Putin: It is Clear Who Carried Out Concert Hall Attack, Question is Who Benefits

Mar 25, 2024

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that the terrorist attack at the Crocus City Hall concert venue near Moscow had been committed by radical Islamists.

We know that the crime was committed by the hands of radical Islamists, whose ideology the Islamic world itself has been fighting for centuries,” Putin said.

Eventhough Russia knows who carried out the terrorist attack in the Crocus concert hall, but the mastermind behind it is still in question, and we need to find out whether radical Islamists really decided to strike at the country, the Russian president said.

“In the course of the joint work of our special services and law enforcement agencies, it is necessary to get answers to a number of questions, for example, whether radical, even terrorist-minded Islamic organizations are really interested in striking at Russia, which today stands for a just solution to the escalated Middle East conflict,” Putin said at a consultation with Russian authorities on measures taken after the terrorist attack.

The president highlighted that the important thing is to find the mastermind behind the March 22 terrorist attack.

The horrific crime committed on March 22 in the capital of Russia is an act of intimidation … and the question immediately arises: who benefits?” Putin said. “This atrocity can only be an element in a whole series of attempts by those who have been fighting our country since 2014 with the hands of the neo-Nazi Kiev regime.”

Those who attacked the Crocus City Hall concert venue had tried to escape to Ukraine, where, according to preliminary data, a “window” was prepared for them to cross the border, Putin previously said. All five who were directly involved in the shooting were arrested.

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Of course, we also need to answer the question of why the terrorists tried to leave for Ukraine after committing the crime and who was waiting for them there,” Putin underlined during the conversation with Russian authorities on security measures taken after the terrorist attack.

President Putin went on to add that the US is making a comprehensive effort to convince everyone that Ukraine had nothing to do with the terrorist attack on the Crocus City Hall near Moscow and the responsibility lies solely with ISIS*.

“We see how the US is taking to various channels to convince its satellites and other countries that according to the data from its intelligence, there is allegedly no Ukrainian trace in the Moscow terrorist attack and that the bloody terrorist attack had been carried out by those professing Islam — members of IS, an organization banned in Russia. We already know by whose hands this atrocity against Russia and its people had been carried out. Now we want to know who the mastermind is,” Putin said.

Investigators must conduct an objective probe into the Crocus City Hall terrorist attack despite the desire to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Despite the universal pain, sorrow, compassion and legitimate desire to punish all the perpetrators of this brutal atrocity, the investigation must be conducted in a highly professional and objective manner, without any political bias,” Putin said.

Russian society has shown an example of true solidarity, cohesion and mutual support after the terrorist attack on the Crocus City Hall in the Moscow Region, the president emphasized.

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“Our society has shown an example of real solidarity, cohesion and mutual support at this difficult time,” he said during the meeting.

Among those who are now sending words of sympathy to the families of the victims are people of different nationalities, from all regions of our country, of all ages, including children, pupils and students, Putin added.

Putin asked investigators to report on the progress of their probe and work to identify all those involved in the terrorist attack, as well as to report regularly on the investigation as it proceeds.

Putin expressed condolences to the family and friends of the victims of the attack and also wished a speedy recovery to the wounded victims.

Terror Attack in Moscow Region Was ‘Carefully Planned’

The deadly attack on the Crocus City Hall near Moscow was carefully planned, Alexander Bastrykin, chairman of Russia’s Investigative Committee, said at the meeting.

“Preliminary findings of the investigation suggest that the terrorist attack was carefully planned and prepared. The attack left 139 people dead,” Bastrykin told President Putin at a briefing.

The head of Russia’s main investigative body clarified that 137 people died in the attack, while two succumbed to their wounds in hospitals. At least 40 victims died from gunshot wounds and 45 lost their lives in the fire that erupted during the attack. Bastrykin added that other 182 people were injured.

Meanwhile, investigators have established a full chronology of developments of the terrorist attack on the Crocus City Hall concert venue near Moscow.

“The Investigative Committee continues active work on investigating the criminal case of the terrorist attack on the Crocus City Hall concert hall. The investigation has established the complete chronology of what had happened,” Bastrykin said.

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Meanwhile, the suspects accused of carrying out the deadly attack on a concert hall near Moscow admitted their guilt and shared details of their accomplices and clients.

“All the accused pleaded guilty during the questioning and in court and gave detailed testimonies about the circumstances of the attack, their customers and people who assisted them in the preparations for the attack,” Bastrykin said.

A Sputnik correspondent who was present in the crowded concert hall during the attack said that gunmen broke into the building, shooting people point-blank and throwing incendiary bombs.

*ISIS (also known as ISIL/IS/Islamic State) is a terrorist group outlawed in Russia and many other countries.

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