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26 Mar, 2024 09:48

Russia responds to claims Islamic State behind Moscow terror attack

Suspects in the Crocus City Hall shooting were fleeing towards Ukraine, Ambassador Anatoly Antonov noted
Russia responds to claims Islamic State behind Moscow terror attack

Western attempts to push the narrative that the Crocus City concert hall shooting was staged by Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) without waiting for the investigation to conlcude, look extremely suspicious, Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov has said.

On Friday, at least four gunmen attacked the popular venue, located outside Moscow, ahead of a performance by the Russian rock band Picnic, indiscriminately shooting civilians and setting the venue on fire. It was the worst act of terrorism on Russian soil since the early 2000s and left 139 people dead and more than 180 injured.

Russian security services detained four alleged perpetrators who had fled the scene, identified as ethnic Tajiks, in Bryansk Region not far from the Ukrainian border. Russian President Vladimir Putin described the suspects as “radical Islamists,” saying they were caught fleeing “towards Ukraine where, according to preliminary data, a window to cross the border was prepared.”

The US, along with many of its allies, has insisted that IS is to blame for the shooting, and that Kiev has nothing to do with it, while at the same time providing massive military support to Ukraine in its conflict with Russia.

Commenting on the stance of Western countries on the Crocus City Hall shooting on Tuesday, Antonov remarked that “one thing is alarming: they are trying to determine in advance that IS was responsible for the tragedy in our country.”

“A simple question that any person, any Russian citizen could ask: why did these people, these bandits, attempt to escape from Moscow towards the Ukrainian border?” the envoy wondered.

According to Antonov, this detail suggests “the regime of [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky has become terrorist if it welcomes these terrorists.” He added that this fact alone “requires special attention and investigation.”

He added that he and other Russian diplomats were confident that Moscow’s law enforcement agencies would conduct an investigation and reveal “who was behind those killers that inflicted a very serious wound on us,” adding “we are firmly convinced that all these degenerates should be punished.”

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