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Vladimir Putin rubbished UK & US warnings about ‘imminent terror attack’ in Moscow just 3 days before concert massacre

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VLADIMIR Putin rubbished warnings from the US and UK about an “imminent” terror attack just three days before the Moscow massacre.

Russia is in mourning after more than 100 people – including children – were slaughtered in an ISIS assault on a packed concert at the Crocus City Hall.

Vladimir Putin rubbished Western warnings about an imminent attack on Moscow

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Vladimir Putin rubbished Western warnings about an imminent attack on MoscowCredit: Reuters
Gunmen open fire as they enter the concert venue last night in Moscow

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Gunmen open fire as they enter the concert venue last night in Moscow
Explosions and firefights triggered a massive fire that ripped through the venue

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Explosions and firefights triggered a massive fire that ripped through the venueCredit: AP
Firefighters are facing the grim task of finding bodies in the burnt out Crocus City Hall

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Firefighters are facing the grim task of finding bodies in the burnt out Crocus City HallCredit: EPA

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

But just days ago, Putin brazenly rubbished the claims – insisting they were “blackmail” and “provocative”.

The massacre at the concert comes just weeks after Putin secured another term as president in a “sham” election – boasting he won 87 per cent of the vote.

He often portrays himself as a strongman leader and the protector of Russia – an image which may now be shaken after the country’s worst terror attack in 20 years.

Days before the massacre, Putin was attempting to dismiss the warning issued by the West.

He said: “I’ll remind you of recent, let’s say directly, provocative statements of certain official Western structures about potential terror attacks in Russia.

“All of this looks like obvious blackmail and an attempt to intimidate, destabilise our country.”

And then some 72 hours later, the bloody attack was unleashed on concertgoers gathered at the venue just outside Moscow.

US officials have said they believe ISIS-K – a brutal Afghanistan-based splinter cell of the terror group – is behind the operation.

The jihadis were also quick to claim responsibility for the bloodshed on Telegram.

Russia has not outright blamed anyone yet – but pro-Putin officials have sought to attempt to pin blame on Ukraine.

Ukraine strongly denies any involvement in the massacre.

At least 12 feared dead as masked gunmen open fire at concert hall in Moscow as huge blaze rips through building

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


What we know so far:

  • At least 115 dead and more than 120 injured in the terrorist attack in Moscow
  • Gunmen armed with automatic weapons & explosives stormed the Crocus City Hall last night at 8pm local time
  • Some 6,000 fans were gathered to watch Russian rock band Picnic
  • Fires were set in the venue and burned out of control – hampering the rescue mission
  • Suspects went on the run – with Russia claiming four have since been arrested
  • ISIS have claimed responsibility for Russia’s worst terror attack in 20 years
  • Ukraine has denied anything to do with the massacre
  • US and British intelligence warned Russia two weeks ago about the threat – but were dismissed

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.

Devastating footage showed piles of bodies outside the blackened concert venue on the western edge of Moscow.

Three children were killed in the attack and four more are in hospital.

Firefighters and emergency workers are now facing the grim task of going through the smouldering ruins to potentially find even more victims.

The death toll continues to rise as more bodies are dragged from the rubble in an operation that could least “at least a few more days”, Moscow’s governor said.

A Russian policeman guards near the burned Crocus City Hall concert venue

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A Russian policeman guards near the burned Crocus City Hall concert venueCredit: EPA
Bodies are still feared to be amongst the rubble and burned ruins

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Bodies are still feared to be amongst the rubble and burned ruinsCredit: EPA

Russia’s security service (FSB) launched a massive manhunt to catch those responsible and have now detained 11 suspects, including four it says were “directly” involved in last night’s attack.

UK Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron condemned the deadly terror attack.

He wrote on X, formerly Twitter: “We offer our heartfelt condolences and express our deepest sympathy to the families of the many victims. Nothing can ever justify such horrific violence.”

Explosions were reported at the venue while panicked people were seen fleeing as the gunmen are believed to have taken hostages.

One witness said: “We huddled in a corner at the entrance. He [gunman] came up and started shooting directly at people. 

“They had black hair. They were shouting at each other and it was not Russian speech.”

Opened in October 2009, Crocus City Hall is located in the city’s Krasnogorsky District.

Another woman told how she feigned being shot – which saved her life. 

She said: “They [the terrorists] were standing at the exit, we didn’t go there, but they saw us.”

“One of them came running back and started shooting at us.

“I fell on the floor, and pretended to die. A girl next to me was killed.

“Then a fire started .“They [the terrorists] closed the door, but I guess they couldn’t lock it. I lay under the door and breathed the air coming through there.”

The attackers reportedly emerged from the underground car park and accessed the building.

Gunfire could heard in multiple videos posted by Russian media and Telegram channels.

One showed two men with rifles moving through the hall.

Another one showed a man inside the auditorium, saying the assailants set it on fire, with constant gunshots ringing out in the background.

A man mourns outside the venue in Moscow

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A man mourns outside the venue in MoscowCredit: EPA
People walk past a huge digital billboard showing a burning candle in St Petersburg

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People walk past a huge digital billboard showing a burning candle in St PetersburgCredit: EPA
People bring flowers to the burned out venue as Russia mourns

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People bring flowers to the burned out venue as Russia mournsCredit: EPA

A witness told RIA Novosti: “People in the hall lay down on the floor to escape the shooting, lay there for 15-20 minutes, after which they began to crawl out. Many managed to get out.”

Another said: “Look how it burns. There are people inside”.

Gunshots rang out in the auditorium and in the foyer at the same time, witnesses told local media outlets.

Masked gunmen set fire to chairs, which led to flames spreading throughout the building, reports say.

One witness said: “Nothing was announced at first. We were already lying on the floor between the chairs.

“They said nothing, absolutely nothing. We just lay there and didn’t know what to do. We just took our seats [when the shooting started].

“It was literally 8pm, 8.05, or 8.10. Shooting started from further away, from above.

“We sat on the very top row. At first everything was ok, it was kind of unclear what it was.

“Then we realised that something was wrong when we noticed that the ticket takers with these walkie-talkies began to run from top to bottom.

“The shooting started all over again, we heard it from above, we were sitting, then we heard it, we started moving all the way down, we realised that they were also shooting below.”

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin branded the attack a “terrible tragedy” and said all public events including sports and culture will be cancelled in Moscow this weekend. 

He said: “Today a terrible tragedy occurred in the Crocus City shopping centre.

“My condolences to the loved ones of the victims.”

The Return of ISIS

ISIS’s infamous black flag is feared to be rising once again – with the attack on the Moscow hall being one of their bloodiest since they were defeated in the Middle East.

The terrorist groups attacks sparked horror around the world for years – and their violent videos showing beheadings, burnings and other executions shocked society to its core.

But it is feared that following on from the Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan and the crisis in the Middle East following the October 7 massacre, the group is gathering strength.

US General Joel Vowell – who leads America’s efforts abroad to squash ISIS – warned that the threat of a suspected attack has risen 200 per cent in the last three months.

He has headed the ten year US-led coalition Operation Inherent Resolve against ISIS, which saw Western troops stationed in Iraq and Syria – two hotbeds of the terror group’s activity.

In January he met with Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani to talk about removing US troops from Iraq – but instead issued a disturbing message.

The Middle East expert explained that ISIS cells have been rallying their forces in the background, “in Syria and Iraq in the last 60 days in particular”.

Hamas, a Palestinian Islamist extremist movement, launched a brutal attack on Israel’s border in the early hours of October 7 2023 dubbed Israel’s “9/11” – killing over 1200 people.

Extremist Islamist groups including the Houthis and Hezbollah have aimed attacks at the US and the UK, citing support of Israel – because of their war against Hamas.

Professor Anthony Glees told The Sun that the Western world now faces threats “from all sides”, and that the fight against Hamas, the Houthis and Hezbollah shouldn’t detract from efforts to protect ourselves from older terrorist threats like ISIS.

“I absolutely think we are being assailed from all sides. That makes us vulnerable. And when you’re vulnerable, you get bullied and attacked.”

The security expert also told The Sun that he “absolutely” thinks it’s possible that we could be looking at a new wave of a terrorist threat like those seen over the last 20 years.

The raging threat of terror groups like Hamas, the Houthis and Hezbollah could be combined with attacks by organisations like ISIS on UK soil.

Ex-US General Ben Hodges said: “The UK is in a pre war environment. That means war is coming.”

Met Police commissioner Mark Rowley warned this time last year that Britain that the UK has tens of thousands of potential terrorists hiding in plain sight.

Sir Rowley warned that they were on the security services radar, and would need just a “spark” to act on their extremist beliefs.

Glees told The Sun that the events of October 7 and the ensuing war has “provided that spark”.

He said: “I think what has happened since the seventh of October, has, in a sense, provided a spark.”

Glees “absolutely” thinks the threat of a terror attack on British soil has been increased.

He warned that while we have a nuclear deterrent, which could be used to ward off certain enemies, it won’t prevent more conventional attacks like those that might come from a terrorist organisation like ISIS.

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