ISIS-K Claims Responsibility for Moscow Concert Hall Attack


ISIS-K, a branch of the Islamic State group, has claimed responsibility for a shooting rampage that resulted in the deaths of 115 people at a concert hall near Moscow. The Kremlin has reported the arrest of 11 individuals, including four suspected gunmen, in connection with the attack.

According to the Kremlin, FSB security service chief Alexander Bortnikov informed President Vladimir Putin that those detained included “four terrorists,” and efforts are underway to identify their accomplices. The attack, which occurred at Crocus City Hall, a 6,200-seat theatre in the suburb of Krasnogorsk, in Moscow’s west, also left more than 100 people injured.

The gunmen, dressed in camouflage, reportedly opened fire inside the concert hall, targeting visitors with automatic gunfire before a performance by the Soviet-era rock group Picnic. The attackers then set off a massive blaze.

Russian news agency Interfax quoted the FSB security service as saying the four suspected gunmen had been apprehended while en route to the Ukrainian border and had contacts in Ukraine. However, Russia has not yet provided evidence of any Ukrainian connection to the attack.

Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak has stated that Kyiv had no involvement in the attack, reiterating that the Islamic State group has claimed responsibility. The attackers were reported to have fled in a Renault vehicle, leading to a car chase and subsequent arrests.

The incident comes days after President Vladimir Putin secured a significant electoral victory, solidifying his control over the country. In response to the attack, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has canceled all mass gatherings scheduled for the weekend, and security has been heightened at airports and railway stations in Moscow.

Leaders from around the world have condemned the attack. White House national security adviser John Kirby expressed condolences to the victims’ families, while French President Emmanuel Macron condemned the terrorist act and expressed solidarity with the Russian people. UN chief António Guterres also condemned the attack, offering condolences to the bereaved families and the Russian Federation.