MOSCOW, July 12. /TASS/. The Moscow District Military Court has sentenced seven members of the Islamic State international terrorist organization (outlawed in Russia) to between 15 and 21 years behind bars for attempting to crash the Russian Sapsan gauge high-speed electric express train running between Moscow and St. Petersburg in 2017, TASS reports from the courtroom.
"Hereby find [them] guilty and convict them to sentence of 15 to 21 years in prison," the judge announced.
According to the indictment, "seven citizens of Tajikistan who lived in St. Petersburg united in the spring of 2017 to stage terror attacks, particularly on the Sapsan tracks in protest of 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 of 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 sustained by the Russian Railways state-owned company amounted to 55 million rubles ($850,000). Following the failed railroad attack the group planned to stage a bombing, the investigation determined. The criminals were identified and detained before they could execute their plans.
The court charged them with committing the terror attack, plotting the attack and holding weapons. One of the defendants pleaded guilty on all counts, another one pleaded guilty to possessing weapons, the remaining five rejected the accusations.