Putin dismissed US warnings about a potential terror incident as ‘blackmail’ just 3 days

In World


  • Gunmen stormed a concert hall in Moscow on Friday, killing 40 people and injuring more than 100.
  • Earlier this month, the US embassy issued a security alert warning of a potential terror attack.
  • Just days ago, Vladimir Putin dismissed the idea as “blackmail” from the West.

Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed US warnings about a potential terror incident in Moscow just days before gunmen attacked a concert hall in the city on Friday.

At least 40 people are dead and more than 100 are injured after multiple armed individuals stormed the Crocus City Hall in Moscow, state-run news agency TASS reported, citing Russia’s Federal Security Service, or FSB, which called the incident a “terrorist attack.”

Graphic videos posted to social media are purporting to show the attack unfolding. In some of the footage, gunshots and screams of concertgoers can be heard.

According to Russian state media, the unidentified gunmen were armed with assault rifles and opened fire in the lobby of the building before moving into the main concern hall, where a band was scheduled to perform. It added that an explosion inside the venue sparked the fire, which has engulfed at least a third of the building and spread to the roof.


Russian Rosguardia national guard servicemen secure an area near the Crocus City Hall on the western edge of Moscow on March 22, 2024.

Russian Rosguardia national guard servicemen secure an area near the Crocus City Hall on the western edge of Moscow on March 22, 2024.

AP Photo/Vitaly Smolnikov



Earlier this month, the US embassy in Russia issued a security alert warning about a potential terror attack in Moscow and urged people to avoid crowds, monitor local media for updates, and be aware of surroundings.

“The Embassy is monitoring reports that extremists have imminent plans to target large gatherings in Moscow, to include concerts, and U.S. citizens should be advised to avoid large gatherings over the next 48 hours,” the March 7 security alert said.

Putin addressed the warnings a couple weeks later, criticizing the warning three days ago as “provocative.”

Per TASS, the Russian president said on March 19 the aim of “the recent provocative statements of a number of official Western structures about the possibility of terrorist attacks in Russia” was harming Russian society.


A man speaks to journalists as a massive blaze seen over the Crocus City Hall on the western edge of Moscow on March 22, 2024.

A man speaks to journalists as a massive blaze seen over the Crocus City Hall on the western edge of Moscow on March 22, 2024.

AP Photo/Dmitry Serebryakov



“All this resembles outright blackmail and the intention to intimidate and destabilize our society,” Putin said, according to state media reporting on his remarks.

Though concerts were mentioned as a potential target in the US security alert, it is unclear at this time if Friday’s attack is related to the threats that Washington was tracking.

The US embassy issued another alert on Friday saying it was “aware” of the attack and urged Americans to avoid the area.

“We strongly condemn the horrendous attack carried out at a concert hall in Moscow,” Russia’s foreign ministry said in a statement. “We express our deepest sympathies with the families of the victims.”

It’s not immediately clear who was behind the carnage.



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