The US tipped off Russia that the Crocus City Hall concert hall was a possible terrorist target

The US tipped off Russia that the Crocus City Hall concert hall was a possible terrorist target
The US tipped off Russia that the Crocus City Hall concert hall was a possible terrorist target
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The fact that such specific information was actually shared contradicts what the Russian authorities claim. They admitted that they had indeed been warned by the US, but that the information was “far too general” to be able to do anything to prevent the terrorist attack.

Russian President Vladimir Putin even publicly dismissed the warning a few days before the attack as “an attempt to intimidate and destabilize Russian society.”

Measures

On Tuesday, Sergei Naryshkin, the chief of Russia’s foreign security service SVR, suddenly said that “appropriate measures” had indeed been taken after the warning. However, images of the attack show that the terrorists encountered little resistance. According to Russian media, specialized police units did not arrive until more than an hour after the shooting started. It then took more than half an hour before they went inside. The perpetrators had long since fled.

15-year-old Islam Khalilov, who worked at the concert hall on the day of the attack, said in an interview with Russian journalist Dmitry Yegorov that the staff was indeed briefed about a possible attack just after the public warning from the American and British embassy to their nationals. It was told what to do in that case and where to lead people. The teenager says there were also stricter security checks and dogs were used.

Islam Khalilov (right) was working in the concert hall on the day of the attack.Image REUTERS

However, this extra vigilance appears to have waned in the weeks that followed the warning. Also on the evening of the attack itself. According to the sources of The Washington Post it is possible that the Russians thought the American information was incorrect because nothing was done immediately in the days following the warning.

Homeland security

Experts also believe that Russia focuses too much on the war in Ukraine and silencing dissidents in Russia, thereby neglecting domestic security.

The attack in Moscow unfolded on March 22. Gunmen then invaded the Crocus City Hall concert hall near Moscow. They shot into the crowd and set the building on fire. According to the latest emergency services report, more than 144 people were killed and 551 others were injured. The attack was claimed by the jihadist group Islamic State Khorasan. Eleven suspects are in jail.

Putin now acknowledges that the attack was committed by “radical Islamists”, but at the same time continues to point to Ukraine as the client. The US thinks the latter is “nonsense”.

The article is in Dutch

Tags: tipped Russia Crocus City Hall concert hall terrorist target

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