Russia confirms islamic state coordination in moscow concert hall attack.

For the first time, Russia announced on Friday that the Islamic State (IS) group coordinated the deadly March concert hall assault in Moscow, which stands as the country’s worst terror attack in two decades.

The Islamic State had claimed responsibility multiple times for the March 22 attack that killed over 140 people, but Moscow had previously tried to implicate Ukraine and Western nations. According to FSB chief Alexander Bortnikov, as quoted by RIA Novosti, the attack was orchestrated online by members of IS-Khorasan Province, a branch active in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

While acknowledging IS’s involvement, Bortnikov did not rule out a Ukrainian connection. He stated that after the attack, the terrorists received instructions to head towards the Ukrainian border, where a safe passage was supposedly prepared for them. He claimed ongoing investigations point to direct involvement by Ukrainian military intelligence, a charge Ukraine has consistently denied.

Worst Terrorist Attack in Russia Since 2004

The assault involved gunmen in camouflage storming the Crocus City Hall on Moscow’s outskirts and setting it ablaze. Over a dozen suspects, including the four assailants from Tajikistan, have been arrested. Tajikistan, an impoverished former Soviet republic, borders Afghanistan to the north.

US Warnings and Russia’s Response

The United States had warned Russia in early March about a potential extremist attack on a Moscow concert hall. Unnamed US intelligence officials specified to American media that Crocus City Hall was the targeted venue. Despite these warnings, Russia dismissed the threat, and President Vladimir Putin accused Washington of attempting to blackmail and intimidate Russia just three days before the attack.