Russia thwarts planned terrorist attack on Moscow Synagogue

Russia thwarts planned terrorist attack on Moscow Synagogue

Security officers block a street near the Federal Security Service (FSB) building after a shooting incident, in Moscow, Russia December 19, 2019. (photo credit: REUTERS/SHAMIL ZHUMATOV)

The Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB),  successfully averted a potentially devastating terrorist attack aimed at a Moscow synagogue. According to the FSB's public relations center, the assailant, originating from one of the Central Asian countries, intended to carry out the attack during a period of significant congregation at the religious Jewish institution.

The Jerusalem Post has reached out to the Moscow Jewish community, which affirmed the report. 

According to the report, the individual in question, born in 2002 and previously incarcerated in his native country for a non-terrorism-related crime, had established connections with individuals convicted for their involvement in terrorist activities. Influenced by these associations, he adopted the ideology of an international terrorist organization, which remains unnamed but is known to be banned within the Russian Federation.

Assailant prepared for attack following release from Jail

According to the reports, upon his release from prison in November 2023, the accused traveled to Russia and embarked on preparations for the attack. His activities in Moscow included reconnaissance near the targeted synagogue and acquiring materials to construct an improvised explosive device (IED). This device was later discovered in his possession during a search operation.

The FSB's intervention reached a climax on April 10, when the suspect was confronted and ultimately neutralized after offering armed resistance.

This incident marks the second time within a span of a month that the FSB has intercepted plans targeting Jewish religious sites in Moscow. A previous operation in March uncovered a cell of the Islamic State terrorist group Vilayat Khorasan, also prohibited in Russia, in the Kaluga region. This cell had intentions of attacking synagogue-goers with firearms. Their detention also ended with the suspects being neutralized following a firefight.

The Chief Rabbi of Russia, Rabbi Berel Lazar, conveyed his heartfelt appreciation to the FSB, stating on Thursday, "Their diligent efforts have undoubtedly saved many lives." He highlighted the significance of their intervention in preventing a potential attack on a Moscow synagogue. Further elaborating on the incident, a representative from the Jewish community in Moscow shared, "The suspect had meticulously scouted the synagogue and procured materials to construct explosives. In a tense confrontation, as he attempted to evade arrest, he was decisively neutralized by the security unit." He added, "A subsequent search of his residence revealed a cache of explosive devices, averting a potential tragedy."

Source: The Jerusalem Post