Home News Suspects behind the terrorist attack in Moscow: What we know so far

Suspects behind the terrorist attack in Moscow: What we know so far

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Suspects behind the terrorist attack in Moscow: What we know so far

A total of 11 people were arrested after Friday’s brutal attack on Crocus Town Hall spectators waiting for a concert

Russian police and security services have detained a total of 11 suspects following Friday’s terror attack at the Crocus City Hall concert hall on the outskirts of Moscow. Among those detained are four alleged perpetrators of the massacre, which, according to the Russian domestic security service FSB, claimed the lives of more than 130 and injured over 150.

Details about the identity of the suspects and the circumstances of the attack are still emerging. According to the FSB, the attack was carefully planned and designed to maximize casualties. An investigation into the incident is ongoing. Here’s what’s known so far:

Detention

The four main suspects were detained in the early hours of Saturday in Russia’s Bryansk region bordering Ukraine, the FSB said in a statement. The alleged perpetrators were traveling in a white Renault Symbol/Clio car, which they used to flee the scene, according to news outlet 78.ru.

After a short chase by Russian police officers, the suspects left the car. One of them was arrested at the scene, while three others tried to hide in the woods, prompting a large-scale manhunt, media reports said.


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Later, several videos appeared on the Internet showing the detention and interrogation of the alleged perpetrators. Two of the videos were published by RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyanová, another by journalist Aleksandr Kots. At least one suspect was injured during the altercation with police officers and was hospitalized, the Mash Telegram channel reported.

Russian officials did not comment on the information about the alleged hospitalization of one of the suspects. On Saturday, the FSB issued a statement saying a total of 11 people, including four alleged attackers, had been detained in connection with the incident.

“The criminals intended to cross the Russian-Ukrainian border and had relevant contacts on the Ukrainian side,” he added, referring to the four main suspects. Another seven detentions took place in Moscow and the Moscow region, according to Russian media

The identity of the suspects

Russian police have not released any information about the names or nationalities of the 11 detainees. Russia’s Interior Ministry only confirmed that none of the primary suspects had Russian citizenship.

“The migration department of the Ministry of the Interior, together with our colleagues from the FSB, is carefully studying the reasons for the stay and the length of stay on Russian territory for each of the detainees,” he added. This was said by the spokeswoman of the ministry, Irina Volk.


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Footage from the interrogation of the suspected perpetrators shows one of them speaking broken Russian and the other talking to the police through an interpreter. One of the suspects claimed that he was in Türkiye and arrived in Russia only at the beginning of March. No information has been released about the identities of their seven alleged accomplices.

Weapons and equipment

Footage taken at the scene and released by the Russian Investigative Committee shows the attackers were armed with what appeared to be assault rifles and were equipped with a large amount of ammunition. The clip shows at least one such weapon resembling an AK assault rifle, along with nearly a dozen magazines still loaded with ammunition.

Russian news agency Lenta also reported that a Saiga hunting rifle was also found at the scene. According to Russian media, a Makarov handgun and one additional magazine were also discovered in the suspects’ car during the arrest in the Bryansk region.


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One of the suspects claimed during the interrogation that the curators, whom they did not know personally and contacted only through Telegram, arranged a cache of weapons for them. The vehicle they used in the attack was also said to have been purchased from one of the suspects’ relatives shortly before the terrorist attack.

Motives

One of the suspects, who was filmed by the law enforcement officers during his interrogation, claimed that he had committed the crime “for money.” The man said he was promised 500,000 rubles ($5,418) and had half of it transferred to his debit card before the attack.

The alleged offender also stated that he was “listening to a sermon… from a preacher” on Telegram for some time before the alleged masterminds of Friday’s attack approached him “About a month ago.” When pressed further about what he did at Crocus City Hall on Friday, the man said he did “shooting down… people,” he added that his job was just to kill people and stuff “never mind” who would he kill

None of the suspects specifically pledged allegiance to any extremist group during the interrogation, which was made public.

Possible mechanics

Russian investigative authorities have not named any suspected masterminds behind the attack. Nor did they signal any links between the main suspects and any extremist groups or outside forces, with the exception of some Ukrainian “contacts” which, according to the FSB, were allegedly ready to help them move to Ukraine.

Some Western media, including Reuters and CNN, reported that the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) claimed responsibility for the attack. The terror group also reportedly released a photo of the four suspects posing against an IS flag. The photo, which has since been shared by some media outlets, shows four men wearing baseball caps with their faces covered. Moscow has not commented on the IS claim.

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