US warned Russia that Moscow city hall could be target for attack

US warned Russia that Moscow city hall could be target for attack

Members of emergency services work at the scene of the gun attack at the Crocus City Hall concert hall in Krasnogorsk, outside Moscow (Picture: Getty Images)

The US reportedly warned Russia that its Crocus City Hall concert venue was a possible terrorist target before the deadly attack that killed more than 140.

American government officials shared intelligence with Russian authorities more than two weeks prior to the March 22 attack in Moscow’s suburbs, US officials told The Washington Post on Tuesday.

US officials specifically named Crocus City Hall, contradicting the Kremlin’s claims that the information from America was more general, the officials said.

The report brings into question why Russia did not do more to prepare for the attack at the concert hall.

Members of the Russian Emergencies Ministry carry out search and rescue operations at the Crocus City Hall concert venue after a shooting attack and fire, outside Moscow, Russia (Picture: Reuters)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has tried to blame Ukraine for the attack (Picture: Getty Images)

Three days before the attack, Russian President Vladimir Putin called the US’s warnings ‘outright blackmail’ and accused American officials of trying to ‘destabilize our society’.

Russia’s head of the Foreign Intelligence Service, Sergei Naryshkin, on Tuesday said the US shared details that were ‘too general and did not allow us to fully identify those who committed this terrible crime’ and that they ‘took appropriate measures to prevent’ the attack, per the state-run Interfax agency.

US government officials typically do not disclose intelligence on exact targets of potential terrorist attacks with other countries because it risks exposing how they got the information, experts told the newspaper.

A day after the US warned Russia, the US Embassy issued a public announcement that it was ‘monitoring reports that extremists have imminent plans to target large gatherings in Moscow, to include concerts’. The March 7 ‘security alert’ advised American citizens ‘to avoid large gatherings over the next 48 hours’.

The burning Crocus City Hall concert hall following the shooting incident in Krasnogorsk, outside Moscow, on March 22 (Picture: Getty Images)

A man suspected of taking part in the attack of a concert hall is escorted by Russian law enforcement officers prior to his pre-trial detention hearing at the Basmanny District Court in Moscow (Picture: Getty Images)

Some US officials suspect that Russia relaxed its security measures after no attacks were launched in the days after March 7, according to the Post.

A branch of the Islamic State called Islamic State-Khorasan, or ISIS-K, has claimed responsibility after gunmen opened fire and ignited a blaze at the venue.

Still, Putin has attempted, without evidence, to blame Ukraine for the deadliest terror attack in Russia in two decades.

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