A review of what happened in the terrorist attack on the Dubrovka theater

The involvement of the Russian FSB in a terrorist attack very similar to the Moscow attack

This morning I published an article in which I pointed out two apparently incompatible pieces of information about yesterday's terrorist attack in Moscow.

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The Kremlin's inexplicable inaction in the face of warnings of a possible attack

These two pieces of information are the claim of the attack by ISIS terrorists and the accusation from Ukrainian intelligence to Russian special services. Some may have thought that it was either ISIS or the Russian special services, but both pieces of information are compatible, especially taking into account certain inexplicable facts surrounding this attack.

To begin with, Putin ignored warnings from the US government about a possible attack on crowds and did not take any precautions. Furthermore, some of the terrorists were captured in Bryansk, 342 km from Moscow. How did they manage to evade the action of the Russian security forces not only to enter Moscow armed and commit that atrocious attack, but also to flee such a distance without being intercepted? This suggests that someone could have facilitated this attack. But who would have the capacity for that?

The role of the FSB in this attack and the precedent of the Dubrovka theater in 2002

You don't have to look around to find an answer to that question: the Federal Security Service (FSB), successor to the Soviet KGB and the most powerful security and intelligence organization in Russia, which has among its competencies in the fight against terrorism and border security. Obviously, what happened yesterday can be seen as a failure of the FSB, which was unable to detect this terrorist cell, was unable to dismantle it before the attack and has been unable to stop it until it was already 342 km away. from Moscow.

Another explanation is that this failure of the FSB has an explanation other than mere incompetence. There is a precedent for this: a terrorist attack whose characteristics are very similar to yesterday's attack against Crocus City Hall. On October 23, 2002, dozens of Islamist terrorists attacked the Dubrovka theater in Moscow. On that occasion they did not start shooting indiscriminately at people, unlike what happened yesterday, but They took 850 hostages. On October 26, special Spetsnaz groups of the FSB raided the theater, after having introduced into the premises a chemical anesthetic agent that is still kept secret today. The assault resulted in the death of 133 hostages and 40 terrorists, many of them due to the gas used by the FSB.

The revelations of two former FSB agents in relation to the Dubrovka case

After the attacks, former FSB agent Aleksandr Litvinenko accused the Russian service of being behind the attacks, stating that two of the terrorists who attacked the Dubrovka theater They worked for the FSB and that this service facilitated terrorists' access to the theater. Litvinenko had already accused the FSB of being behind a series of terrorist attacks in Russia in 1999 that served to catapult Vladimir Putin, a former KGB agent, to power.

Litvinenko's was not the only testimony in that sense. Another former FSB agent, Mikhail Trepashkin, who had also pointed out the link of that Russian service with the 1999 attacks, stated in a statement on July 20, 2003: "At the end of July-August 2002,... I received information about a concentration in the city of Moscow of armed Chechen extremists... They were especially concentrated in the Southwest and Central districts of the city of Moscow." The information was provided by a retired FSB colonel, VV Shebalin. However, the FSB did nothing. Trepashkin stated: "Either the concentration of extremists took place under the control of the Russian FSB and they therefore decided to turn my citing of such information into the revealing of a state secret of Russia, or Shebalin did not transmit the information to the Russian FSB."

The murder of Politkovskaya and Litvinenko

In a Russia where opposing Putin was already dangerous, journalist Anna Politkovskaya investigated the involvement of the FSB in that terrorist attack. Her investigations ended up costing her her life: she was shot dead in Moscow on October 7, 2006. Aleksandr Litvinenko accused Putin of that crime. That same year, a month and a half after Politkovskaya's murder, Litvinenko died poisoned by an FSB agent in London. In turn, Mikhail Trepashkin was accused of revealing FSB secrets and sent to prison for four years.

An attack facilitated by the FSB and used by Putin for political purposes

That terrorist attack on the Dubrovka theater served Putin as an excuse to increase the sending troops against the Chechen rebels, within the framework of the Second Chechen War. In turn, the FSB obtained more resources and gained more power in Russia, going so far as to control the lives of Russians as the Soviet KGB had done before. A control that, inexplicably, has not allowed him to intercept the terrorists who attacked the Crocus City Hall in Moscow yesterday, nor the terrorists' escape to Briansk.

Belarus spoils Putin's version of yesterday's attack

Right now, after Russian state media concealed the claim for yesterday's attack by ISIS, Putin has targeted Ukraine for the mere fact that Bryansk is 103 km from that country. It is the same distance between Bryansk and the border with Belarus. In fact, the Belarusian ambassador to Dmitry Krutoy, has spoiled Putin's version, stating that "last night the main task was to prevent terrorists from crossing our common border. The task is already accomplished." That is to say, according to Belarusian diplomacy itself, the terrorists were heading to Belarus, not to Ukraine.

Russian propagandists suddenly change their version

But facts don't matter for the Kremlin. Putin wants an excuse for a second mobilization against Ukraine and the FSB would have provided it by inexplicably lowering its guard and allowing some Tajiks to commit the worst terrorist attack in the history of Russia, entering and leaving from Moscow without being intercepted. To spread the false accusation against Ukraine, the Kremlin already has its state media and its entire network of propagandists, both inside and outside Russia, a network that yesterday was striving to link ISIS with the United States and which today had to suddenly change its version due to the new instructions issued by Moscow.


Main photo: Shutterstock. Agentes del FSB.

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