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US Told Russia Concert Hall In Moscow Could Be Targeted By Terrorists: Report

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Unnamed US officials interviewed by the paper claimed that Russian authorities had been issued with a notice with a “high degree of specificity” one day before the US Embassy’s public warning on March 7.

At the time, the US mission advised Americans in the Russian capital to avoid large events in the next 48 hours, citing “reports that extremists have imminent plans to target large gatherings in Moscow, to include concerts”.

The White House has also claimed that it shared information about a potential attack with Russian authorities. The head of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), Sergey Naryshkin, has confirmed this, but noted that “the information was too general and did not allow us to fully identify those who participated in this terrible crime”.

The New York Times reported last week that while the US had shared data on a terror threat, “the adversarial relationship” between the two countries – which is largely due to the Ukraine crisis – prevented full disclosure. US officials withheld some information “out of fear Russian authorities might learn their intelligence sources or methods”, the newspaper added.

The WaPo has also claimed that the US provided Moscow with information about plans by Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS or ISIL) terrorists to stage an attack on a synagogue in Moscow. On March 7, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) announced it had prevented an attack on a Jewish religious site, saying the terrorists had been killed in a gunfight while resisting arrest.

The attack on Crocus City Hall occurred on March 22, when a group of gunmen stormed the venue ahead of a rock concert, killing at least 144 people and injuring around 200 others. Several suspects, including four directly involved in the shooting, were detained by Russian security services within hours of the tragedy.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed several terrorists were caught fleeing towards Ukraine, where “a window” to cross the border was being arranged for them.

Russian officials have argued that the Ukrainian intelligence services may have masterminded the plot, although Kiev has vehemently denied any involvement. The US and its allies have insisted that the attack was orchestrated by IS. Moscow has voiced suspicion over Western attempts to absolve Ukraine of any responsibility before the investigation is complete.



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