April 19, 2024

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Terrorist attack in Moscow: Why did Russia ignore American warnings?

Terrorist attack in Moscow: Why did Russia ignore American warnings?

After a massacre like this in Moscow, questions always arise. But this particular attack raises particularly difficult questions for Vladimir Putin at a time of international tension. Many of them were born as a result of a warning from Washington.

The warning the United States issued to its citizens on March 7 was unusually specific. He spoke of reports that “extremists” are “planning to target large gatherings in Moscow” and specifically referred to concerts.

She even advised Americans in the city to avoid large gatherings for the next 48 hours, according to what the newspaper reported BBC.

The timing may not be exactly the same, but there are other elements that are closely linked to the events of March 22. It seems clear that Washington had information about ISIS.

But Moscow rejected the warnings.

A US official said in a statement after the attack, “The US government shared this information with the Russian authorities in accordance with its long-standing ‘duty to warn’ policy.”

“Provocative statements from the West regarding possible attacks inside Russia”

Three days before the attack, Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed the board of directors of Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB), whose mission is to defend the country. He told the assembled security leaders that the top priority was to support what he called the “special military operation,” the official term for the invasion of Ukraine.

In addition, he said that Ukraine had turned to what he called “terrorist tactics.” He also spoke directly about “provocative statements” from the West regarding possible attacks inside Russia. In fact, he asserted that the warnings “appear to be clear blackmail and an intention to intimidate and destabilize our society.”

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This suggests that the lack of trust between the US and Russia meant that Moscow may not have wanted to listen, and instead saw the warnings as part of an attempt to threaten Russia, linked to the conflict in Ukraine.

However, according to the BBC, the nature of the information the US had or shared, or how clear it was, is not yet known.

But if the information shared with Russia about ISIS is reliable and specific, the FSB and Putin could be in trouble for misjudging its seriousness.

In this case, it would clearly be in Moscow's interest to somehow link the attack to Ukraine in order to shift blame and also gain support for Russia's actions on the war front.