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Two weeks later, the U.S. warning to Americans of an impending attack in Moscow proved prophetic

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Two weeks before Friday’s attack on a large concert hall in Russia on the outskirts of Moscow that killed more than 130 people, the U.S. Embassy issued a warning to Americans against “large gatherings” including concerts because of “imminent plans.” to avoid. for an attack by “extremists”.

“The embassy is monitoring reports that extremists have immediate plans to target large gatherings in Moscow, including concerts, and U.S. citizens should be advised to avoid large gatherings in the next 48 hours,” the alert said 7th March.

The Islamic State group (ISIS) claimed responsibility for Friday’s attack, which the United States confirmed, although Russian officials tried to shift blame to Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed the US warnings as “blackmail” just days before the attack.

WHAT IS ISIS-K, THE TERRORIST GROUP LINKED TO THE MOSCOW CONCERT HALL ATTACK AND 2021 ABBEY GATE BOMBING?

A soldier from the Russian National Guard Rosguardia secures an area as a massive fire was seen above the Crocus town hall on the western edge of Moscow, Russia, on Friday after ISIS terrorists broke into the hall and fired automatic weapons at the crowd . (AP photo)

Just three days before the attack, Putin said: “This all resembles complete blackmail and the intention to intimidate and destabilize our society,” calling the warnings “provocative,” according to the Russian news agency TASS.

The State Department confirmed to Fox News that U.S. intelligence had information about a planned terrorist attack in Moscow, prompting the intelligence agency to issue a public warning to U.S. citizens in Russia.

The U.S. government also shared this information with Russian authorities in accordance with its longstanding “duty to warn” policy.

Russia concert hall goes up in flames after attack investigated as terrorism

On Saturday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken released a statement saying: “The United States strongly condemns Friday’s deadly terrorist attack in Moscow. We express our deepest condolences to the families and relatives of those killed and to all those affected by this atrocity.” Crime. We condemn terrorism in all its forms and stand in solidarity with the Russian people who mourn the loss of life caused by this terrible event.”

Also on Saturday, Putin addressed the nation in a television broadcast, calling the massacre “a bloody, barbaric act of terror.” He declared Sunday, March 24, a day of mourning.

Putin said additional security measures had been taken across the country following the attack – the deadliest in over 20 years.

“All four direct perpetrators of the terrorist attack, all those who shot people, have been found and arrested,” Putin said. “They tried to hide and moved towards Ukraine, where, according to preliminary information, a window was prepared for them to cross the state border from the Ukrainian side,” suggesting there may have been a Ukrainian connection to the bloodbath.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has denied any involvement of his country.

The surprise attack began when gunmen in riot gear stormed into Crocus City Hall, where concertgoers were gathering to listen to Russian band Picnic. An online video showed gunmen opening fire, shooting at participants at close range and setting off smoke bombs.

A view of the Crocus City Hall burned down after an attack is seen on the western edge of Moscow, Russia, on Saturday. (AP Photo/Vitaly Smolnikov)

Russian media reported that the gunmen also threw explosives into the concert hall during the attack, shaking the building and setting it on fire. According to Russian media, people were evacuated, but some remained trapped in the burning building.

SOCCER MATCH BETWEEN RUSSIA AND PARAGUAY CANCELED AFTER ATTACK ON CONCERT HALL NEAR MOSCOW

The theater’s roof collapsed in the early hours of Saturday as firefighters battled the flames for hours. Russians laid flowers at memorials and lined up to donate blood.

Putin said that Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) and other law enforcement agencies are working to identify the terrorists’ entire support base.

“Those who provided them with transport, planned escape routes from the crime scene, prepared hiding places, weapons and ammunition depots,” Putin said. “It is already clear that we are not just dealing with a carefully and cynically planned terrorist attack, but with an organized mass murder of peaceful, defenseless people. The criminals were cold-blooded and wanted to specifically kill and shoot our citizens. “empty reach – our children.”

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Intelligence agencies believed that the Islamic State affiliate in Afghanistan called the Islamic State of Khorasan, or ISIS-K as it is known, carried out the attack, a U.S. official told Fox News.

This is the same terrorist group that killed 13 American service members at Abbey Gate during the hasty US withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021.

Fox News’ Michael Dorgan and Lucas Y. Tomlinson contributed to this report.

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