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Many facts show IS had nothing to do with Crocus City Hall attack — expert

Grigory Lukyanov drew attention to the fact that most of the attacks by this terrorist group were carried out by suicide bombers, for whom "it is a point of no return"

MOSCOW, March 25. /TASS/. There is abundant evidence that last Friday’s terrorist attack at Crocus City Hall was hardly a conspiracy conceived and carried out by the terrorist organization Islamic State (banned in Russia), Grigory Lukyanov, a researcher at the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, has told TASS.

"The way I see it, this terrorist attack gives little grounds to speculate about some unmistakable trace left by the banned terrorist organization Islamic State. At the moment, there are not enough grounds or evidence to say that the terrible terrorist act committed in Krasnogorsk was an Islamic State-masterminded plot. The perpetrators’ mode of action indicates that they have nothing to do with the IS," Lukyanov said.

The expert drew attention to the fact that most of the attacks by this terrorist group were carried out by suicide bombers, for whom "it is a point of no return."

"The fact that the participants in the terrorist attack at Crocus City Hall tried to escape from the crime scene and confessed that all they had done they did money, indicates that they were used, that they were hired mercenaries rather than ideological supporters of the Islamic State," Lukyanov noted. "Therefore, in my opinion, we we’ve been witnesses to instrumentalization of certain radicalized groups by the intelligence services of countries hostile to Russia."

Lukyanov believes that "it was an act of sabotage within the framework of ongoing conflicts."

Also, the expert noted that the terrorist organization Islamic State has for many years been acting "as a franchise, on behalf of which terrorist acts are committed, funds raised, and information resources built up."

"In Afghanistan, it unites certain groups and conducts active operations against the Taliban movement (banned in Russia). This organization has no direct interest in what is happening in Russia or Eastern Europe today," Lukyanov added.

Terrorist attack near Moscow

On the evening of March 22, a terrorist attack targeted the Crocus City Hall music venue in Krasnogorsk, Moscow Region, just over the Moscow city limits. According to the Russian Investigative Committee, the current death toll is 137, but may rise. The Moscow Region Health Ministry said that 182 people were injured.

Eleven individuals suspected of being involved in the terrorist attack have been apprehended, including four gunmen who were detained in the Bryansk Region, southwest of Moscow, as they attempted to seek refuge by crossing the nearby Ukrainian border.

President Vladimir Putin said in a televised address that, according to preliminary information, the Ukrainian side had prepared "a window" in the border especially for the terrorists to cross undetected. He promised to identify and punish all those who were behind the attack on Crocus City Hall and declared March 24 a day of national mourning for the victims.