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28 Mar, 2024 15:24

Russia ‘unaware’ US hid details of Moscow terror plot – Kremlin

The New York Times reported that the lack of trust between the two countries prevented the latter from disclosing information on a possible attack in Russia
Russia ‘unaware’ US hid details of Moscow terror plot – Kremlin

The Russian authorities know nothing about Washington’s alleged failure to share information on the threat of a terrorist attack in Moscow, President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said at a press briefing on Thursday.

Peskov’s statement came in response to an article by The New York Times, which, citing anonymous sources, claimed that the “adversarial relationship” between Washington and Moscow prevented US officials from sharing full intelligence about the terror plot.

Earlier in March, the US embassy in Moscow sent a warning to US citizens living in Russia that an attack was possible, while also sending a non-public message with a similar warning to Russian security officials.

On March 22, four gunmen stormed Crocus City Hall concert venue just outside Moscow. The attack and the ensuing fire killed over 140 people.

Asked whether the Russian authorities were aware that the US did not disclose full information on the incident beforehand, Peskov said “no, we are not aware of that” and suggested that reports citing unconfirmed sources, as in the case with the NYT, “must be treated with great caution.”

The gunmen responsible for the massacre were apprehended hours after the attack in a Russian region bordering Ukraine. They had allegedly been recruited through an online chat operated on behalf of ISIS-K, an Afghanistan-based offshoot of the terrorist organization Islamic State.

Shortly after the incident, the US claimed that the group was responsible. However, the investigation is still ongoing, and Russian officials have been arguing that another party, such as Kiev, may have been behind the plot.

Speaking to the Russian news outlet Izvestia earlier this week, Peskov called Washington’s insistence that Ukraine had nothing to do with the attack and that ISIS-K was the sole culprit “strange,” especially as these claims were voiced before Moscow had outlined an official version of events.

“This suggests at the very least that they are trying to shift attention away from something,” Peskov noted.