Moscow attacker posted photos from Istanbul month ago, reveals Russian media

The Russian media has revealed that one of the four attackers arrested following the gun attack on a concert hall in Russia had shared eight photos from Istanbul on Feb. 23, a month before the attack.

Duvar English

The Russian media outlets revealed that Shamsiddin Fariduni, one of the perpetrators of the attack at the Crocus Concert Hall in Moscow, Russia, shared photos from Istanbul on Feb. 23.

After the attack on March 22, Fariduni reportedly said that “he had traveled from Turkey to Russia on March 4,” in a video shared from the moments his capture. The video was also shared by Russia Today (RT) Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan, a figure close to Kremlin. 

According to the reporting of the Russian news agency RIA Novosti, the attacker shared eight photos from Istanbul, and in almost all of the photos, the location was the megacity’s Aksaray neighborhood.

Fariduni shares photos from Istanbul one month before the attack.

The posts included images of Fariduni himself, along with photos taken, presumably, in the Fatih Mosque.

A Moscow Court has arrested four Tajikistan citizens, including Fariduni, among the 11 suspects detained after the attack.

Even though the Islamic State (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the attack and U.S. officials reported that ISIS-K, the Khorasan branch of ISIS, was behind the attack, the Russian authorities have been hesitant about these claims.

ISIS-K, named after a term for the region covering Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and parts of Iran, emerged in eastern Afghanistan in late 2014. Most of the captured attackers were from these regions as well.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova claimed that the U.S. was "trying to excuse itself and Ukraine by shifting responsibility for the attack to ISIS,” in an opinion piece written for Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda.

Zaharova described this as a "strange coincidence,” claiming that ISIS had changed its plans in recent years and was now mainly attacking enemies of the U.S.