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27 Apr, 2024 14:00

12th suspect in Moscow terror attack arrested

An alleged facilitator of the Crocus City Hall massacre was brought before a court on Saturday
12th suspect in Moscow terror attack arrested

A court in Moscow has ordered the pretrial detention of a twelfth suspect in the terrorist attack at the Crocus City Hall concert venue in March. According to investigators, the man was allegedly supplying the attackers with means of communication and with money.

Basmanny Court agreed on Saturday with investigators’ request to keep the suspect in custody until at least May 22. The hearing was held behind closed doors.

In its statement, the court said Dzhumakhon Kurbonov, a national of Tajikistan, is suspected of providing funds for the “preparation of the terrorist attack,” including providing communication equipment to the perpetrators and the covering of relevant expenses.

If convicted, Kurbonov may be sentenced to at least 15 years in prison and up to a life term.

Some media reports are suggesting that, in April, the suspect, who was living in Moscow, had drawn the attention of Russian investigators after a minor public-disturbance incident.

The terrorist attack at Crocus City Hall claimed over 140 lives. Four gunmen, who allegedly went on a rampage at the packed concert arena before setting it on fire, were detained hours after the massacre. It is believed that they were trying to flee from Russia to Ukraine when taken into custody.

Russian officials have described the perpetrators as radical Islamists who may have been used as proxies by Kiev’s intelligence services. Investigators have claimed that a money trail links the primary suspects with radical Ukrainian nationalists.

Kiev has denied any involvement in the mass murder, while its foreign backers claimed that all evidence points to ISIS-K, the Afghanistan-based splinter of the once-powerful terrorist organization Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS), as the culprit.

Western nations are giving Kiev their “tacit consent” for targeting Russian civilians, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu claimed on Friday during an international event, before reiterating Moscow’s suspicion of Kiev’s involvement in the Crocus City terrorist attack.