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Update: 12:03 PM PDT: Putin has just acknowledged the Moscow attack was carried out by “radical Islamists.” He said Russia still wants to know who organized the attack and whether Ukraine was involved.

The United States and France, citing intelligence, have blamed ISIS as the orchestrators behind the terrorist attack on a Moscow concert hall, which claimed 137 lives and injured 182 others. This incident, unfolding at Crocus City Hall during a performance by the Soviet-era rock group Picnic, stands as the deadliest on Russian soil in twenty years.

Russia has hesitated to link the attack directly to the Islamic State, instead suggesting Ukrainian involvement—a claim met with denial from Ukraine and criticism from international leaders. Russian Foreign Ministry and Kremlin spokespeople have alluded that the attack has Ukrainian ties, with ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova claiming that the US was claiming ISIS was behind the attack in an effort to conceal “wards” in Ukraine that may have supported the attack.


The White House has called Russian implications of Ukrainian complicity as “Kremlin propaganda.” French President Emmanuel Macron has gone a step further, saying, “The information available to us … as well as to our main partners, indicates indeed that it was an entity of the Islamic State that instigated this attack. This group also tried to commit several actions on our own soil.”

This development comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin has confirmed that 11 people have been arrested for their alleged involvement. Those detained include the four gunmen. Videos and pictures on Russian social media accounts show some of the men with visible signs of torture on their faces.  Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has declined to comment if the suspected terrorists were tortured.

Russian media has identified the four gunmen as: Dalerdzhon Mirzoyev, Saidakrami Rachabalizoda, Muhammadsobir Fayzov, and Shamsiddin Fariduni.


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