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Macron: IS group behind Moscow attack 'made several attempts' to strike France

by Chris York and The Kyiv Independent news desk March 25, 2024 3:46 PM 3 min read
French President Emmanuel Macron speaks to the media at the end of an EU Summit in the Justus Lipsius building, the EU Council headquarters on March 22, 2024, in Brussels, Belgium. (Thierry Monasse/Getty Images)
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The Islamic State (IS) group, which claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack on the Crocus City Hall in a Moscow suburb last week, had recently made "several attempts" at attacks on French soil, French President Emmanuel Macron said on March 25.

He added that French intelligence had information proving it was "an entity of IS that planned the attack and carried it out" and said it would be both "cynical and counterproductive for Russia itself and the security of its citizens to use this context to try and turn it against Ukraine."

Several gunmen opened fire at the Crocus City Hall in Krasnogorsk, a Moscow suburb, on the evening of March 22, killing at least 137 people and injuring at least 140, according to the latest updates by the Russian authorities.

Despite IS claiming responsibility for the attack and releasing bodycam footage, the Kremlin is attempting to pin the blame for the attack on Kyiv.

Speaking on March 23, Putin said a total of 11 people involved in the shooting had been detained, four of whom described as "the perpetrators" have since been indicted.

"They tried to escape and were moving towards Ukraine, where, according to preliminary data, a window for them to cross the state border was prepared on the Ukrainian side," Putin claimed.

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Other Russian officials previously alleged Ukraine's involvement in the attack without providing any evidence and citing it as a reason to intensify Russian attacks against Ukraine.

Kyiv has dismissed the allegations of its involvement in the mass shooting.

The White House said there was no indication that Ukraine was behind the Moscow attack.

Macron told reporters, as cited by Le Parisien, that given the attack in Moscow, France – which this summer hosts the Olympic Games – had upped its terror threat alert to its highest level.

He added that he hoped to "find the culprits as quickly as possible" and called for continuing to "fight effectively against these groups which are projecting themselves into several countries."

Macron also promised "increased cooperation" with Russia to combat the terror threat.

The four men indicted by Russia over last week’s attack have been identified by Russian media as Murodali Rajabalizoda, Dalerjon Mirzoev, Muhammadsobir Faizov, and Faridun Shamsiddin, all Tajik nationals.

Three of the four defendants admitted guilt to all charges in a closed-door session on March 24, according to the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty report.

The court ordered that the men be held in pre-trial custody until May 22. They face a maximum sentence of life in prison.

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