US told Moscow that Crocus City Hall was terrorist target

US told Moscow that Crocus City Hall was terrorist target
Crocus City Hall in Moscow in flames after the attack by terrorists / bne IntelliNews
By bne IntelliNews April 3, 2024

The United States specifically warned Russia that terrorists could attack Crocus City Hall in Moscow, The Washington Post has revealed.

According to officials speaking to the American outlet, the US highlighted the venue as a possible target, two weeks before terrorists from Islamic State – Khorasan Province (ISIS-K) killed 144 people and injured hundreds more. 

This challenges Russian President Vladimir Putin's assertion that US warnings were too vague to prevent the attack, as well as his reluctance to attribute blame to ISIS for the massacre.

When the US embassy publicly announced on March 7 its awareness of potential extremist plans to target large gatherings in Moscow, including concerts, the Kremlin dismissed these warnings as too general to act upon. Sergey Naryshkin, head of Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service, reiterated that the US warning lacked specificity necessary for preventive action.

However, the specifics of the warning, as reported by The Washington Post, have prompted questions about Russia's level of preparedness for the attack. 

In the aftermath of the attack, Putin initially attributed blame to Ukraine without evidence, before eventually acknowledging ISIS involvement. 

Following the Post’s article, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied any knowledge of the specifics of any US warning.

“This is not our area of expertise, as such information exchange usually takes place through the channels of special services, that is information is passed from service to service,” he said.