Islamic State Attack In Moscow, Dozens Dead at Concert Hall

2024-03-22 17:30:26

There was a deadly and still ongoing (as of this writing) attack by the Islamic State Khorasan (ISKP) in the Moscow ‘Crocus City Hall’ concert venue.

The U.S. had issued a public warning to Americans about the possibility of an Islamic State attack in Moscow, and reportedly passed more timely and specific information to the Russian intelligence service:

On March 7, the U.S. embassy in Moscow issued a cryptic warning to American citizens to avoid concert venues in Moscow. “The Embassy is monitoring reports that extremists have imminent plans to target large gatherings in Moscow, to include concerts, and U.S. citizens should be advised to avoid large gatherings over the next 48 hours,” the warning said. The State Department at the time declined to provide any additional information. Some other embassies in the capital followed suit, issuing similar warnings to its citizens.

This week, Russian state news agency TASS said that Putin described U.S. warnings about a possible territory attack as “provocative” statements which “resembles outright blackmail and an intention to intimidate and destabilize our society.” He called on the Federal Security Service and other law enforcement bodies to step up efforts at preventing terrorist attacks…

One of the U.S. officials said the warning resulted from a flow of compelling intelligence in recent months. “We have basically a steady stream of intelligence dating back to November about ISIS wanting to strike within Russia,” the official said, referring to Islamic State.

As in many such events, the initial reporting can be wrong in numerous ways, but here is what is being reported and videos shared on X (Twitter).

Via NYT:

Several camouflage-clad gunmen opened fire at a popular concert venue on the outskirts of Moscow on Friday night, killing at least 40 people and wounding more than 100, Russia’s top security agency said, which would make it the deadliest attack in the capital region in years.

A branch of the Islamic State claimed responsibility, and U.S. officials confirmed the claim shortly afterward. The United States collected intelligence in March that Islamic State-Khorasan, known as ISIS-K, the branch of the group based in Afghanistan, had been planning an attack on Moscow, according to officials.

As gunshots boomed through the building containing the concert hall, one of the largest and most popular music venues in the Moscow area, fire erupted in the upper floors of the structure, and the blaze intensified after an explosion, the news agency RIA Novosti reported.

Multiple videos posted on social media and verified by The New York Times show several people entering the venue, Crocus City Hall — a sprawling shopping and entertainment complex in suburban Krasnogorsk, northwest of Moscow — and firing rifles. Other videos show people running past bloodied victims lying on the floor or screaming at the sound of gunshots, while photos show bodies lined up outside the building.

The shooting occurred minutes before a sold-out performance by the veteran rock band Piknik was scheduled to start. The concert hall has 6,200 seats, according to its website.

Reports indicate children are among those that the terrorists killed.

Verified video showed people taking their seats in the hall then rushing for the exits as repeated gunfire echoed above screams. Other video showed men shooting at groups of people. Some victims lay motionless in pools of blood.

“Suddenly there were bangs behind us – shots. A burst of firing – I do not know what,” one witness, who asked not to be identified by name, told Reuters.
“A stampede began. Everyone ran to the escalator,” the witness said. “Everyone was screaming; everyone was running.”

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), the main successor to the Soviet-era KGB, said about 40 people were killed, while a regional ministry said 145 were wounded. The FSB said extra security measures were imposed.

The death toll, which looked set to rise according to unconfirmed reports, made it one of the worst attacks on Russia since the 2004 Beslan school siege, when Islamist militants took more than 1,000 people, including hundreds of children, hostage.

Children were reported to be among the dead and injured at the Crocus concert. Dozens of ambulances arrived at the Sklifosovsky emergency care institute in Moscow.

The rescue operations are still continuing.

On Friday night, Moscow City Duma Chairman Alexey Shaposhnikov called on Moscow residents to donate blood to help treat victims, saying that “this is a matter of life and death for dozens of people.”

Shaposhnikov listed several blood center facilities in the Moscow area that will accept donors throughout the weekend.

Around 100 people were evacuated from the building by firefighters, TASS reported. Rescuers are still working to get people off the roof, according to the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Russian Federation.

Witnesses offer chilling accounts of what happened.

Another man whose mother was at the venue said: ‘My mother was at the concert at that moment.

‘She went into the hall, sat there for a while, and her friend rang her, she had to [step outside].

‘At that moment, shots and screams began. She managed to run out almost one of the first.

‘Some men in balaclavas ran into the concert hall. Someone without a balaclava.

‘They were, as she said, like Chechens, like some kind of Arabs. They started shouting, throwing smoke bombs and shooting.

‘The terrorists shouted with an accent, she said, something Caucasian. It was as if there was no security, or they were shot straight away.

‘There was a crush. Mum lost her phone in this crowd and ran without looking back.’

Three men who authorities believed to be the killers are feared to be on the run as of this writing after slipping away from the bloodbath.

[Leslie helped with this post.]


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.

Source link

Daily Cartoon


More Posts

Islamic State Attack In Moscow, Dozens Dead at Concert Hall


Please enter donation amount below


Choose your membership level

$35 billed annually