St. Petersburg Train Bombing

Train Station. Photo via Google under labeled for reuse.

Train Station. Photo via Google under labeled for reuse.

On Monday, April 3, there was a deadly explosion in Moscow, Russia, at a Metro Station. A suicide bomber from the central Asian Republic of Kyrgyzstan was the one to initiate and carry out the attack. The bomber has been identified as 22 year old Akbarjon Djalilov.

The attack killed 14, but more than 50 people were injured. The bombing occurred at approximately 2:40 p.m. Later, however, police and investigators found another bomb at a second train station that matched the DNA of Akbarjon Djalilov. This second bomb was hidden in a fire extinguisher but was soon defused by professionals.

The Prime Minister of Russia, Dmitri Medvedev, named the explosion a “terrorist attack,” but the Kyrgyz Foreign Minister, Erlan Abyldaev, declared it a “suicide bombing.” Abyldaev states, “Regarding the link with Islamic radicalism, we have to wait to know more until the investigation yields its full results.” Some people believe this was more of a terrorist attack than a suicide bombing because the bomber was from the same home country as the Boston marathon bombers. Up to 500 people have joined ISIS from that same country.

Russian President, Vladimir Putin, was in St. Petersburg for a conference on the morning of the attack. At the conference, many people asked Dmitry Peskov if he thought Putin was a target, and he responded with, “Of course the fact that the terror attack happened when the head of the state was in town is a food for thought and is subject to analysis by the special services. Any terror attack that happens in the country is an attack on every single Russian citizen, including the head of state.”

A former FBI agent, Bobby Chacon, says that it’s unlike ISIS to stay quiet after an attack because they usually claim their actions quickly. Chacon says, “Last year when two ISIS operatives attacked police officers on the outskirts of Moscow… one of the first things that was released was the video where they claimed allegiance to al-Baghdadi, the ISIS leader, and ISIS itself, and that’s a hallmark—as we’ve seen in San Bernardino—of an ISIS attack.”

The train driver, Alexander Kaverin, is being praised for his heroic actions in spite of the disaster. Many say that his actions helped save the lives of many.  He began to evacuate passengers as fast as he could. Alexander Kaverin says, “At that moment there was no question of fear. It was just a question of working, rolling up your sleeves. I just acted according to instructions because we have instructions worked out especially for such cases. We have had explosions before, and I think these instructions are very clever, very correct.”

Russia has been a popular place for terrorist attacks, especially at train stations. We’ve seen many bombings occurring in Russia in 2013, 2010, and 2002. Reports say that security has been intensified throughout Russia. Thousands of policemen have been deployed in St. Petersburg’s malls. Not all victims have been identified, but DNA testing will be used to identify the remaining people. There has also been a memorial that was set up at the Tekhnologii Chesky Institut train station on Tuesday.