Moscow Nabs Four Suspects Accused of Bankrolling Concert Massacre

Reuters/Sputnik/Mikhail Metzel/Pool
Reuters/Sputnik/Mikhail Metzel/Pool

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) announced the arrest of four suspects on Sunday accused of providing arms and funding for the deadly shooting attack on a Moscow concert hall that left at least 140 people dead.

The detained men “were directly involved in the financing and supply of terrorist means to the perpetrators of the terrorist act carried out on 22 March in the Crocus City Hall in Moscow,” the FSB said.

The arrests coincide with a flurry of criticism against Russian authorities for failing to stop the massacre. Reports that emerged in the days after the shooting indicate that American and British authorities had warned Russia that “extremists” were plotting an “imminent” attack on large gatherings weeks before the shooting—warnings that Moscow brushed off.

ISIS has since claimed responsibility for the attack. Russian authorities have also arrested 12 other men allegedly connected to the attack, including four gunmen, who are reportedly citizens of Tajikistan.

Russian authorities are now taking measures to prevent other attacks, according to Meduza. Footage purportedly showing Russian authorities torturing suspects has circulated in recent days, and state media employees told the independent Russian outlet Verstka that they were instructed to share the clips as a public warning to deter further attacks.

Moscow Terror Suspects Plotted Other Massacres in Europe

“Burned balls and a cut-off ear — that’s just the beginning. Next will be fingers getting cut off, one by one. It’s a prevention measure,” one agent reportedly said.

Russian authorities have cracked down on migrant communities throughout the country in the aftermath of the attack. Hundreds of central Asians in Russia have been arrested or deported so far, according to Agentsvo. Much of this seems to be part of the Kremlin’s effort to look like it is thwarting terrorism, Valentina Chupik, a human rights activist told CNN.

“The police are trying to pretend that they are actively fighting ethnic crime and preventing terrorist attacks,” Chupik said.

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