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IS sympathizers plotting Sapsan express train crash in 2017 face trial in Moscow

According to the materials in the case, in mid-2017, the defendants attached a brake holder block on the tracks aiming at crashing the train so that it collided into another train

MOSCOW, May 14. /TASS/. Russian special service agents foiled a plot by IS jihadists to crash a Sapsan high speed express train running between Moscow and St. Petersburg in 2017, and on Tuesday, the Moscow District Military Court began hearing their case, TASS reports.

According to the indictment, "seven citizens of Tajikistan, ISIS supporters, who lived in St. Petersburg joined efforts in the spring of 2017 to stage terror attacks, particularly on the Sapsan tracks in protest to the Russian military operation in Syria." According to the investigation, they planned to crash a Sapsan train and then publish a call demanding withdrawal of the Russian troops from Syria on the Internet.

According to the materials in the case, on July 7, 2017, the defendants attached a brake holder block on the tracks aiming at crashing the train so that it collided into another train. As a result, the train rammed through the obstacle without crashing but five railroad cars were damaged. The damages inflicted to the Russian Railways state-owned company amounted to 55 million rubles ($850,000). Following the failed railroad attack, the investigation determined that the group planned to stage a bombing. The members of the group were identified in the investigation of the Sapsan incident, they were detained before they could execute their plan.

In the course of the hearing, the prosecution delivered the final indictment, while the defendants had the chance to voice their position on the accusations. One of the defendants pleaded guilty on all counts, another one pleaded guilty to possessing weapons, the remaining five rejected the accusations. They are charged with committing the terror attack, preparation for the attack and possession of weapons.