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Russian security agency says ‘terror cell’ linked to Moscow concert hall attack broken up

A woman places a drawing at a makeshift memorial in front of the burnt-out Crocus City Hall concert venue in Krasnogorsk, outside Moscow (AFP via Getty Images)
A woman places a drawing at a makeshift memorial in front of the burnt-out Crocus City Hall concert venue in Krasnogorsk, outside Moscow (AFP via Getty Images)

Russia’s top security agency has broken up what it called a “terrorist cell” linked to the Moscow concert hall massacre.

The Federal Security Service, known as the FSB, said it detained four members in the southern Russian province of Dagestan.

Agents alleged that the suspects were involved in channelling funds and providing weapons to the gunmen who attacked the Crocus City venue on March 22, killing 144 people in the deadliest attack on Russian soil in two decades.

In a statement, the FSB said: “The detained militants directly participated in financing the perpetrators of the March 22 terror attack on the Crocus City Hall in Moscow and providing them with terror means.”

It said one of the suspects detained in Dagestan had confessed to personally bringing weapons to the Moscow gunmen.

The FSB released a video showing one of the men saying that they also planned an attack in the city of Kaspiysk in Dagestan. It wasn’t clear whether the two confessions came from the same person.

The agency said the suspects are foreign nationals, without specifying their nationality.

The alleged attackers arrested hours after the raid are citizens of the Central Asian nation of Tajikistan.

The detention of four suspects in Dagestan follows the arrest of the four suspected gunmen and seven others who were accused of involvement in the attack.

An affiliate of the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack.

President Vladimir Putin acknowledged that “radical Islamists” conducted the raid, but alleged - without providing evidence - that Ukraine and the West were involved, despite Kyiv’s vehement denials.