29 Mar 2024 20:57

Russian Investigative Committee: Actions of Crocus attack perpetrators were coordinated via Telegram

MOSCOW. March 29 (Interfax) - The actions of the terrorists who attacked the Crocus City Hall concert venue were coordinated by an unidentified person via an online messenger, and after committing the crime, they drove towards the Ukrainian border, the Russian Investigative Committee said on Friday.

"The men accused of committing the terrorist attack testified in their initial statements and in the course of subsequent interrogations and other investigative procedures that a man who had introduced himself under a pseudonym had coordinated their actions both at the preparatory stage and after the armed attack on Crocus City Hall via Telegram voice messages," it said.

"Receiving instructions from the coordinator, the terrorists drove a car towards the Russian-Ukrainian border after committing the crime in order to cross it and go to Kiev to receive a reward promised to them," it said.

Investigators are continuing "a set of investigative procedures and operational actions to look into Ukrainian security services representatives' possible involvement in organizing and funding the terrorist attack," it said.

A group of men broke into Crocus City Hall before a show on the evening of March 22 and opened fire at the audience and staff. A fire broke out in the building. According to the latest update, 144 people have died and over 180 were injured in the attack. The Investigative Committee is investigating a criminal case into a terrorist attack.

On March 23, Federal Security Service Director Alexander Bortnikov briefed President Vladimir Putin on the detention of 11 suspects, including all four perpetrators of the terror attack. Nine of them have been arrested.

The Investigative Committee said later that a twelfth man suspected of complicity in the crime was detained.