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4 Apr, 2024 12:54

Moscow terrorist attack recruiter apprehended – FSB

Three new suspects in the massacre have been arrested in Russia, according to the security services

Three individuals suspected of having links with the terrorist attack at a Moscow concert hall last month have been taken into custody, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) reported on Thursday.

The arrests were made in Moscow, Ekaterinburg, and Omsk, according to a statement from the agency. Two of the suspects are foreigners while the third is a Russian citizen. All three originate from Central Asia, the FSB added.

One of those arrested was allegedly directly involved in recruiting the four gunmen who carried out the assault at the Crocus City Hall just outside Moscow two weeks ago. He also handled the financing of the operation, the FSB claimed. The two other suspects made donations towards the purchase of firearms and the vehicle used by the terrorists, the security services added.

The FSB released footage of the three arrests, but did not show the faces of any of the suspects.

The four suspected gunmen were detained hours after the attack at the music venue in Krasnogorsk, which claimed over 140 lives. Russian law enforcement previously reported several other arrests related to the massacre.

Russian officials have said the perpetrators were radical Islamists, although the crime may have been organized by Ukrainian special services, who used them as proxies.

Kiev and its Western backers have rejected those allegations. Moscow claims to have evidence of a possible link, including money transfers originating from Ukrainian nationalists.

“Even now it is obvious that there are some Ukrainian footprints here. Especially since Ukraine’s involvement in other terrorist attacks on Russian soil is no longer in doubt,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday. He cited the assassinations of journalist Darya Dugina and blogger Vladlen Tatarsky as among the examples of Ukrainian terrorism.

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