Russia maintains US complicit in attack

Russian officials persisted in saying Ukraine and the West had a role in last week's deadly concert hall attack despite a lack of proof and claim of responsibility by an affiliate of the Islamic State group.

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World News

March 26, 2024 - 1:13 PM

Emergency services vehicles are seen outside a burning concert hall in Moscow following a terrorist attack Friday, March 22. Gunmen opened fire, killing 137, including three children, and wounding hundreds more. ISIS has claimed responsibility. (Stringer/AFP via Getty Images/TNS)

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian officials persisted Tuesday in saying Ukraine and the West had a role in last week’s deadly Moscow concert hall attack despite vehement denials of involvement by Kyiv and a claim of responsibility by an affiliate of the Islamic State group.

Without offering any evidence, Alexander Bortnikov, head of the Federal Security Service, or FSB, followed similar allegations by President Vladimir Putin, who linked the attack to Ukraine even as he acknowledged that the suspects who were arrested were “radical Islamists.”

The IS affiliate claimed it carried out the attack, and U.S. intelligence said it had information confirming the group was responsible. French President Emmanuel Macron said France also has intelligence pointing to “an IS entity” as responsible for the attack.

But despite the signs pointing to IS, Putin insisted on alleged Ukrainian involvement — something that President Volodymyr Zelenskyy rejected, accusing the Kremlin leader of trying to drum up fervor as his forces fight in Ukraine.

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