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Crocus City Hall Attack: US Perfidiously Withheld Specific Intelligence, Gave Clean Chit to Ukraine

© Sputnik / Evgeny Biyatov / Go to the mediabankTerror attack on Crocus City Hall concert venue.
Terror attack on Crocus City Hall concert venue. - Sputnik India, 1920, 24.03.2024
Investigation into the Crocus City Hall terror attack has unearthed circumstantial evidence - planned escape of suspects to Ukraine, the time and manner of US intelligence sharing - that suggests the US may have shared intelligence with Russia, not to prevent the terror attack but to obfuscate the Ukrainian connection.
At around 20:00 on Friday evening, shortly before the start of a concert by the rock group Picnic, four gunmen attired in fatigues burst into the foyer of Crocus City Hall in Krasnogorsk near Moscow.
Video footage shows the unmasked gunmen opening fire, randomly targeting anyone in sight. They then proceeded into the concert hall and similarly started to mow down the audience.
According to the latest data from the Russian Investigative Committee, 133 people died.

Suspects Detained

Following the wanton killing, the gunmen fled the scene unscathed leaving the concert hall on fire with hundreds dead and wounded - some burnt, some asphyxiated and others buried under falling debris from the roof.

Around 14 hours after the attack, the FSB Central Operations Center announced that as a result of the actions of the special services and law enforcement officers, 11 people were detained, including 4 terrorists who were directly involved in the terrorist attack.

Soldiers of the Akhmat-Russia regiment of the Russian Ministry of Defense, stationed in the Bryansk region, detained the four shooters in the Bryansk region, about 340 km away from Moscow, and just 100 km from the border with Ukraine!
They were in a Renault Symbol car which jumped a checkpoint. Security forces chased the car and fired upon it. While trying to escape, the car overturned.
One terrorist was detained on the spot, the rest fled into the forest. As a result of the search, a second suspect was found and detained at approximately 3:50 a.m.
A PM pistol, a magazine for an AKM assault rifle and passports of citizens of Tajikistan were found in the Renault car.
The detainees have been transferred to Moscow.

Investigation Results

According to the FSB central intelligence centre, the weapons used by the terrorists at Crocus were prepared in advance in a cache.
After the terrorist attack, the alleged perpetrators intended to cross the border and had relevant contacts on the Ukrainian side.

The Alleged Perpetrators of the Attack

All four suspects apprehended are citizens of Tajikistan, reportedly registered in the Yaroslavl, Ivanovo and Samara regions. None of them have a Russian passport.
Three of the four detainees do not speak Russian fluently. The fourth, not at all; he had to be interrogated through an interpreter.
The suspects lived together in a hostel in the north of Moscow for close to a month before the terrorist attack.
One of the suspects named Fariddun Shamsutdin claims he carried out the terrorist attack “for money” after a man “without a name or surname” contacted him via Telegram a month ago.
The handler, who referred to himself as a “preacher’s assistant”, asked Shamsutdin to “kill people, no matter who.”
Shamsutdin was promised “somewhere in the region of a million” for the killings of which half was transferred to his card.
At the time of writing, it is not known if Shamsutdin's statements have been corroborated.

US Withheld Specific Intelligence in Tipoff

On March 7, the US had issued an advisory to its citizens not to travel to Russia and cautioned US citizens already in Russia not to participate in large gatherings, specifically mentioning concerts.
Following the attack, White House National Security Council spokesman Adrienne Watson confirmed that the US had shared intel with Russia about the preparation of a terrorist attack in the Russian capital, presumably in crowded places.
The fact that the terrorists were still able to enter the concert hall easily and then escape could suggest serious lapses on the part of Russian security services.
However, Russian officials have complained that US intelligence lacked specific detail.
It is likely that the intel available with the US government was not adequately shared with the Russian government, in order to not reveal the source of the intel. But then, without some specifics, Russian security services could not have acted on the intelligence tip off.
Also, the intel was issued 2 weeks ago, before the Presidential elections in Russia. Following the elections, Russian security forces may have lowered their guard, believing that the imperative for a sensational terrorist strike had considerably dissipated.
The US has routinely discouraged its citizens from travelling to Russia for several years. So the additional cautionary issued to its citizens on March 7, as it is would not have alarmed Russian authorities.

The Masterminds

Following the attack on Friday, the Islamic State (IS)* group claimed responsibility for the attack. On Saturday, it released a photograph of what it said were the four attackers.
The New York Times quotes Colin Clarke, a counterterrorism analyst based in New York, as saying, "ISIS-K accuses the Kremlin of having Muslim blood in its hands, referencing Moscow's interventions in Afghanistan, Chechnya and Syria."
Russian authorities have not commented on the claim.

Analysts are not convinced that the attack was typical of an ISIS attack. The apprehended suspects do not appear to be religious fanatics determined to embrace martyrdom.

The Tajikistan suspects who committed the heinous crime were likely hired guns motivated by money and indoctrination, and perhaps fueled by drugs.
Investigation has revealed that the alleged perpetrators were headed towards Ukraine to avail of a "window" across the border.

Ukrainian Connection?

Following the arrest of the terrorists in Bryansk, on their way to the Ukrainian border, advisor to the head of Vladimir Zelensky's office, Mikhail Podolyak posted on X, “Ukraine has nothing to do with the incident.”
Intriguingly, US officials started giving a clean chit to Ukraine over any links to the Crocus City Hall terror attack almost immediately after the event, before Russian security forces had determined the sequence of events.
The official representative of the White House National Security Council, Adrienne Watson, on March 24 repeated that Ukraine was not involved in the terrorist attack in Krasnogorsk.
“ISIS bears full responsibility for this attack. There was no involvement of Ukraine,” Watstone said in a statement obtained by RIA Novosti.

Maria Zakharova, the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, has rightly questioned, "On what basis do officials in Washington draw any conclusions about someone’s involvement in the midst of a tragedy?”


The ISIS-K's, self claimed and US promoted, link to the Crocus City Hall terror attack has found little traction among analysts.
The timing of the attack suggests that it was linked to Russia's war with NATO over Ukraine, not Russia's past interventions in muslim countries.

Also, there is a lot of circumstantial evidence to suggest that ISIS largely works hand in glove with the CIA to promote US and Israeli interests. So if the terror attack was indeed a ISIS-K job, the CIA could well be the ultimate sponsor.

The fact that the gunmen were unmasked may have been a ploy to lend credibility to the ISIS-K involvement claim.
Admittedly, as yet, there is no clinching evidence that the terror strike was sponsored by an adversary state.
However, the fact that the suspects were attempting to escape to Ukraine, suggests that Ukraine was aware of the terrorist plot. Even if it didn't mastermind the attack, Ukraine was complicit in it.
It's likely that the US issued an advisory to its citizens on March 7 based on intelligence gathered through its sources in Ukraine, not its sources in Russia or elsewhere.
Eventually, Russia will find out the masterminds behind the terrorist attack and as promised by President Putin - Terrorists will face retribution and oblivion.
If Ukraine is involved, Russia could well use the Israeli template for exercising its right to self defence, destroying the nation, not just the leadership of the nation. The West, which wholeheartedly supports the Israeli template, would have no reason to complain.
However, an Israel-like Russian response can be ruled out because Russia remains a civilised great power.
Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures while speaking during an interview with Rossiya Segodnya International Media Group Director General Dmitry Kiselev, back to a camera, in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, March 12, 2024.  - Sputnik India, 1920, 23.03.2024
No One to Sow Panic & Discord in Our Society: Vladimir Putin
*ISIS (ISIL/Daesh/Islamic State/IS), a terrorist group banned in Russia and many other countries
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