Moscow concert attack: US warned Russia about ‘planned terrorist’ strike

Moscow: The United States had warned Russia about the possibility of an attack in Moscow, said Adrienne Watson, spokesperson for the White House National Security Council.

People stand at a body of a victim near the burning building of the Crocus City Hall on the western edge of Moscow, Russia, Friday, March 22, 2024. (AP)

“Earlier this month, the US government had information about a planned terrorist attack in Moscow – potentially targeting large gatherings, to include concerts – which prompted the State Department to issue a public advisory to Americans in Russia. The US government also shared this information with Russian authorities in accordance with its longstanding ‘duty to warn’ policy,” she added.

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62 people have died and over 100 injured after gunmen sprayed bullets and threw a grenade inside a concert hall in Russia’s capital Moscow.

The Islamic State has taken responsibility for the attack. The United States has intelligence confirming Islamic State’s claim of responsibility for the deadly shooting.

“We did warn the Russians appropriately,” said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity, without providing any additional details.

Also read: Moscow concert attack: Over 60 killed; Islamic State claims ‘attacked large gathering of Christians’

What happened in Moscow’s concert hall?

A group of men barged into Moscow’s Crocus City Hall concert venue and sprayed bullets into the crowd. They also detonated explosives.

In a short statement published by ISIS-affiliated news agency Amaq on Telegram on Friday, the terror group claimed it had attacked a large gathering of Christians in the Russian capital.

State-run RIA Novosti reported that the attackers opened fire from automatic weapons. They either threw a grenade or an incendiary bomb, which started a fire. They allegedly fled in a white Renault car.

According to the New York Times, US officials said they had privately apprised Russian officials about the intelligence pointing to an impending attack.

In March, the US collected intelligence that Islamic State-Khorasan, known as ISIS-K, the branch of the group based in Afghanistan, had been planning an attack on Moscow.

The gunmen were wearing camouflage uniforms.

When the attack took place, Russian rock band Picnic had been playing. The musicians were safely evacuated.

Earlier this month, the US Embassy in Moscow had urged Americans in Russia to avoid crowded places as extremists could target large gatherings in the Russian capital, including concerns. Several other Western embassies had also repeated the warning.

With inputs from Reuters, AP, AFP

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