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29 Mar, 2024 13:16

Nine Moscow terror plot suspects detained in Tajikistan – RIA

The detainees were allegedly in contact with the gunmen responsible for the deadly attack at Crocus City Hall on March 22
Nine Moscow terror plot suspects detained in Tajikistan – RIA

Nine people with suspected ties to gunmen responsible for last week’s terror attack in Russia have been detained in Tajikistan, RIA Novosti reported on Friday, citing a source in local security services.

The report said all the suspects were residents of the Vakhdat district, a suburb of the capital Dushanbe. They had allegedly been in contact with the Moscow shooters, and are also suspected of being linked to the Islamic State terrorist organization.

On March 22, four gunmen stormed the Crocus City Hall concert venue just outside Moscow, going on a shooting spree and setting fire to the building. The massacre resulted in 144 deaths. The gunmen responsible for the attack, all Tajik nationals, managed to flee the scene, but were later apprehended in a Russian region bordering Ukraine.

The alleged perpetrators, identified as radical Islamists, had apparently been recruited on behalf of ISIS-K, an Afghanistan-based branch of Islamic State, which reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack. However, Russian investigators later stated that the terrorists received funding from Ukrainian nationalists. Previously, the head of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), Aleksandr Bortnikov, told reporters that the Ukrainians may have been preparing a “window” for the gunmen to flee across the border.

A total of 12 people have so far been detained in Russia for suspected links to the massacre at Crocus City Hall. Eight of them, including the alleged gunmen, face life imprisonment on terrorism charges.