NewsTerror strike at Moscow concert hall claims over 60 lives amidst ignored warnings

Terror strike at Moscow concert hall claims over 60 lives amidst ignored warnings

Bloody attack on the outskirts of Moscow, did Putin know about it?
Bloody attack on the outskirts of Moscow, did Putin know about it?
Images source: © ONS, PAP | Vasily Prudnikov

10:03 AM EDT, March 23, 2024

On Friday, a tragic terrorist attack unfolded at a concert hall in Krasnogorsk, located on the outskirts of Moscow, resulting in – according to the most recent information – the deaths of over 60 individuals. Despite weeks of warnings from Americans about the looming danger, Vladimir Putin dismissed these cautions as "blackmail."

Reports emerging from Russian media and official sources are being scrutinized for their veracity, as they could potentially be part of the Russian Federation's information warfare strategy.

The assault on the Crocus City Hall in Krasnogorsk began around 2:00 PM Eastern Time on Friday when armed perpetrators besieged the venue. Patrons were gathering for a rock concert when the attackers launched a grenade or an incendiary bomb into the premises, igniting a fire as reported by the Russian government news agency RIA Novosti.

Initial reports from Russian media indicated at least 40 casualties from the attack. However, updates reveal a more devastating outcome, with the death toll surpassing 60, alongside 145 injuries, according to authorities in Moscow.

The U.S. was cognizant of the threat and duly informed its citizens living in Russia. On March 7, the U.S. Embassy in Moscow had already advised Americans to steer clear of large gatherings, including concerts, due to the risk of an "extremist" attack. National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson reaffirmed this advisory on Friday.

In a statement earlier this month, the U.S. government acknowledged the acquisition of intelligence regarding a planned terrorist attack targeting significant public gatherings. This intelligence prompted the State Department to issue a public warning to Americans in Russia, as conveyed by Watson. This information was also shared with the Russian authorities in line with the 'duty to warn' policy. Furthermore, alerts were issued by the British Embassy, as reported by the Baza Channel on Telegram.

The Russian leader, described here as not taking the potential threat seriously, regarded the American warnings as a form of Western "blackmail" aimed at "intimidating and destabilizing" Russian society, according to information from the Meduza Channel.

Krystyna Kurczab-Redlich, an experienced Polish media correspondent in Russia and author, suggested that the attack might have been orchestrated by Russian forces. She noted that the attack coincided with Russia officially acknowledging the situation in Ukraine not merely as a "special military operation" but as a war. This timing, she conjectures, could imply a provocation designed to rally the Russian populace.

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