LIVE. At least 40 dead in shooting and fire in concert hall near Moscow

24 March 2024
Breaking Latest News, 24 March 2024

by Breaking Latest News / Photo credits: Breaking Latest News

Terror expert Pieter Van Ostaeyen expects more IS attacks: “They don’t care which Western country is hit”

“It is not the first IS attack in Russia, but it is the deadliest.” This is what jihad expert Pieter Van Ostaeyen told Belga after the attack on a concert hall in Moscow. He expects a further increase in the number of IS attacks, especially in the Sahel.

Russia may be a surprising target of Islamic State for many, but for Van Ostaeyen it is not. “There have been nine to ten attacks in Russia in recent years, but this is the deadliest,” it said. “For IS, it doesn’t matter which Western country is hit, it is always a justified target for them.”

In addition, Vladimir Putin is also a loyal ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and was so during the IS heyday in 2014-2015, according to the terror expert. He also underlines that the US recently warned Russia of an impending attack, “but those warnings were simply ignored.” “I think that IS has now partly taken advantage of the reduced, relaxed security situation in Moscow to be able to strike unnoticed,” it said.

The ISKP (Islamic State in Khorasan Province) branch is reportedly behind the attack in the concert hall. Its aim is to establish a caliphate in Central Asia, including in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. “The same branch was also responsible for the attack during the memorial ceremony of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in Iran at the beginning of this year,” said Van Ostaeyen.

Finally, the terror expert points out that the Islamic State is not back, but has always continued to carry out attacks. He points to an increase in the number of terrorist acts in the Sahel region. “I expect the situation there to get completely out of hand and that we will then have a new flow of refugees towards the West,” he fears.


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