Russian security forces reported Tuesday that the St. Petersburg suicide bomber stalked the city for two hours, waiting for the optimum moment to detonate his backpack bomb in order to kill the greatest number of people.
Akbarzhon Jalilov, a 22-year-old Russian born in Kyrgyzstan, detonated the device on a crowded metro train, killing 14 people and injuring 50, including children. Jalilov was seen clenching his fists, as if bracing himself, moments before initiating the attack.
According to REN TV, “Either he couldn’t make up his mind, or he chose the moment when there were as many people as possible.”
The report said that the Sennaya Ploshad station offered a target that “is the very heart of St Petersburg, where there are many people all the time, many sights, and, besides, a railway station not far away.”
Prior to the explosion, Jalilov allegedly planted another bomb disguised as a fire extinguisher at Ploshad Vosstaniya, but an employee of Rosgvardiya risked his life to neutralize it.
Jalilov is originally from Kyrgyzstan, a predominantly Muslim Central Asian nation of six million that is a close political ally of Russia where there is a Russian military airbase.
Rakhat Sulaymanov, the spokesman for Kyrgyzstan’s secret service, said, “It was established that the suspect in this act of terror was born in our republic.”
Sulaymanov named the alleged bomber as Akbarjon Djalilov, who was born in 1995 and “has probably acquired Russian nationality.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed Tuesday that Vladimir Putin was in St. Petersburg when the bombing occurred, albeit miles away. Peskov claimed that the attack “makes one pause” and is “something for the intelligence agencies to analyze.”
Wednesday the Kremlin described the attack as a “challenge” to Putin, asserting that it was “noteworthy” that it occurred while the Russian President was in St. Petersburg.
As of yet, no one has claimed responsibility for the bombing, but previous attacks on Russia have been attributed to ISIS and Chechens.
H/T: Daily Mail
To see more stories like this, sign up below for Dennis Michael Lynch’s email newsletter.
Sign up to get breaking news alerts from Dennis Michael Lynch.
Second bomb discovered at another Russian subway station