The RIA Novosti news site reported on Friday, March 29 that Tajikistan’s state security service, working with Russian security forces, have detained nine citizens of the central Asian republic over suspected links with the four gunmen who carried out last week’s attack on the Crocus City concert hall.

The report said: “Nine residents of the Vakhdat district were detained for contact with the persons who committed the terrorist attack at Crocus City Hall on March 22,” citing an unnamed source in Tajikistan’s special services.

The same source said that those detained are also suspected of having connections with the Islamic State group, who claimed responsibility for last Friday’s massacre. Russian President Vladimir Putin stated on March 25 that although the attack had been carried out by radical Islamists, he said there was irrefutable evidence that the terrorists had links to Ukrainian nationalists.

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Russia’s Investigative Committee said on Thursday that it had detained another suspect who was believed to be involved in financing the Crocus City raid, without providing further details of the individual’s identity or alleged actions. It also said they had evidence that the terrorists had received large amounts of money from Ukraine:

“Investigators have verified information that large amounts of money and cryptocurrency that the perpetrators of the terrorist attack received trace back to Ukraine; the funds were used in preparing the crime.”

Putin Is Weakened: Now, Let’s Bring Him to His Knees
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Despite the poker face, after almost two-and-a-half decades in power, Putin’s current position indicates that he recognizes that all is not well in his fiefdom.

The committee’s statement said: “Investigators work with the detained terrorists, the examination of technical equipment that was seized from them and the analysis of information about financial transactions prove their connection to Ukrainian nationalists.”

Russian officials previously said that seven others had been arrested, in addition to the four alleged killers, who are also Tajik nationals, and appeared in a Moscow court on Sunday showing signs of having been severely beaten.

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The Afghan faction of the Islamic State group, Islamic State – Khorasan Province (ISIS-K) has claimed responsibility for the massacre, but Russia continues to accuse Ukraine and the West of involvement in the attack, without presenting any evidence.

Ukraine denies any involvement saying that Moscow continues with the allegations as a pretext to whip up support for the war in Ukraine and may be used to justify its own atrocities in the ongoing war.

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