Putin accuses radical Islamists for Crocus Concert attack, hints Ukrainian involvement

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Detained Moscow attackers (Photo: News Intervention)

In a somber aftermath following the tragic Crocus concert attack in a Moscow suburb, Russian President Vladimir Putin has labelled the perpetrators as “radical Islamists”. The assault, which resulted in the loss of over 130 lives and left more than 180 wounded, has sent shockwaves across the nation, prompting urgent calls for justice and heightened security measures.

President Putin, addressing the nation on Monday, revealed that the assailants, four in number, were intercepted while attempting to flee to Ukraine. However, he refrained from explicitly mentioning the Islamic State (IS) group, despite an affiliate claiming responsibility for the heinous act. Instead, Putin emphasized the need to delve into the motives behind the attackers’ escape route, hinting at possible Ukrainian links.

The absence of a direct acknowledgment of IS involvement by Putin contrasts sharply with assertions made by U.S. intelligence and French President Emmanuel Macron, both suggesting IS culpability. Nonetheless, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov remained cautious, urging patience for the ongoing investigation’s outcomes while refusing to confirm reports of prior intelligence warnings from the U.S.

Meanwhile, as the legal proceedings unfold, four suspects, identified as Tajik nationals, have been charged with terrorism-related offenses. Their court appearance revealed that terrorists were firmly interrogated. Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin assured the public of swift justice for the perpetrators, stressing that they “do not deserve mercy”.

The deadliest attack in recent memory

The attack, which targeted Crocus City Hall on Moscow’s western outskirts, stands as the deadliest in Russia in recent memory. Eyewitnesses described scenes of chaos and terror as gunfire rang out amidst the blaze that consumed the concert hall, ultimately leading to its collapse. As investigations continue, questions linger regarding the extent of IS involvement and the possibility of external support, including from Ukraine.

Amidst the uncertainty, videos released by Russian media have shed light on the recruitment process of one of the attackers, suggesting a connection to radical ideologies propagated through messaging apps. With seven additional suspects in custody, the search for answers intensifies, fuelling speculation about the true orchestrators behind this brutal act of terror.

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