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Russian Court Charges Four Men With Terrorism After Attack on Moscow Concert Hall

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A Russian court has charged four men with acts of terrorism on Sunday. The four men who were from Tajikistan, but had worked in Russia as migrant labourers, according to the New York Times, have been charged with killing 137 people in a concert hall in Moscow on Friday.

President Vladimir Putin stated on Monday that he knew the crime had been carried out by radical Islamists but he insisted that Ukraine was behind the attackers, a charge that Kiev continues to deny.

Russia’s Federal Security Bureau (FSB) claimed that the four men had been arrested in the Bryansk region 14 hours after the attack. They had accused Ukraine of providing them with the means to escape.

An independent Russia-based independent news outlet Mediazona stated three of the four men had already pleaded guilty to the attack. They did not comment on the pleas of the other man so far.

The men have been identified as Dalerdzhon Mirzoyev, Saidakrami Murodali Rachabalizoda, Shamsidin Fariduni and Muhammadsobir Fayzov. Russian social media accounts showed them having been brought into court badly beaten, some of them having one ear missing.

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Russia has had a long history of battles with Islamic extremism, especially with the Islamic State (ISIS). The Guardian reported that over the last 18 months, ISIS is believed to have stepped up efforts to recruit militants from central Asia through its Afghan branch known as the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP).

Russia has also accused the US of having a hand in the attacks by “shielding Ukraine.” Russian foreign affairs spokeswoman Maria Zakharova penned an article shared on Telegram stating, “Biden likes ISIS not peace.”

The US continues to deny Ukraine’s involvement and claims to have shared its intelligence with Moscow prior to the attack.