US officials had warned Russia about a specific terrorist target

US officials had warned Russia about a specific terrorist target
US officials had warned Russia about a specific terrorist target

At least 143 people were killed in the mass shooting, the deadliest terrorist attack in Russia since 2004. An affiliate of Islamic State (IV), known as IV-K, claimed responsibility for the attack, a claim later confirmed by US intelligence officials.

Citing unnamed US officials, The Washington Post reports that the US has specifically identified Crocus City Hall as a possible terrorist target in a briefing to Moscow. The revelations cast doubt on the Kremlin’s claims that US warnings were too “vague” to prevent the attack.

Days before the mass shooting, Russian President Vladimir Putin publicly dismissed Western warnings of possible terrorist attacks as “open blackmail” and attempts to “destabilize society.”

Putin also continued to try to link the attack to Ukraine, despite IV statements and a lack of evidence of Ukrainian involvement.

The U.S. routinely shares intelligence about potential terrorist attacks with other countries under the “duty to warn” doctrine, but experts told The Washington Post that releasing information about specific targets to a hostile country is unusual.

An exception may be related to the danger to the Americans in Moscow. March 7 The US Embassy in Russia issued a warning that “extremists have imminent plans to target large gatherings in Moscow” and urged American citizens to stay away from crowded places and events for the next 48 hours. The United Kingdom, Canada, Germany and several other countries issued similar statements shortly thereafter.

The warning about Crocus City Hall as a possible terrorist target does not appear to have prompted increased security measures at the site. Videos of the attacks show that the attackers did not meet much resistance, and specialized police units arrived at the scene only after the attackers had already fled.

Before the Crocus City Hall shooting, Iran also reportedly warned Russia of the threat of a major “terrorist operation” on Russian soil.

March 27 The head of Ukraine’s military intelligence, Kyrylo Budanov, said that V. Putin was informed about the terror threat no later than February 15.

The article is in Lithuanian

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