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US confirms ISIS behind deadly Moscow concert attack

The terrorist group Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the mass shooting at a concert hall in Moscow on 22 March in a Telegram post released after the attack. The US confirmed this shortly afterward
US sees no link between Ukraine and Moscow concert hall shooting, says White House
The Crocus City Hall outside Moscow is burning after the attack. Photo: Meduza via Telegram
US confirms ISIS behind deadly Moscow concert attack

The United States has confirmed that a branch of the Islamic State (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the devastating attack in Moscow that left at least 115 people dead and more than 100 others injured, the New York Times reported.

The shooting attack occurred on the evening of 22 March when crowds gathered for a concert at the Crocus City Hall concert center on the outskirts of Moscow. Ukraine has dismissed the allegations of its involvement in the mass shooting. The White House also confirmed that there was no indication that Ukraine was behind the Moscow attack.

The terrorist group Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility for the mass shooting at a concert hall in Moscow in a Telegram post released after the attack, saying, “Soldiers of the Islamic State attacked a big crowd of Christians in the city of Krasnogorsk, killing and wounding hundreds.”

The US confirmed this shortly afterward.

“ISIS-K has been fixated on Russia for the past two years,” Colin P. Clarke, a counterterrorism analyst at the Soufan Group, a security consulting firm based in New York, is quoted as saying. “ISIS-K accuses the Kremlin of having Muslim blood in its hands, referencing Moscow’s interventions in Afghanistan, Chechnya and Syria.”

According to officials, the United States had collected intelligence in March suggesting that Islamic State-Khorasan, known as ISIS-K, the group’s Afghanistan-based branch, had been planning an attack on Moscow. One US official stated that ISIS members have been active in Russia.

The report highlights that after a period of relative quiet, the Islamic State has been attempting to increase its external attacks, according to US counterterrorism officials. While most of those plots in Europe have been thwarted, prompting assessments that the group had diminished capabilities, the attack on 22 March near Moscow, similar to a January assault in Iran claimed by the group, could prompt a reassessment of its ability to strike outside its home territory.

US officials stated that they had privately informed Russian officials about the intelligence pointing to an impending attack, in addition to publicly warning on 7 March about a possible attack. However, it is unclear how much information the United States provided Russian officials beyond what was in the public warning.

According to the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, the death toll of the terrorist attack rose to 115. There were reportedly over 120 injured people.

The Kremlin’s press service reported on 23 March that Russia’s security services detained 11 people allegedly involved in the 22 March attack at a concert hall near Moscow, including four perpetrators.

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