Saturday, March 23, 2024

Why would ISIS be bombing Moscow?

The death toll in the gun attack on the Crocus City Hall concert venue in suburban Moscow has now risen to 133 and counting. It might seem improbable, but Islamic State (ISIS), or, more specifically, ISIS-K (aka ISKP), the Afghan offshoot of ISIS, has claimed responsibility for it.

Now, ISIS and al-Qaeda and other similar terrorist groups are not above claiming responsibility for heinous attacks that they actually had nothing to do with. We may not have heard much about them for quite a while, but they do like to be associated with anything that destabilizes the West and the "Christian" hegemony.

Ignore anything Putin says about the gunmen heading back to Ukraine, or ex-President Medvedev openly blaming Ukraine for the attack; obviously, they look for anything that might even slightly legitimize their illegal war in Ukraine. But it is possible that ISIS-K may have been responsible for this one (see the video about halfway down this page).

Partly, this kind of outrageous mass shooting is recognizably the modus operandi of ISIS. But there are other clues: this attack occurred on the anniversary of the 2016 Brussels attacks, also claimed by ISIS, that killed 32 people; Russia was a close ally of Syrian president Bashir al-Assad in the civil war there, and bombed ISIS regularly; there was another foiled attack on a Moscow synagogue just a few weeks ago, also claimed by ISIS; the USA had warned Russia that its intelligence had heard of plans by ISIS to attack Russia; and ISIS-K is currently at war with the Taliban in Afghanistan, and Russia is one of the Taliban's few supporters.

So, it may seem like an unlikely scenario at first blush, but there are actually good reasons why ISIS (and ISIS-K in particular) might want to attack Russia, while its attention is elsewhere.

Why attack a concert by Russian rock band Picnic at Crocus City Hall deep in the suburbs of Moscow? Well, you've got me there. But then, why Bataclan in Paris in 2015? Why a random metro station Brussels? Why many of the other places ISIS and al-Qaeda have attacked over the years? Who can really understand the mind of a fundamentalist religious terrorist?

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