By Yanay Rosen (Online Editor-in-Chief).
A suicide bomber murdered 14 people and injured dozens in St. Petersburg’s subway on Monday.
Russia’s investigative committee has identified the bomber as 22-year-old Akbarjon Djalilov from Kyrgyzstan. Djalilov’s DNA was found on a second large explosive device that authorities defused before detonation. Kyrgyzstan is a Muslim majority country in central Asia, and a former Soviet satellite.
Train driver Alexander Kaverin helped evacuate passengers following the terrifying blast. “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. ” he said.
“We have had explosions before and I think these instructions are very clever, very correct,” he added.
Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Erlan Abyldaev says the motives for the suicide bombing are not apparent yet. “Regarding the link with Islamic radicalism, we have to wait to know more until the investigation yields its full results,” he said.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says that the fact that Russian President Putin was in St. Petersburg may have played a role in the attacks. “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,” he said.
Peskov also says that President Donald Trump sent “his deep condolences to the relatives and loved ones of those killed as result of a barbaric terrorist act.”
“The presidents noted that terrorism is the evil against which it is necessary to fight together,” Peskov added.
According to the Kremlin, President Trump called Putin personally to offer his condolences.
In a meeting with heads of states from the Commonwealth of Independent States, a group of mostly former Soviet countries, Putin painted a bleak picture. “We see that, unfortunately, the situation is not improving. The recent tragic events in St. Petersburg are the best confirmation of this. We know that each of our countries, practically every one, is a possible and potential target of terrorist attacks.”
The Russian military has had a large presence in Syria since the third year of Syria’s civil war, which began in 2011. Russia supports Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Assad, who is fighting a number of rebel groups including ISIS. ISIS leaders declared a Jihad against Russia in 2015 in response to airstrikes.