News / Europe

Russia Suspects Northern Caucasus Terrorists in Moscow Subway Bombing

Russian authorities blame female suicide bombers for the two explosions at metro stations during rush hour Monday morning

Senior Russian officials say terrorists from the troubled Northern Caucasus could be behind two deadly explosions that ripped through Moscow's subway during morning rush hour on Monday.   Female suicide bombers are suspected of carrying out the bomb attacks that killed at least 38 people and injured dozens more.

The blasts occurred during the morning rush hour in central Moscow.  The first was at the Lubyanka metro station near the headquarters of the Russian State Security Service, known as the FSB, the successor to the Soviet KGB.   The second came 40 minutes later at the Park Kultury station near the city's well-known Gorky Amusement Park.

In a televised Kremlin meeting, FSB Director Alexander Bortnikov said preliminary information indicates the first device contained the equivalent of four kilograms of TNT, the second up to two kilograms.  Bortnikov also shared a possible motive.

The security official says the FSB's preliminary version of the attack points to involvement of terrorist groups from the Northern Caucasus.  He says his agency will consider this the working version, because body parts of two female suicide bombers found on the scene link them to the Northern Caucasus.

The deputy speaker of Parliament, Alexander Torshin, told the Interfax News Agency the choice of Lubyanka was not accidental, because FSB agents come to work through the station.  

Torshin also pointed to a connection in the Northern Caucasus, noting that the bombings could be in retaliation for killings announced this month of two prominent Islamic rebel leaders in the region.  Both were allegedly linked to Doku Umarov, an Islamist leader in Chechnya wanted by Russia on charges of terrorism, kidnapping and murder.

No one has claimed responsibility, but the last suicide bombings in Moscow six years ago were blamed on separatist rebels seeking Chechen independence.  

Russia has fought two wars against Chechnya since the 1990s - the latest effort to quell regional separatism since it was conquered by Russia in the 19th century.  Residents of Chechnya and other Caucasus republics complain of widespread corruption and unemployment.  Many come to Russia in search of work.

Ordinary Russians have also been quick to blame the Northern Caucasus.  VOA interviewed six metro passengers at random, and each pointed to the region as the likely source of the attack.  Olga notes many workers come from the Caucasus to Moscow in search of a living, but earn relatively little compared to long-time residents of the capital.

Olga says the newcomers get the least desirable jobs, earn no more than $600 a month and must work every day like a slave.  She notes many Muscovites earn five times their wages.

Russian authorities have opened hotlines for relatives seeking information about victims.  Criminal psychologist Mikhail Vinogradov at the independent Psychological Assistance Center told VOA his organization is being flooded with calls from people seeking expert help to cope with the trauma.  Vinogradov, a retired Interior Ministry official, says it is very hard to defend against terrorist attacks.

Vinogradov says Russian special services stop about 350 terrorist attacks a year, but given such a massive threat, it is impossible to prevent them all.  He says people should know that fact, adding that authorities are doing all they can to prevent terrorism.

Moscow's already crowded street traffic ground to a halt in many places as subway passengers sought other transportation.  Russian news reports says taxi drivers raised fares sharply and many people simply walked to their destinations.

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More