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Putin claimed US warnings before ISIS Moscow massacre were blackmail | World | News

Vladimir Putin claimed that a warning from the United States about a potential massacre in Moscow was “outright blackmail”. This was just weeks before terrorists killed 144 people in an attack that ISIS claimed responsibility for.

The US had told Russia that the Crocus City Hall could be a target for a terrorist attack just a few weeks before Islamic State gunmen killed many people, according to a report.

The information given to Moscow said that US intelligence was sure of a large-scale attack and officials specifically pointed out the concert venue as a possible target, says the Washington Post.

People are now asking why Russian security services were not ready for the attack on March 22 and did not act on the information from America.

The US National Security Council had previously said that Washington had given intelligence “about a planned terrorist attack in Moscow” but did not publicly say that the concert hall was on its list of possible targets.

READ MORE: ‘I’m a spy chief – here’s two reasons why Putin didn’t stop Moscow terror plot’

President Putin had said the warnings from the US were too unclear to predict the terror attack, which was the deadliest in Russia for 20 years.

The dictator publicly dismissed the advice three days before the attack, calling it “outright blackmail” and an attempt to “intimidate and destabilise our society.”

Putin has repeatedly tried to connect the March 22 killings to Ukraine and the West, despite ISIS claiming responsibility and Kyiv strongly denying any involvement. This comes after a warning from the US government to Moscow about a possible attack.

During a meeting with top officials of the Interior Ministry, which oversees Russia‘s police force, Putin stressed the need to identify “not only the perpetrators of this outrage but all links in the chain and its beneficiaries.”

In what seemed like a threat of retaliation, he said: “Those who use this weapon against Russia should realise it’s a double-edged weapon.”

Putin claimed that those behind the concert hall raid aimed to “sow discord and panic, strife and hatred in our country in order to break up Russia from within,” adding that “we mustn’t allow them to do that.”

He also stated: “It’s inadmissible to use the tragic event to provoke ethnic tensions, xenophobia and Islamophobia.”

Russian security agencies have arrested four suspects, all Tajikistan citizens, and seven other alleged accomplices.

The attack has sparked anti-migrant feelings and led to calls from Russian hawks to limit immigration, despite the Russian economy’s heavy reliance on workers from former Soviet nations in Central Asia, including Tajikistan.

Following the attack, Russian news outlets have reported that authorities are ramping up controls on migrants. Putin has called on the Interior Ministry to crack down on illegal migration and close gaps in current procedures that let individuals with a criminal history obtain work permits and even Russian citizenship.


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