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Warnings of Terror Attack in Moscow

On Thursday of last week, warnings emerged from within the US embassy in Moscow, ordering all American citizens to avoid large gatherings and to only make necessary trips following intelligence claiming a terrorist attack was imminent. Information stated that this attack is likely to occur in the city and will most likely aim at large groups and gatherings. The United States was among many different embassies that urged warnings to their citizens, including the UK, Cyprus, and Germany. Meanwhile, Russian authorities remained silent in their instruction.

The alert pleaded with citizens to remain indoors and avoid large gatherings for at least 48 hours. The US diplomatic mission stated on Thursday that: “the embassy is monitoring reports that extremists have imminent plans to target large gatherings in Moscow, to include concerts, and US citizens should be advised to avoid large gatherings of the next 48 hours”.  But with International Women’s Day falling on Friday, this interfered with several festivities and concerts relating to this holiday. 

Thursday therefore saw the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) that they had intercepted a cell of Islamic State-Khorasan Province (Isis-k), where they were led to believe an attack on a synagogue in Moscow was under planning. Reports state that this cell was traced southwest of Moscow in Kaluga, and the FSB took out an unspecified number of expected extremists when they were met with resistance using weaponry. The FSB statement claimed firearms and ammunition were confiscated, as well as the components used in an improvised explosive device. Officially, their report stated, “Active search measures established that they were militants of an international terrorist organization preparing an attack on the congregation of a synagogue with the use of firearms”. 

Following the US warnings, both the UK and Cypriot embassies also raised concerns with their citizens to stay away from crowded areas due to security. Among these, the US has also been frequently urging and warning US citizens to leave the country since the invasion and conflict began in February of 2022. Germany, on the other hand, issued a warning to stay inside and be cautious over the next 48 hours, not only because of the attack but also because there may be a strong possibility of their arrest by the Russian authorities.  Security alerts even go as far as to say no travel to or from Moscow unless necessary. Those who do so are travelling into Moscow at their own risk.

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued warnings against any attempts by the US to meddle in its domestic affairs, threatening strict measures including the expulsion of diplomats deemed undesirable. These warnings are consistent with the rising diplomatic tensions between the Western nations and Moscow.



Edited by: Adrita Barua

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