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US warning to Americans of imminent attack in Moscow proves prophetic 2 weeks later

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Two weeks before Friday’s attack on a major concert hall in Russia’s Moscow suburbs that left more than 130 people dead, the U.S. Embassy warned Americans to “avoid large gatherings,” including concerts, due to “imminent projects”. for an attack by “extremists”.

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

The Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility for Friday’s attack, which the United States confirmed, despite attempts by Russian officials to blame Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin called the U.S. warnings “blackmail” just days before the attack.

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

Russian National Guard servicemen from Rosguardia secure an area as a massive fire was seen on Friday above Crocus City Hall on the western edge of Moscow, Russia, after terrorists from ISIS stormed the room and fired automatic weapons into the crowd. (AP Photo)

Just three days before the attack, Putin said: “All this looks like outright blackmail and an intention to intimidate and destabilize our society,” calling the warnings “provocative,” according to the news agency. Russian TASS.

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

The US government also shared this information with Russian authorities, consistent with its long-standing “duty to warn” policy.

RUSSIA’S CONCERT HALL FLAMES AFTER ATTACK INVESTIGATED AS TERRORISM

On Saturday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken issued a statement saying: “The United States strongly condemns (Friday’s) deadly terrorist attack in Moscow. We send our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of those killed and to all those affected by this heinous incident. “We condemn terrorism in all its forms and stand in solidarity with the Russian people who mourn the loss of life caused by this horrific event.”

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

Putin said additional security measures had been put in place across the country following the attack – the deadliest in more than 20 years.

“The four direct perpetrators of the terrorist attack, all those who shot and killed people, were found and detained,” Putin said. “They tried to hide and headed towards Ukraine, where, according to preliminary data, a window was prepared for them from the Ukrainian side to cross the state border,” suggesting that there could be a link between Ukraine and the bloodbath.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has denied any involvement by his country.

The surprise attack began when gunmen in combat gear burst into Crocus Town Hall, where spectators were gathering to listen to the Russian band Picnic. An online video shows gunmen opening fire, shooting at participants at point-blank range and setting off smoke bombs.

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

The gunmen also threw explosives inside the concert hall during the attack, shaking the building and setting it on fire, Russian media reported. People were being evacuated, but some remained trapped inside the burning building, Russian media said.

FOOTBALL MATCH BETWEEN RUSSIA AND PARAGUAY CANCELED FOLLOWING ATTACK IN CONCERT HALL IN MOSCOW REGION

The theater’s roof collapsed early Saturday morning as firefighters spent hours battling the flames. Russians laid flowers at memorials and lined up to donate blood.

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

“Those who provided them with transportation planned exit routes from the crime scene, prepared caches, caches of weapons and ammunition,” Putin said. “It is already obvious that we are facing not only a carefully and cynically planned terrorist attack, but also an organized massacre of peaceful and defenseless people. The criminals were in cold blood and deliberately wanted to kill, shoot our citizens at point – virgin beach – our children.

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The intelligence community said it believed the Islamic State-affiliated organization in Afghanistan, called Islamic State Khorasan, or “ISIS-K” as it is known, carried out the attack, an official said American at Fox News.

This is the same terrorist group that killed 13 US 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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