Moscow Terror Attack That Killed at Least 137 People. Here’s What to Know!


The US State Department said Monday that the United States had warned Russia in early March about a planned terrorist attack in Moscow “potentially targeting large gatherings, including concerts.”

Spokesperson Matthew Miller was responding to a denial by the Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov that Moscow received any warning.

“We gave them that private warning consistent with our duty to warn … when we see or when we gather intelligence of terrorist attacks or potential terrorist attacks,” Miller said at a press briefing.

He noted the United States on March 7 warned US citizens to avoid large gatherings in Moscow.

Russian President Vladimir Putin had described the security warning as “provocative” and “outright blackmail” before the attack.

“It was because of that warning that we passed on to the Russian government that we issued a security warning on March 7, where we again said to US citizens that we had information about a planned terrorist attack in Moscow… potentially targeting large gatherings including concerts,” Miller added.


Four men accused of staging the Russia concert hall attack that killed more than 130 people appeared before a Moscow court Sunday showing signs of severe beatings as they faced formal terrorism charges. One appeared to be barely conscious during the hearing.

A court statement said two of the suspects accepted their guilt in the assault after being charged in the preliminary hearing, though the men’s condition raised questions about whether they were speaking freely. There had been earlier conflicting reports in Russian media outlets that said three or all four men admitted culpability.

Moscow’s Basmanny District Court formally charged Dalerdzhon Mirzoyev, 32; Saidakrami Rachabalizoda, 30; Shamsidin Fariduni, 25; and Mukhammadsobir Faizov, 19, with committing a group terrorist attack resulting in the death of others. The offense carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

AP Reports

Videos taken by those in the hallways and in the auditorium showed people screaming and trying to flee as the gunmen continued firing shots. Some hid behind the dark-red seats and tried to crawl toward the exits, according to footage and accounts of survivors reported in the media.

In one video, a young man says into the camera, with gunshots ringing out, “They set the auditorium on fire. The auditorium is on fire.” For a moment, flames could be seen in a corner of the theater.

Primov and others were able to leave the auditorium before the gunmen got to it, he told AP. It took him about 25 minutes to leave the building altogether.

He described the scene as complete chaos: The panic-stricken people tried to find exits, with gunmen still roaming through it and firing; people fell and collided with each other as they ran; men broke down locked doors, hoping they led to safety.

“We don’t know what’s ahead. We don’t know what is behind this door. We don’t know what is going on outside, maybe we’re encircled (by the attackers), maybe someone is waiting there,” Primov said.

Another survivor who identified herself only as Maria, echoed Primov: “This uncertainty, where to go, what to do, it scared (us) the most as every person there had no idea what was happening.”

The musicians of Picnic never made it onstage and left the building shortly after the attack began, its representative Yury Chernyshevsky told AP by phone shortly after news of the shooting broke. Asked if the band was safe, he responded: “How much safety can there be at this point? We hope we’re safe.”

By 8:30 p.m., a massive fire raged inside the building, with thick, black smoke billowing from the roof that later collapsed. Russian media reported explosions inside, and it wasn’t clear whether they were triggered by the gunmen or were caused by the blaze.





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