US Intelligence Says It Knew ISIS-K Was Planning Terror Attack On Moscow

Update(1950ET): The initial reports that ISIS has claimed responsibility for the terror attack in Moscow appeared rumor at first, and has still been subject of widespread scrutiny and debate, however, US media and government officials are saying that the Islamic State (or ISIS-K) statement is authentic. "A branch of the Islamic State claimed responsibility on Friday for the attack in Moscow that killed at least 40 people and injured about 100 others, and U.S. officials confirmed the claim shortly afterward," The New York Times writes late in the day. 

What's more is that US intelligence knew there was to be an imminent attack on Moscow: "The United States collected intelligence in March that Islamic State-Khorasan, known as ISIS-K, the branch of the group based in Afghanistan, had been planning an attack on Moscow, according to officials. ISIS members have been active in Russia, one U.S. official said," according to more from NYT.

The Kremlin had earlier in the day demanded answers of Washington explaining why the US Embassy in Moscow issued an alert earlier this month for all US nationals to avoid public venues and be extra vigilant. We previously reported on that early March embassy notification here. NY Times continues, citing US officials: "After a period of relative quiet, the Islamic State has been trying to increase its external attacks, according to U.S. counterterrorism officials. Most of those plots in Europe have been thwarted, prompting assessments that the group had diminished capabilities."

Importantly, Russian state media and sources have been slow to report the ISIS-K claims, nor have state officials identified any culprits or group at this late hour. Russian media in general has not reflected Western press reports concerning the claims that ISIS-K was behind it, likely pending a deeper and ongoing investigation. It is possible that some of the gunmen may still be at large.

Speculation continues to run rampant, and there's as yet been little that's confirmed from Russian security services and authorities.

At least 40 were killed when a group of heavily armed, unidentified gunmen stormed Crocus City Hall music venue. Russia's Health Ministry has released a list of names of 145 people who have been hospitalized in critical condition. Children are among them.

Below: video has emerged showing the moments the gunmen entered the concert hall, after randomly massacring people in the attached mall area of the complex...

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Update(1735ET): The Islamic State (ISIS) has claimed responsibility for the Moscow terrorist attack according to a report by the Amaq news agency (and otherwise unconfirmed).

We will update this story as details are confirmed.

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Update(1635ET): Moscow has come out with fighting words while also pointing the finger at Washington about 'what it knew' ahead of time and when:

Medvedev threatens Ukraine's top officials will be 'destroyed mercilessly as terrorists' if the 'Kyiv regime' is linked to Moscow concert hall attack.

The former president Deputy Chairman of the Security Council is known to routinely issue threatening and hawkish words, but the Russian foreign ministry has issued the following as cited in Reuters:

"On what basis do officials in Washington draw any conclusions in the midst of a tragedy about someone’s innocence?” She added that if Washington had information, it should be shared and that if Washington had no information, it should not be talking in such a way.

Huge blaze engulfs complex after several explosions were reported during and after the attack, via AP.

At least one of the attackers is said to be in Russian custody, also as security services inspect a van in the vicinity and other suspicious vehicles. The mall and concert hall venue previously rampaged by heavily armed gunmen continues to be engulfed in flames, according to a summary in RT:

Multiple fire brigades and aircraft have been deployed to put out the blaze at a large mall outside Moscow that was attacked by terrorists on Friday night. The popular shopping center and music venue is located in Krasnogorsk, just northwest of the Russian capital. 

A group of gunmen stormed the Crocus City Hall on Friday night, killing at least 40 people, according to the authorities.

The assailants reportedly set the building on fire. Witnesses also said they heard explosions inside the mall.

According to regional emergency services, around 100 people have been evacuated from the underground floor. The rescuers are working to evacuate people from the roof.

There have been reports that parts of the roof over the complex collapsed, with hundreds of emergency responders battling the blaze and seeking any gunmen who may be at large.

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Russian state media as well as The Wall Street Journal's regional correspondent is reporting at least 40 people killed, and over 100 wounded and injured, in the unfolding major terror attack on Moscow's largest concert hall. 

Initial videos have emerged showing what appears to be attackers in combat fatigues with assault rifles going around the mall part of the venue (which is attached to the concert hall) and shooing randomly. There are reports from RT of follow-up blasts happening even amid a huge security, police, and emergency response

A mere days ago the US Embassy in Moscow released the following alert telling all US nationals still in the country to avoid large gatherings and public venues. What did they know?

Russia has called the shooting a 'bloody terrorist attack' in an initial statement. The White House has also issued an initial assessment as follows:


Unconfirmed reports say some of the attackers may still be at large. Below--Warning, Graphic:

Watch Live Feed of local media coverage below:

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Some kind of major attack just occurred at a Moscow concert hall with contradictory breaking reports emerging from on the ground and several circulating unconfirmed videos. There are possibly at least ten casualties and videos from the scene showing a large fire and plumes of black smoke over the venue. It may have been the result of a large explosion, or possibly even a cross-border drone strike, but conflicting reports say this is likely a mass shooting situation. According to the breaking Associated Press report, at least three gunmen in combat gear stormed the concert hall, with riot police responding:

Several gunmen in combat fatigues burst into a big concert hall in Moscow on Friday and fired automatic weapons at the crowd, injuring an unspecified number of people, Russian media said.

Russian news reports said that the assailants also used explosives, causing a massive blaze at the Crocus City Hall on the western edge of Moscow. Video posted on social media showed huge plumes of black smoke rising over the building.

Video from inside the concert hall shows smoke and a chaotic scene of masses of people scrambling to evacuate the venue.

Unconfirmed statements say it happened at the largest indoor concert venue in Moscow, called Crocus City Hall.

The scope of the attack was clearly a very large, coordinated op or terror event.

Russia's state RIA Novosti news agency said that several gunmen opened fire on the crowd in Moscow concert hall, resulting in unknown casualties, the AP has cited.

The incident has unfolded at during a week of rapidly escalating cross-border attacks on Russian territory from Ukraine, and also large-scale retaliatory strikes on Ukraine by Russian aerial forces.

Reports of armed men storming the concert hall, but the visuals also strongly suggest a large explosion...

A massive emergency and security response is ongoing:



(Article by Tyler Durden republished from

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