HomeWorldMoscow concert hall attackers briefly entered Turkey before attack

Moscow concert hall attackers briefly entered Turkey before attack

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The gunmen accused of killing over 143 people in the Moscow concert hall attack last Friday travelled to Turkey briefly in the same week “to renew their Russian residence permits,” Reuters reported, quoting a Turkish security official. However, the report added that the radicalisation of these Tajikistan men did not happen there.

A man suspected of taking part in the attack of a concert hall that killed 137 people, the deadliest attack in Europe to have been claimed by the Islamic State jihadist group, sits inside the defendant cage as he waits for his pre-trial detention hearing at the Basmanny District Court in Moscow on March 25, 2024. (AFP)

The official, who spoke to the news agency anonymously, noted that there were no existing arrest warrants against the attackers, allowing them to travel between Turkey and Russia freely. Furthermore, it was revealed that the assailants had been residing in Moscow for an extended period.

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Two of the assailants departed Turkey and travelled to Moscow on the same flight on March 2, 2024, according to the source. The attack, later claimed by the Islamic State, resulted in the deaths of over 143 people and left dozens more injured.

Eleven people have been detained in connection with the attack that occurred in the Crocus City Hall in Moscow.

President Putin ‘refuses’ to take ‘IS’ name

Russian President Vladimir Putin is “refusing” to attribute the Moscow attack to the Islamic State (IS), despite the extremist group’s claim, according to an AFP report. Instead, he claimed a connection to Ukraine, asking why the attackers tried to flee to Ukraine — a claim that Kyiv has rejected.

In his recent remarks regarding the attack on Monday, Putin acknowledged that “radical Islamists” were responsible but drew a connection to Ukraine.

“Of course, it is necessary to answer the question, why after committing the crime the terrorists tried to go to Ukraine? Who was waiting for them there?” Putin asked.

“The US… is trying to convince its satellites that there is not a Kyiv trace in the act of terror and that members of ISIS carried out the attack,” Putin told a security meeting.

“We know who carried out the attack. We want to know who the mastermind was,” said Putin, repeating the allegation that the perpetrators tried to flee to Ukraine after the attack.

Ukraine firmly denies any involvement in the attack, with President Volodymyr Zelensky accusing Putin of “always trying to blame others.”

(With inputs from Reuters, AFP)

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