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Ninth Moscow attack suspect detained

Photo: Press service of the Moscow courts via Agence France-Presse On Friday, a ninth suspect, from Tajikistan like the alleged attackers, was taken into custody, the press service of the Moscow courts announced.

France Media Agency in Moscow

March 29, 2024

  • Europe

A ninth person accused of being involved in the organization of the attack claimed by the Islamic State group which left more than 140 dead in the suburbs of Moscow has been placed in detention, Russian justice announced Friday.< /p>

Exactly a week ago, armed individuals opened fire at Crocus City Hall, a concert hall near the Russian capital, before setting it on fire.

Russian authorities announced a death toll of 143 on Wednesday and Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said on Friday that another person had died. Dozens of injured people are still hospitalized.

Four alleged attackers have since been arrested, along with several suspects accused of helping them.

On Friday, a ninth suspect, Nazrimad Loutfoulloi, was taken into custody, the press service of the Moscow courts announced.

He is from Tajikistan, a former Soviet republic in Central Asia, as are the alleged attackers.

Authorities have not specified what role he is accused of playing, but the suspect is charged with “terrorism” like the four alleged attackers, a crime punishable by life in prison.

His pre-trial detention lasts until at least May 22.

The attack is the deadliest in Russia in twenty years, and the worst claimed by the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) on European soil.

IS confirmed on Friday the arrest of four of its members, whom it names as the perpetrators of the attack.

Despite this clear jihadist claim, the Russian authorities persist in establishing a link with Ukraine, a country they have been fighting militarily for more than two years.

Investigators assured Friday that the alleged attackers had said that the attack had been coordinated “by a man under a pseudonym using voice messages on Telegram messaging”.

“On the instructions of the coordinator, the terrorists drove after their crime towards the Russian-Ukrainian border, with the aim of crossing it and arriving in Kiev to receive the reward that had been given to them promised,” said the Investigative Committee.

On Thursday, this body responsible for the main criminal investigations affirmed that the perpetrators of the attack had “links with Ukrainian nationalists” and had received “large” sums of money from Ukraine.

The director of the Russian security services (FSB), Alexander Bortnikov, accused the Ukrainian and Western secret services of having “facilitated” the attack. But Ukraine categorically denies any involvement in this attack.

Attack foiled in the south

The FSB also said Friday it had arrested three “citizens of a Central Asian country” who were planning a bomb attack in southwest Russia.

The security services assured in a press release cited by Russian news agencies that they had “put an end to the terrorist activities of three nationals of a Central Asian country who planned to commit a terrorist act by detonating a device in a public place of the Stavropol region”.

Russian television broadcast images showing several men being held on the ground by FSB agents between cars.

According to the public news agency Ria Novosti, components for the manufacture of a homemade explosive device and chemical substances were found at the suspects' home.

The FSB has regularly announced for years that it has foiled attacks in Russia, and few details are generally known about these cases.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116