to commit a terror attack against Russia.

“First of all, Ukraine has been fighting with the Russian army for more than two years. And everything in this war will be decided only on the battlefield. Only by the quantity of weapons and qualitative military decisions. Terrorist attacks do not solve any problems,” he wrote.

“Secondly, Ukraine has never resorted to the use of terrorist methods. It is always pointless. Unlike, by the way, Russia itself, which uses terrorist attacks in the current war against Ukraine and earlier in its history attacked its own citizens to initiate subsequent ‘counter-terrorist actions’ against protesting ethnic groups,” he added.

Yet, despite Ukraine denying any involvement in the attack, many in Russia reportedly remain convinced the European nation is at fault.

“Who are they [who committed the terror attack? I have no doubt about it. Just the other day, Kiev regime leaders declared their readiness to carry out attacks on our country,” Russian Parliamentary Leader Sergey said in a statement, according to The Daily Beast.

“If they establish that these are terrorists of the Kyiv regime, they must all be found and mercilessly destroyed, including officials of the state that committed such atrocity,” Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev reportedly said.

Vivek Saxena

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