Russia Blames US for Moscow Concert Hall Attack, Despite IS Claim

Wed Apr 03 2024
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TALLINN: Russia’s National Security Council head, Nikolai Patrushev, said on Wednesday that the United States bears responsibility for the attack on a Moscow concert hall, despite the Islamic State group claiming responsibility. The attack, which occurred on March 22 at the Crocus City Hall, resulted in the death of 145 people, making it the deadliest on Russian soil in two decades, AP reported.

Patrushev made these claims at a meeting in Astana, Kazakhstan, of security councils from the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which includes China, India, and Iran. He suggested that while IS may have claimed responsibility, the “traces lead to the Ukrainian special services,” alleging that the Kyiv regime is under complete control of the United States.

Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin, have repeatedly accused Ukraine of planning the attack, despite Kyiv’s consistent denials. Patrushev emphasized the importance of identifying the “customer and sponsor” of the attack, implying a link to Ukrainian special services allegedly controlled by the US.

Four suspected gunmen were apprehended in the Bryansk region, bordering Ukraine, the day after the attack. Putin and other officials have claimed that the gunmen had planned to flee into Ukraine. Additionally, six suspected accomplices have been arrested.

The death toll from the attack rose to 145, with the announcement of the death of a sixth child injured in the incident. The attack occurred two weeks after the US Embassy in Russia issued a warning about potential terrorist attacks on public targets, with information reportedly passed on to Russian officials.

When asked about a report in the Washington Post regarding US officials identifying Crocus City Hall as a potential target, Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to comment, stating it was a matter for security services.

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova expressed contempt for the report, urging journalists to seek factual information from the American side. Additionally, the Russian prosecutor general’s office has sent information requests to the US, Germany, France, and Cyprus over potential Western involvement in terrorist attacks on Russia.

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