Deadliest ISIS Attack on European Soil


ISIS, the powerful terrorist military group known for its brutal violence and assaults on civilians – has claimed responsibility for hundreds of terrorist attacks globally, including the harming and killing of innocent civilians and the destruction of antiquity. ISIS in general asserts a desire to create an Islamic state with the implementation of the Sharia law in as many places as possible.

While ISIS attempts to rule over the Middle East, Russia is continuing its invasion of Ukraine – having caused approximately 10,000 civilian deaths. There are multiple reasons why Russia declared war on Ukraine, the most acknowledged reason being that Russia wanted to get back the pre-WWII borders of Ukraine. In addition, this invasion is also attributed to Ukraine wanting to join NATO, and Russia, or better said Vladimir Putin opposing this idea.  

So what do both ISIS and Russia have in common? The intuitive answer might be nothing besides the killings and attacks on innocent civilians. That was until the Moscow attack took place on March 22nd. An attack that ISIS has taken responsibility for. 
Unclear why ISIS would attack Russia, the atrocity was set in the Moscow Crocus concert hall, which took 137 lives. That Friday evening, the attackers were firing bullets for nearly an hour, until they set the venue on fire. What is unclear is why ISIS would attack Russia. Looking historically, this could be due to the Russian war in Chechnya in 1999, and the Russian brutal Soviet military operations in Afghanistan in the 1980s. On the other hand, ISIS could have pursued this to attract more supporters in Russia, as when these heartbreaking operations are successful, they terrorize their enemies but also attract new supporters, even encouraging their existing supporters.

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Kamala Harris, the US vice President, has stated “What we know to be the case is that ISIS-K is actually, by all accounts responsible for what happened”. ISIS-K is an affiliate of ISIS operating in central Asia, and with their rise are becoming one of the most brutal and feared. The ones who are suspected to be behind the attack have been prosecuted and are most likely facing life imprisonment. 

Putin, who has stated similarly to Harris that the attack is also mainly ISIS-K’s fault, attempts to also accuse Ukraine for it, which officials in Kyiev strongly deny. But as mentioned earlier, the Russian invasion of Ukraine could be a factor as to why Putin is trying to fault them for the attack.  

Experts think that Russia could consider more foreign policy, suggesting possible ties with the Taliban for counterterrorism efforts against ISIS-K. However, since Talbians regained governmental control in the Middle East, specifically Afghanistan in 2021, they have issued 75++ edicts that restrict the rights and abilities to participate in the public sector for Afghan women. Some of the most restrictive include the banning of women being able to attend university, driving it as far as women barred from visiting health clinics and graveyards. Thus, if Russia does decide to work with the Taliban, this could make the Taliban stronger and therefore impose even more restrictions on the very livelihood of the Afghan people. 

In conclusion, it’s safe to say this attack has caused painful havoc and has further intensified Russia’s political relations with the Middle East which now remain unpredictable. Controversially, perhaps ISIS-K sees as Putin’s power is on the rise ever since the Ukraine invasion, that it was time to show Putin who’s in power. And what better way to show that if not through attacking his own people in his own country? 

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