On April 3rd, 2017, a suicide bomber set off an improved explosive device (IED) in Saint Petersburg’s metro between Sennaya Ploshchad and Tekhnologichesky Institut stations.
In total 15 people died in the attack: 7 in the initial blast, including the bomber and 8 later in hospital. Approximately 50 were injured. 39 were hospitalized, 6 with critical injuries, according to data from the Russian Ministry of Health. More recent reports claim that 67 were injured in total.
A second explosive device was found and defused at Ploshchad Vosstaniya metro station.
The suspected perpetrator behind the attacks was identified by Kyrgyzstan and Russian intelligence services as Akbarzhon Jalilov, an ethnic Uzbek, 22-year-old Kyrgyz-born Russian citizen.
Russian President Vladimir Putin was visiting the city on the day of the attack.
TASS identified Kyrgyz-born Abror Azimov, who was detained by police in the Moscow Region as being the mastermind behind the attack.
“After being detained, Azimov confirmed his involvement in preparing for the terrorist attack,” a spokesperson for the Russian Investigative Committee said back in 2017.
Azimov said, “I have no objections at all regarding my detention, but this is not true regarding a statement from an investigator that I had pleaded guilty.”
“I do not deny my participation, but I was not directly involved,” Azimov claimed. “I did not know what I was doing as I was only executing commands, which I received.”
As of April 2019, all 11 arrested suspects for the attack are charged with being members of a terrorist group, supporting terrorist activity, and illegal production and sale of explosive devices. According to investigators, the suspects are members of the Jama’at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad terrorist group.
During the trial, telephone conversations between suicide bomber Akbarzhon Dzhalilov and the alleged organizers of the terror attack became known.
The audio recording reportedly is a conversation between Dzhalilov and his handler. According to it, the attack should’ve influenced by public opinion in Russia.
Earlier, the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation stated that Sirozhiddin Mukhtarov (Abu-Salakh) and Bobirjon Makhbubov (Ahmed), who head one of the militant units in Syria, were seeking the withdrawal of Russian troops from the country. To this end, a high-profile crime was needed in St. Petersburg.
Apparently, the organizers of the terrorist attack tracked events inside Russia, where in the spring of 2017 political activity was on the rise. In March, soome opposition rallies took place in the country’s cities. The leaked convesation shows that the terrorists believed that “non-system” Russian opposition is their ally.
HINT: One of these rallies was held in the center of St. Petersburg on March 26th, eight days before the terrorist attack. On April 2nd, already other opposition “activists” could completely block Nevsky Prospect by arranging a “Free March” from Gostiny Dvor to Palace Square.
In the released conversation it could be heard that a terrorist attack on a protester rally was unwanted, since they thought of the protests “as their own.”
“Those who are not dogs who are now going to a rally we do not need them (to blow them up). Because these simple ones are considered on our side. They have been waiting for a long time. And if they suffer, then they (the authorities) will tell them: “See what happened?” Therefore, we won’t attack them, we’ll attack those who are against them,” one of the alleged organizers of the terrorist attack told Dzhalilov over the phone.
The bomber himself justified that he could not find some kind of light bulb, which was necessary for the proper operation of the improvised explosive device (IED).
“Tomorrow, insha’llah, I will look for it and find it. If I have time tomorrow, I will. If I do not have time – a day later. One day later, maybe two days later,” he said on April 1st.
Meaning that there could have been even more victims if the attack happened on April 2nd, a Sunday, and there could have been more people, depending on where the IED (or more) was set off.
“Brother, you are not in a hurry,” his accomplice told him.
“Not that I’m in a hurry, just tomorrow (on Sunday) would be a very good opportunity. If it is possible, we’ll do it. If I can make it happen, then so it will be, inshallah,” said Dzhalilov.
He further suggested to carry out a terrorist attack with a car bomb.
“This plan is very effective, because one – there is a long road, there is a sidewalk, and there are about 100 meters, with people walking on foot. For the car, too, there is a road and they can be taken down one by one. In the center, in general, you can take down many, if someone wants to do that. I’ve just set my mind on this,” said the terrorist.
The answer to this proposal was: “Let us leave everything to the will of the Highest.” It could be presumed that they appeared in a hurry to organize something.
In turn, Dzhalilov, as it were, justified himself and told his handler that all he did was for Allah.
“Remember: my goal is not for some person, not for the sake of something. Just for the contentment of Allah. This is my intention. In the day of judgment, you will remind Allah ofit. Only the contentment of the Almighty. I walk on this road in order to only find his contentment. Nothing else. You will be the witnesses. Only for the sake of Allah, so that he should be pleased with me,” he explained.
Another and, apparently, the last conversation between the terrorists took place the next day, April 2nd.
“Little brother, out of a hundred there is only one you. Do not forget. That’s all, brother, good, may Allah protect you. Give our regards to the prophet. In the morning, when you leave, all the things that I said, if possible (eliminate). And chlorine (previously the handler insisted that Dzhalilov treat the entire apartment with chlorine before his last departure) do not forget, either,” one of the organizers said.
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