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SITREP: Crocus City Hall Attack (GRAPHIC)


BREAK DOWN

  • Date: March 22, 2024
  • Location: Crocus City Hall, Moscow
  • Fatalities: At least 133
  • Injured: Over 100
  • Suspects: 4x Assailants, reportedly Tajik
  • Suspect Status: Captured
  • Motive: Islamic State attack

EVENTS

19:55- Entry into Complex

Location of gunmen entry at Crocus City Hall.

On March 22, 2024, at proximately 19:55 local time, four attackers, three of which were armed with automatic rifles, began to open fire on venue goers at the Crocus City Hall entertainment complex in Moscow, making entry into the building along an eastern entrance way on the ground floor (55.82723, 37.3909) near the exhibition center.

At least 9x casualties observed at entry point of gunmen.

Movements Towards Crocus City Hall

After gaining entry, the gunmen move towards an internal entry point to reach the entrance to the music hall.

After the attackers gain entry into the building, they turned left and start heading south towards the main entrance of Crocus City Hall on the ground floor.

As they approached an internal entry point for Crocus City Hall, they opened fire on a group a venue goers, resulting in at least 10x additional visual casualties.

Footage showing gunmen push forward into the music hall’s entrance area.

The gunmen then push through the entry point and past metal detectors set up for security, continuing to move towards the main entrance while on the ground floor. Casualties seen in previous video also visible in the next one.

Crocus City Hall Entrance

Video facing north towards gunman entry into music hall main entrance area.

While on the ground level still, the gunmen push towards the entry point for the music hall once inside Crocus City Hall. Footage above shows the moment as gunfire rings out after the gunmen made entry as crowds attempt to flee.

Later footage shows at least 7x casualties as crowds still attempt to escape through the main entrance way.

20:03- Entry into Music Hall

Gunmen open fire and light venue on fire.

At approximately 20:03, the attackers enter the music hall on the ground floor, shooting anyone that they can see while the suspect with the backpack begins lighting fires.

After approximately 10 minutes, the attacker fled the scene out of the main entrance to Crocus City Hall, escaping in the vehicles they arrived in. During this time, the fire at the venue continues to grow, making rescue efforts difficult and reportedly resulting in fatalities due to smoke inhalation. The fire eventually destroys most of the venue as the roof collapsed.

The attack lasted approximately 18 minutes.

SUSPECTS AND MOTIVES

Within hours, the Islamic State claimed responsibly for the attack through its Amaq news agency.

Later on, a longer statement was released providing photos of the attackers and detailing some of the events.

The statement read:

“The Islamic State dealt a strong blow to Russia with a bloody attack, the most violent targeting it in years. Security sources told Amaq Agency that a coordinated attack was launched by Islamic State fighters, on Friday, on a large crowd of Christians in the city of Krasnogorsk on the outskirts of the capital, Moscow.

The sources added that the attack targeted a mass concert attended by thousands of Christians, inside a music hall located within a large commercial complex in the city. The sources revealed to Amaq that the attack was carried out by four Islamic State fighters who were armed with machine guns, a pistol, knives and incendiary bombs, and was preceded by an intensive monitoring operation of the place.

The sources explained that the fighters stormed the hall and three of them began shooting at the crowd, while the fourth fighter was busy setting fire to the hall using incendiary bombs that had been prepared in advance for this purpose. The sources indicated that the fighters confirmed that they shot dozens of Christians in the heads, and slaughtered a number of them inside the hall and its corridors.

The bloody attack resulted in at least 300 Christians being killed or wounded, and a major fire broke out that destroyed two-thirds of the hall and caused the collapse of large parts. The sources confirmed to Amaq that the attack comes within the normal context of the raging war between the Islamic State and countries fighting Islam.”

Suspect 1, Suspect 2, Suspect 3, Suspect 4

While the exact identities of the attackers remain unclear at this time, they appear to be Tajik nationals that have been captured by Russian authorities. The first suspect shown had his ear cut off and stuffed into his mouth by an arresting officer.