Russia says it is hard to believe Islamic State could have launched Moscow attack

Russia says it is hard to believe Islamic State could have launched Moscow attack
epa11241495 A security staff stands outside the Crocus City Hall concert venue following a terrorist attack in Krasnogorsk, outside Moscow, Russia, 24 March 2024. Russia started a day of national mourning for the victims of the terrorist attack in Crocus City Hall in Krasnogorsk. On 22 March, a group of gunmen attacked the Crocus City Hall in the Moscow region, Russian emergency services said. According to the latest data from the Russian Investigative Committee, 152 people died and more than 100 were hospitalized. EPA-EFE/MAXIM SHIPENKOV

MOSCOW, March 27 (Reuters) - Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday that it was "extremely hard to believe" that Islamic State would have had the capacity to launch an attack on a Moscow concert hall last Friday that killed at least 143 people.

Zakharova repeated Moscow’s assertions, for which it has not yet provided evidence, that Ukraine was behind the attack on the Crocus City Hall, the deadliest Russia has suffered in 20 years.

Russia’s Emergencies Ministry published a list of names showing 143 people had died in last Friday’s mass shooting. Earlier official tallies had put the death toll at 139.

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the massacre and U.S. officials say they have intelligence showing it was carried out by the network’s Afghan branch, Islamic State Khorasan. Ukraine has repeatedly denied it had anything to do with the attack.

But Zakharova said the West had rushed to pin responsibility on Islamic State, also known as ISIS, as a way of deflecting blame from Ukraine and the Western governments that support Kyiv.

“In order to ward off suspicions from the collective West, they urgently needed to come up with something, so they resorted to ISIS, pulled an ace out of their sleeve, and literally a few hours after the terrorist attack, the Anglo-Saxon media began disseminating precisely these versions,” she said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said the attack was carried out by Islamist militants but has suggested it was to Ukraine’s benefit and that Kyiv may have played a role.

He has said that someone on the Ukrainian side had prepared a “window” for the gunmen to escape across the border before they were captured in western Russia on Friday night.

On Tuesday, however, Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko said the gunmen had initially sought to cross into his country before turning away and heading towards Ukraine once they realised that crossings into Belarus had been sealed.

The director of Russia’s FSB security agency said on Tuesday that he believed Ukraine, along with the United States and Britain, were involved in the Moscow attack.

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron responded on social media platform X, saying: “Russia’s claims about the West and Ukraine on the Crocus City Hall attack are utter nonsense.”

The head of Ukraine’s Main Intelligence Directorate, Kyrylo Budanov, told a security conference in Kyiv he believed Russian authorities had known about preparations for a major attack since at least mid-February.

Budanov, whose comments were reported in Ukrainian media, said authorities chose to say nothing either because they underestimated the scale of the attack, or to pin the blame on Ukraine and proceed with the dismissal of officials.

(Reporting by Reuters; Writing by Mark Trevelyan and Felix Light; Editing by Andrew Osborn, Ron Popeski and Jamie Freed)


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  • Beyond Fedup says:

    It is so pathetic and idiotically obvious from these sick and deranged Putin poodles to try everything to fabricate Ukraine’s involvement in this awful terror attack. These imbeciles live in their delusional make believe world and choose to ignore that Russia under the evil Putin monster have many enemies due to his barbaric and mass-murdering ways. He has been in power for decades and his 1st “special military operation”, in this case, Chechnya, was to destroy radical Islamic extremists” which in fact was nothing but a genocidal war. He has carried on in this manner and the latest to suffer his psychopathic and neurotic way is Ukraine. Zakharova & co -you were warned about an impeding attack and did NOTHING to stop it let alone impede it. It just shows your stupidity, arrogance and the fact that you sick lot think you are untouchable. You miscalculated so badly- like your diabolical master who thought he would waltz into Ukraine and “liberate “ it. As I have said before, there is something very fishy about this whole issue – radical islamists don’t surrender, knowing full well the terrible retribution they will face but more importantly, they will not die martyrs and get their reward of 72 virgins in heaven. You are all now trying to turn your disgusting and deliberate failure into blaming Ukraine so that revenge in murder and destruction can be huge. There is a special place in hell for you lot and hope it comes very soon.

  • Bob Fraser says:

    Bob F – March 30th 2024 at 13:45
    Of course Islamic state could not possibly have been involved. Ukraine denys it so surely, it was Putin’s friend, the United States, or just maybe he has dad bit of a fall out with one of his friends from Brics.

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