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Old 03-25-2024, 12:29 PM
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Unhappy Moscow attack: Why has ISIS struck Russia?

Moscow attack: Why has ISIS struck Russia?
By: Perkin Amalara - Dailymail News 05:16 EDT, 03-16-24 | UPDATED: 03-25-24

* Terror group ISIS has long has Russia in its crosshairs
* An ultra-violent sect of ISIS has been recruiting Central Asians to fight for it
* Russia has supported enemies of ISIS, including Bashir al-Assad and the Taliban

Terror group ISIS twice claimed responsibility for the deadly Moscow concert attack
that left nearly 140 people dead on Friday night to the Crocus City Hall on the western outskirts of Moscow at around 8pm local time on Friday night and slaughter scores of festival-goers, was the deadliest carried out by ISIS against Russia in years.

The terror group said in a statement on Saturday that the concert attack was part of
the 'raging war between the Islamic State and countries fighting Islam.'

Russia has been in ISIS' crosshairs for several years, having not forgiven Putin for propping up Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad, who made a concerted effort to boot
the terror group from the region, for more than a decade.

The terror group's propagandists have for years claimed that Moscow is part of a
broad Christian coalition that is engaged in a millennia-long battle against Islam.

During the 1970s and 1980s, mujahedeen fighters in Afghanistan, who would
later form Al-Quaeda, which itself would lead to the creation of ISIS, fought a
bloody war against Soviet forces that had control over the nation.

Russia has also been developing its relationship with the Taliban, currently in
control of Afghanistan. The Taliban has long been in open conflict with ISIS
in Afghanistan, with each side receiving support from smaller regional powers.

As a result, the ultra-violent sect of ISIS that is believed to have carried out the
attack, Islamic State in Khorasan Province, or ISIS-K, in particular has focused
on recruiting central Asian militants, most of whom speak Russian, to carry out

ISIS-K, known for its extreme brutality, has for the past 18 months been on a
major recruitment drive that has targeted experienced members of existing
terror cells, according to a report submitted to the UN security council in

Many recruits are also Russian nationals, meaning they can easily go to cities
across Russia, creating new opportunities for attacks the nation.

ISIS-K has targeted Russia in the past, having claimed responsibility for the
deadly 2022 suicide bombing at the Russian embassy in Kabul, the capital
of Afghanistan, that killed two embassy staff and four others.

Earlier this month, Russia’s FSB said it foiled an ISIS-K attack on a Moscow
synagogue, the country’s Tass news agency reported.

While the attack on Friday night was a dramatic escalation, experts said the
group has opposed Russian President Vladimir Putin in recent years.

'ISIS-K has been fixated on Russia for the past two years, frequently criticizing
Putin in its propaganda,' Colin Clarke of Soufan Center, a New York-based
research group, told Reuters.

Michael Kugelman of the Washington-based Wilson Center said 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.

ISIS-K also has a history of carrying out attacks across the world as well.

Earlier this year, US intelligence intercepted communications that confirmed
the group carried out the twin bombings in Iran that killed nearly 100 people
during a memorial for dead military commander Qassem Soleimani.

And last year, a top US commander told Congress that ISIS-K was quickly
building its capacity to conduct 'external operations' in Europe and Asia.

Michael Kurilla, the commander of US Central Command, said at the time
that he believed Western interests may be victim to an ISIS-K attack 'in as
little as six months and with little to no warning', though was quick to say
that an attack within the US itself was unlikely.

The UN report submitted in January cited several foiled ISIS-K plots to
conduct terror attacks in Europe, including one where seven Tajik, Turkmen
and Kyrgyz individuals linked to the terror cell were arrested in Germany
while planning to conduct 'high-impact terrorist attacks for which they
were obtaining weapons and possible targets.

ISIS-K's name refers to an old term for the region that included parts of Iran, Turkmenistan and Afghanistan.

The group has been led by Shahab al-Muhajir, an engineer by training and
education, since 2020.

His name means 'Shahab the Migrant', referring to the fact that he is the
first non-Afghan and non-Pakistani person to run ISIS-K.

He reportedly spend time as a subcontractor of a security firm in Afghanistan,
and was known to have spent some time on the US' Bagram Airfield, formerly
the largest US military base in Afghanistan.

al-Muhajir is one of three ISIS-K members on the list of people sanctioned
under an anti-terror directive first set out by George Bush in the wake of
the September 11 attacks in 2001, and renewed every year since by
successive presidents.

The others are Sultan Aziz Azam, a spokesperson for the group, and Maulawi
Rajab, a senior leader who 'plans ISIS-K’s attacks and operations and
commands ISIS-K groups conducting attacks in Kabul', according the US
State Department, which only sanctioned the terrorists in November 2021.

Meanwhile, the UK only sanctioned the three men in 2023. OFSI, the UK's
sanctions body, said cited al-Muhajir responsibility 'for multiple terrorist
attacks resulting in hundreds of deaths in 2021' as the reason for his

Tags: Moscow - ISIS - Afghanistan - Russia-Ukraine
Personal note: You can blame Putin for all of this - so much for the kids
having a music day get together. Oh well - ya gotta get rid of Putin in
order have a normal life and get togethers. Dictatorship requires
absolute adherence - absolutely NO FUN, enlist and head to the battlefield.
Sucks doesn't it! Ya got get rid of that guy and enjoy your life
and liberties while you can.

O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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