25 Jul 2018 13:58

Accused in St. Petersburg metro attack were members of terror organization banned in Russia - Investigative Committee

MOSCOW. July 25 (Interfax) - The people who created the terrorist group responsible for the explosion in the St. Petersburg metro in April 2017 were in Syria, said Sergei Golkin, acting deputy head of the Investigative Committee's Main Directorate for Investigations into Especially Important Cases.

"According to the preliminary investigation, the accused were members of a group that was a structural part of a terrorist organization banned on the territory of Russia. It was created by people with origins in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, who later left for Syria," Golkin said in an interview with the newspaper Kommersant on Wednesday.

"Having lost to the government's armed forces, they switched to terrorism, including in the territory of our country," he said.

Eleven suspects are now reading the case materials, he said.

"At the final stage of the investigation, they were charged with participation in a terrorist community (Part 2 of Article 205.4 of the Russian Criminal Code), in addition to terrorism and crimes related to the illegal circulation of weapons and explosives," Golkin said.

An improvised explosive device went off in a metro carriage in St. Petersburg on April 3, 2017, killing 16 people, including the suspected suicide bomber, and injuring over 50 others. The investigation believes the bomb was activated by Akbarjon Jalilov, a native of Kyrgyzstan.

A total of 11 people have been indicted in the case, and all of them are currently being held in Moscow. Depending on their roles, they have been charged with belonging to a terrorist group, an attempted terrorist attack, illegal manufacturing, redesigning, or repairing of explosive devices, the commission of a terrorist attack by members of an organized group acting in collusion, and storage and transportation of explosives or an explosive device.