NewsRussia to overhaul immigration laws after deadly Moscow attack

Russia to overhaul immigration laws after deadly Moscow attack

The US Embassy paid tribute to the victims of the attack in Moscow.
The US Embassy paid tribute to the victims of the attack in Moscow.
Images source: © Getty Images | 2024 Anadolu
12:48 PM EDT, April 2, 2024

Russia plans to tighten its immigration laws following a terrorist attack in Moscow in March, which resulted in over 140 fatalities. The Ministry of Internal Affairs has proposed a bill to revise immigration regulations.

The ministry's spokesperson, Irina Volk, announced that the bill mandates foreign workers to maintain a digital profile containing biometric data. Additionally, foreigners would be limited to a 90-day stay in Russia without registering at an office per calendar year, a reduction from the current 90 days every six months.

The bill also suggests establishing a specialized government body to oversee migrant affairs, with presidential oversight. Despite these proposals, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov confirmed that no final decisions have been reached, as reported by "Bloomberg".

"Access to our country is too lenient, not only for well-intentioned workers but also for those who pose a threat. Russia should enforce deportation for any minor legal infractions," stated Vladislav Davankov, vice-chairman of the lower chamber.

The Moscow attack - a warning from Iran

At the end of March, before a concert by the band Piknik, armed assailants stormed the Crocus City Hall in Krasnogorsk, on Moscow's outskirts, unleashing gunfire on the crowd and triggering an explosion and subsequent fire inside the venue.

The assault claimed at least 144 lives, with more than 550 individuals injured. Russian authorities detained 11 suspects. It was noted that some involved had expired Russian immigration documents. The Islamic State of Khorasan Province (IS-KP), an Afghan affiliate of ISIS, claimed responsibility for the act.

Following the incident, Russian intelligence acknowledged receiving a vague warning from the United States about a potential terrorist plot - as reported by TASS post-attack. It emerged later that Iran had also alerted Moscow about the looming threat.

Days before the attack, Tehran informed Moscow of the credible threat of a major terrorist strike on Russian soil. This intelligence was gained from individuals apprehended following attacks in Iran, a Reuters source shared.

In early January, an attack in the Iranian city of Kerman led to almost 100 casualties. On January 19, Iran detained members of IS-KP. Intelligence indicated that IS-KP orchestrated both the January attack in Kerman and the March incident in Moscow, recalled by Reuters.

Another source revealed that Tehran's warning to Moscow was nonspecific about the attack's timing and exact location. Russia was informed that IS-KP operatives "were ordered to organize a significant action within Russia (…) One detainee in Iran disclosed that several group members had already traveled to Russia," the source reported.

A third informant from Reuters, a senior security official, stated that "Tehran fulfilled its responsibility by alerting Moscow based on information extracted from captive terrorists."

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