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Saturday, April 13, 2024

‘We will get them’ – Putin promises to track down terror attack masterminds

It’s crucial to identify the perpetrators and ultimate beneficiaries behind the Crocus City Hall tragedy, the president has said

Russian security agencies will find the masterminds behind the terrorist attack on Moscow’s Crocus City concert hall, President Vladimir Putin has pledged.

It’s crucial to establish not only the direct perpetrators of the “bloody terrorist attack” which took place on March 22, but also all the links in the chain leading to its ultimate beneficiaries, Putin said during a meeting with the leadership of Russia’s Interior Ministry on Tuesday.

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“We will definitely get them,” the president said of the masterminds of the Crocus City Hall massacre, in which 144 people were killed and more than 550 injured.

Mercenary terrorist attacks are “a weapon that is being used against Russia,” but those who resort to it must understand that it is a “double-edged weapon,” he stressed.

There are “no reliable agents” in the circle of people who are ready to execute such crimes, Putin said. “They’re doing anything for money, not guided by any religious or political considerations, only financial ones,” he explained, adding that “any information can be easily bought and sold” in such a market.

The actions of all law enforcement agencies, supervisory bodies and commercial organizations who were in charge of security at the Crocus City Hall are now being evaluated, the president said.

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“We have paid a very high price, and the analysis of the situation has to be extremely objective and professional,” he insisted.

Putin said that a “new level” of security must be implemented at places where large numbers of people gather, such as at sporting venues, shopping and entertainment centers, schools, hospitals, theaters and others.

Russia’s security agencies and police have been on high alert since the Crocus City Hall terrorist attack. All four suspected perpetrators, who are Tajik nationals, were captured the next day as they were driving towards Ukraine. Several more people who allegedly aided them in preparing and staging the massacre have been arrested since then.

Islamic State Khorasan (ISIS-K) has claimed responsibility for the attack on the concert venue. FSB chief Aleksandr Bortnikov has suggested that the US, UK, and Ukraine might also be linked to the crime, possibly using radical Islamists as proxies. All three have denied their involvement; Washington and Brussels have insisted that Kiev had nothing to do with the massacre.