Russian authorities are now saying that an Islamic extremist was behind today’s train bombing in St. Petersburg:
Police in Russia now believe a suicide bomber, who has close links to radical Islamists was behind the attack.
He was named locally as Maksim Arishev, 22, from Kazakhstan and a CCTV image has been released of the suspect. The image shows a man in a red Parka jacket, wearing glasses and a green beanie hat and carrying a rucksack on his back.
Despite initially issuing search warrants for two suspected terrorists, authorities believe the suspected suicide bomber was behind the attack and also have intelligence to suggest he planted a second explosive device – disguised as a fire extinguisher – which was found and defused at a nearby station.
The link goes to the Daily Mail, which as usual has the best collection of photographs, some graphic. This is the man believed to be the bomber:
One bomb, which was in a container packed with nails, went off while the subway train was between stations. A second bomb, allegedly also planted by the same man at a different station, was packed with ball bearings but was not detonated. At least 11 people were killed, with dozens more injured.
Russia has long been bedeviled by Islamic terrorism, which has caused many to hope that we can make common cause with them on this issue. But it’s complicated: Iran, long the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism, is a Russian client. And events in Syria, where Russia supports Assad, illustrate how difficult it can be to identify an anti-terror policy that makes sense.