“Foolish Propaganda”: US Criticism of Kremlin's Doctrines of Attack

Russia's accusations have no basis; US National Security Council (NSC) spokesman John Kirby said in Washington on Thursday that the terrorist group Islamic State (IS) alone bears responsibility for the crime. Everything else is bullshit. IS also claimed responsibility for the March 22 attack. Moscow is still looking for some kind of connection towards Ukraine.

That is why the Russian intelligence agency responsible for investigating particularly serious crimes has now pointed to the Ukrainian masterminds of the crime. The state agency said, via Telegram, “there is information confirming that the attackers received large amounts of cash and cryptocurrencies from Ukraine that were used to prepare this crime.”

Secret “Evidence” of Kiev's Involvement

The group's Telegram post said it now had “proof” of the attackers' links to “Ukrainian nationalists”. It was the result of “working with jailed terrorists, examining technological devices seized from them and analyzing information on financial transactions.” Kirby strongly doubted the information from Moscow.

IMAGO/SNA/Vladimir Sergeev

More than 140 people died in the Crocus City Hall attack

The Russian intelligence agency has also announced that it has arrested another suspect in connection with the attack. He was involved in financing the attack. Investigators will seek custody of him. According to official sources, a total of eleven people, including four suspected attackers, have been arrested earlier. 8 of them have been detained.

US says it warned Russia about terror threat

According to its own words, the US warned Russia of a serious terrorist threat two weeks before the attack. Kirby said Thursday that Washington had provided Russian intelligence services with “clear and detailed information about the terrorist threat at large gatherings and concerts in Moscow.” This was already done in writing in early March using “usual procedures and established channels”. “The United States tried to prevent this terrorist attack.” Four masked men dressed in camouflage randomly shot and killed people at a concert venue on Friday evening.

The U.S. Embassy in Moscow also said publicly at the time that it was monitoring reports that militants had immediate plans to attack large gatherings in Moscow, including concerts. Russian President Vladimir Putin later spoke of a “track” toward Ukraine, but offered no concrete evidence for this. Kiev and Washington strongly rejected the allegations, which were interpreted as a possible pretext for further escalation of fighting in Ukraine.

Western secret services view IS branches as masterminds

Putin later admitted that radical Islamist terrorists were behind the attack, but that it fit the pattern of Ukrainian intimidation efforts. Russian investigators have said they are also investigating whether Western countries were involved in the crime. British Foreign Secretary David Cameron described it as “absolute nonsense”. Western intelligence services consider IS's commitment to the crime to be genuine and suspect IS Khorasan (IS-K), the Central Asian branch of IS in Afghanistan, behind the devastating attack.

The suspect was brought before a Moscow court

Reuters/Shamil Zhumatov

When the suspect appears in court in Moscow

On Thursday, Russian state news agency TASS reported that the four main suspects arrested after the Crocuses City Hall attack were under the influence of drugs at the time of the crime. “The specialist will determine which drugs or psychotropic drugs they have taken,” it said.

After Friday's terror attack, the death toll was recently put at 143 and the number of injured at 360. The arrests were made on Saturday, officials said. On Thursday, the investigation team announced another arrest report. According to the court, the four shooters missed a deadline to appeal their arrest warrants, based on media reports of alleged torture.

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