‘Fragments’ Of Suspected Suicide Bomber Found At St. Petersburg Metro Bombing

REUTERS/Ruslan Shamukov

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Russ Read Pentagon/Foreign Policy Reporter

Russian authorities identified Akbarzhon Dzhalilov, a Russian citizen of Kyrgyz origin, as the man responsible for bombing the St. Petersburg metro Monday.

Dzhalilov, 22, is suspected of engaging in the suicide bombing attack, which killed 14 people and injured another 49. Authorities reportedly identified him by finding his head at the crime scene.

“It has been ascertained that an explosive device could have been detonated by a man  fragments of whose body were found in the third carriage of the train,” said the Russian state investigative committee, according to the Independent.

Dzhalilov was born in Kyrgyzstan and obtained Russian citizenship in 2011. He then moved to St. Petersburg, where he worked at a sushi bar until 2015. Dzhalilov also reportedly worked with his father as a mechanic at one point.

Russian authorities did not previously suspect Dzhalilov of terrorist tendencies, though Russia’s reported he vanished in 2015. They are now investigating any potential links to the Islamic State. Dzhalilov’s social media accounts show no clear connections to radicalism, according to Russia’s Moskovsky Komsomolets tabloid. He reportedly posted videos of combat sports, such as street fighting, sambo and boxing.

Russian counter-terrorism officials may have been aware of a possible terrorist attack, but did not have enough information to prevent it, according to some reports. A Russian man with ties to ISIS reportedly provided information on the attack to authorities after he was arrested returning home from Syria, according to Russia’s Kommersant newspaper. A source told Kommersant that ISIS had established a sabotage network in Russia, but did not have further information, as they were low-ranking in the organization.

A second unexploded bomb was discovered at the scene of the attack, which authorities believe may have been left by another member of the ring, though this information has been treated as preliminary by Kommersant.

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