Russian Intelligence Knew Of ISIS Attack Threat: Reports

In the wake of the attack, ISIS claimed responsibility for it with statements, photos, and a propaganda video filmed by the attackers.
Russian Intelligence Knew Of ISIS Attack Threat: Reports
Russian Intelligence Knew Of ISIS Attack Threat: ReportsImage: Reuters

The threat of an ISIS attack on the concert hall near Moscow was known to Russian security services, according to CNN who cited Russian intelligence documents accessed by a UK-based investigative organization.

The London-based Dossier Centre stated that the documents talked about ethnic Tajiks radicalized by ISIS-K - the Central Asian branch of the terror organization - could have been behind the attack.

A deadly attack at the Crocus City Hall in Russia left at least 143 dead and hundreds of others injured when assailants stormed the hall and opened fire right before a concert was scheduled to be held.

In the wake of the attack, ISIS claimed responsibility for it with statements, photos, and a propaganda video filmed by the attackers.

The Dossier Center is a Russian investigative organization supported by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a former Russian oil magnate who is now in exile and critical of the Kremlin. In the past, it has revealed information about Russian President Vladimir Putin and his government, frequently relying on internal documents and leaks.

"A few days before the terrorist attack, members of the Security Council received a warning that Tajik citizens could be used in terrorist attacks on Russian territory," the group's latest report mentioned.

"Even before the attack on Crocus City Hall, a source close to the intelligence services told the Dossier Center about this," it added.

Disturbing visuals of the attack showed how victims tried to flee for their lives and some ducked behind whatever they got hold of to save themselves from the bullets.

Four individuals, originating from Tajikistan, a country in Central Asia, but employed in Russia with either temporary or expired visas, were arrested and charged with terrorism. These suspects displayed apparent physical injuries. According to Russian media, three of them have admitted their guilt.

Earlier, the United States asserted that it had informed Russia about the Islamic State (ISIS) plotting an assault within its borders.

According to CNN, the US Embassy issued a warning in March about a higher risk of terrorist attacks in Russia. Adrienne Watson, a spokesperson for the National Security Council, stated that the US had shared this information with Russian authorities as part of their duty to warn policy.

However, shortly after the attack, Russian President Vladimir Putin disregarded the American cautions as provocative, saying, "These actions resemble outright blackmail and the intention to intimidate and destabilize our society."

Putin, who recently emerged victorious in the general elections to secure an unprecedented fifth term, has continuously claimed that Ukraine played a role in 'planning' the attack. However, Ukraine has consistently refuted any involvement in the attack.

Former Russian legislator Ilya Ponomarev, who is currently living abroad and known for criticizing the Kremlin, expressed concerns about the recent evidence, which raises important questions about the Russian government and its security agencies.

"We see very clearly that Vladimir Putin could have reacted on numerous warnings," he told CNN.

In 2022, the ISIS-K had claimed responsibility for a deadly attack on the Russian embassy in Kabul.

According to the Dossier Center, German authorities apprehended multiple individuals from Tajikistan the following year, who were alleged to be planning an assault on Cologne Cathedral. In Kyrgyzstan, suspected members of ISIS-K were also detained for allegedly plotting an attack on an orthodox church.

According to CNN, the Dossier Center stated that Russian authorities were keeping a close watch on these reports and were taking into account the potential risk to Russia.

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