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Inside barbaric ISIS-K splinter cell behind Moscow concert massacre who behead their enemies & slaughter children

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THE terror group that claimed responsibility for the deadly terror attack in Moscow last night is a vicious ISIS splinter cell known for killing children and beheading captives.

The resurgent ISIS-K faction – a warped army of barbaric fanatics that even terrify the Taliban – are believed to have led the massacre at a Russian rock concert that killed at least 115.

Warped propaganda photos released by ISIS-K in Afghanistan showing their armed fighters

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Warped propaganda photos released by ISIS-K in Afghanistan showing their armed fighters
Footage from last night's terror attack showed masked gunmen - that the US states are from ISIS-K - storming the venue

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Footage from last night’s terror attack showed masked gunmen – that the US states are from ISIS-K – storming the venue
A huge blaze broke out over the Crocus City Hall in Russia after the terrorists set fire to it

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A huge blaze broke out over the Crocus City Hall in Russia after the terrorists set fire to it
Four suspected gunmen have been named and detained by Russia's security services

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Four suspected gunmen have been named and detained by Russia’s security services
ISIS-K were set up in 2015 to bring terror to Afghanistan

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ISIS-K were set up in 2015 to bring terror to Afghanistan

Last night, masked men in camouflage gear wielding automatic weapons stormed the Crocus City Hall last night – opening fire and hurling explosives into a crowd.

Some 6,000 people are believed to have been inside the venue watching Russian rock band Picnic when the bloodshed began.

The gunmen began shooting civilians at point-blank range – through glass doors, turnstiles and then the concert hall itself, traumatised witnesses said.

At least 115 were killed – including three children – and over 120 wounded – but the death toll continues to rise as bodies are pulled from the smouldering rubble.

The US says it has intelligence that confirms the Islamic State’s claim of responsibility for the bloody massacre – and argued it was led by an Afghanistan-based splinter cell, ISIS-K.

Who are ISIS-K?

Originally formed in 2015, the group have been a consistent threat to security in Afghanistan, carrying out brutal suicide bombings and vile ceremonial executions.

The “K” refers to the historical region of Greater Khorasan, which included parts of Iran, Turkmenistan and Afghanistan.

Despite efforts from the West, the former Afghan government and the Taliban to fight them back – they seized on the chaos sown by the country’s collapse and quickly established a reputation for extreme brutality.

One of the most active regional affiliates of the Islamic State militant group, ISIS-K’s membership peaked in 2018 before declining.

It suffered heavy losses inflicted by American air strikes and Taliban forces, reportedly cutting its ranks in half.

However, it got a dramatic second wind after the US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan and the country’s fall to the Taliban.

Earlier this month, the top US general in the Middle East said ISIS-K could attack US and Western interests outside of Afghanistan “in as little as six months and with little to no warning.”

Chilling moment gunmen storm Moscow packed concert hall before killing 40 as IS claim responsibility for attack

Past attacks

The group was responsible for an attack on Kabul’s international airport in 2021 that killed 13 US troops and scores of civilians during the chaotic US evacuation from the country.

The attack raised the international profile of the group and help position it as a major threat to the Taliban’s rule.

Since then, the Taliban have been battling the terror group sporadically – trying to stop them from seizing territory or recruiting restless Taliban fighters bored of peacetime.

Just like their terror comrades in Iraq and Syria - they release horrific execution videos

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Just like their terror comrades in Iraq and Syria – they release horrific execution videos
ISIS-K even filmed videos of children executing people

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ISIS-K even filmed videos of children executing people
The horrifically brutal group claimed responsibility for last night's Moscow terror attack

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The horrifically brutal group claimed responsibility for last night’s Moscow terror attack

On May 8, 2021, ISIS-K were blamed for the bombing of the Sayed al-Shuhada girls’ school which saw two improvised explosive devices and a car bomb explode outside the school.

Some 90 people – mostly schoolgirls between the ages of 11 and 15 – were killed while 240 were injured in the explosion.

Other vicious attacks include the storming of Kabul University by gunman which left 22 dead and 22 wounded in November 2020, and a suicide bomber who blew himself up at a wedding killing 92 in August 2019.

In September 2022, ISIS-K militants claimed responsibility for a deadly suicide bombing at the Russian embassy in Kabul.

And earlier this year, the US intercepted communications confirming the group carried out twin bombings in Iran that killed nearly 100 people.

Why attack Russia?

While the attack by ISIS-K in Russia on Friday was a dramatic escalation, experts said the group has openly opposed Russian Vladimir Putin in recent years.

Colin Clarke of Soufan Center, a Washington-based research group, said: “ISIS-K has been fixated on Russia for the past two years, frequently criticizing Putin in its propaganda.”

Michael Kugelman of US think-tank, the Wilson Center, said that ISIS-K “sees Russia as being complicit in activities that regularly oppress Muslims.”

He added that the group also counts as members a number of Central Asian militants with their own grievances against Moscow.

Three weeks ago, US and UK officials had issued a warning to Putin’s government about the threat of an “imminent” attack on Russia’s capital – urging their own citizens to avoid mass gatherings.

However, the Russian tyrant, 71, rubbished such intelligence warnings just three days before the Moscow massacre.

Face of evil

The warped group are led believed to still be led by terrorist warlord Shahab al-Muhajir, a former al-Qaeda fighter.

He took power in April 2020 after their previous boss, Abdullah Orokzai, was captured by Afghan forces.

Al-Muhajir is said to be known as “The Urban Lion” due to his skills with guerrilla warfare and planning suicide bomb attacks in cities.

He is believed to have helped the ISIS affiliate gain a foothold thanks to his background which will attract local jihadists, including those in the Taliban.

Propaganda churned out by the group shows them posing with the traditional black and white flag of ISIS which became synonymous with the most repulsive violence when the group held power in Syria and Iraq.

And taking inspiration from the comrades, ISIS-K have also produced some similarly gruesome and slick execution videos.

Footage which has emerged has shown them beheading victims, and in one video they are even claimed to have used two children to kill prisoners in orange jumpsuits.

Other images show them training wearing the familiar garb of ISIS fighters as they wield AK-47s.

ISIS-K have carried out a campaign of bombings and attacks in Afghanistan

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ISIS-K have carried out a campaign of bombings and attacks in Afghanistan
Taliban in a van patrol the streets of the city - the terror group has been continuously threatened by ISIS-K

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Taliban in a van patrol the streets of the city – the terror group has been continuously threatened by ISIS-KCredit: Getty
The group are famed for their brutality

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The group are famed for their brutality

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