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US and UK Intel Knew of Heightened Terror Threat Ahead of Crocus Attack: Ret. FSB Officer

© Sputnik / Evgeny Biyatov / Go to the mediabankCrocus City Hall Terror Attack
Crocus City Hall Terror Attack - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.03.2024
At least 40 people were killed and more than 100 others injured in a mass shooting and firebombing attack on the Crocus City Call concert venue outside Moscow on Friday, the Russian Federal Security Service has said.
Retired FSB Lieutenant Colonel Alexei Filatov has told Sputnik he is certain of who is behind the attack on Crocus City Hall, and commented on the responsible course Western countries could now take to deescalate the situation.
“This was clearly an act of terrorism, a prepared terrorist act. The Ukrainian Security Service is behind it. I am 100 percent certain,” Filatov said, commenting on the incident.

“What can be seen from the organization, from the forces and means used, is that everything was planned in advance. That is, it was not some kind of stunt of semi-criminal elements. Furthermore, I see that one group ‘worked’ on targeting people around the hall, while the second set fire to the roof, which seems to have now collapsed, in order to make the terror attack look ‘very effective’ in the media,” with the image seen round the world being of “practically the best concert venue in Russia” on fire.

The retired FSB officer, a veteran of Chechnya and a special anti-terrorist operation to free hostages in Budennovsk, Stavropol Krai in 1995, said he found it curious that the US and British embassies, at the behest of their respective security services, had asked their citizens living in or visiting Russia not to take part in any mass public events on March 8 – several weeks before Friday’s attacks. “They knew about some terrorist incident that was being planned,” Filatov believes.
Crocus City Hall attack Infographics - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.03.2024
Map of Terrorist Attack in Crocus City Hall Concert Venue
The observer expects the Crocus attack to spark an escalation of the Ukrainian conflict and a further deterioration in the conflict zone, which began after the shelling of Belgorod, and prompted a dramatic intensification of Russian attacks on the Ukrainian energy grid.
“I think here too, the reaction will probably be just as tough, very tough,” Filatov warned.
At this stage, the FSB vet believes Crocus was a “one-off”, based on the level of preparation that clearly went into it. “I don’t think it’s possible to carry out such terrorist attacks every day. They require serious preparation,” he said.
As for what happens next, Filatov doesn’t rule out that Kiev’s sponsors may not reconsider their plans, for example, to give Ukraine additional long-range weapons which can be used to target Russian cities.

“I think that if a shadow falls on the Ukrainian special services, then many of Kiev’s Western partners will be more modest in their assistance, they will simply be afraid that their weapons will be used [for similar purposes]. We will watch, and see how this will impact the situation, and how they will react. But this is a shocking event, very shocking,” Filatov summed up.

Three camo clad gunmen burst into the Crocus City Hall concert venue in Krasnogorsk, Moscow region on Friday evening, opening fire and throwing grenades or incendiary bombs, setting the building ablaze. Russia's Federal Security Service says at least 40 people have been killed and over 100 injured in what Russian investigators have classified as an act of terrorism.
Ukrainian presidential advisor Mykhailo Podolyak stated Friday that Kiev was not involved in the attack on Crocus City Hall. "I emphasize once again that Ukraine definitely has nothing to do with the terrorist attacks or the shooting at Crocus City," Podolyak said in a Telegram post. A spokesman from Ukrainian military intelligence echoed Podolyak's comments. "Ukraine is not involved in this terrorist attack."
Terror attack at Crocus City Hall. - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.03.2024
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