Turkish intelligence warned of second Moscow terror attack after Crocus City Hall

The Crocus City Hall in Krasnogorsk, near Moscow. 28 March 2024. Photo: Yuri Kochetkov

The Crocus City Hall in Krasnogorsk, near Moscow. 28 March 2024. Photo: Yuri Kochetkov

Turkish intelligence helped prevent a second Islamic State (IS) terrorist attack in Moscow following the mass shooting and fire at Crocus City Hall in March, Turkish newspaper Hürriyet revealed on Tuesday.

The report said that Turkish intelligence had warned the Russian security services that terrorists from the IS cell Vilayat Khorasan had planned to carry out a second attack in a crowded shopping centre in Moscow, though they had been unable to specify either the target or the date of the planned attack.

Turkish special services, which has been monitoring Vilayat Khorasan’s activities since the group attacked the Santa Maria Church in Istanbul in January, reportedly came by the intelligence after interrogating a number of individuals and notified Moscow, Hürriyet said.

At least 144 people were killed and over 550 were injured in the attack on Crocus City Hall on 22 March, for which Vilayat Khorasan subsequently claimed responsibility. The Russian authorities initially blamed Ukraine, though all but one of the men subsequently arrested for planning and carrying out the attack were citizens of Tajikistan.

Earlier this month, the Russian Investigative Committee brought charges against two unnamed Crocus City Hall employees accused of negligence for failing to unlock the concert hall’s fire exits during the attack, according to Russian daily Kommersant. These two latest cases have been combined with those of the 12 other suspects, four of whom are the alleged perpetrators.

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