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Who was the St. Petersburg metro suicide bomber?

10:57, 5 april 2017

Photo: Channel Russia / Reuters / Scanpix / LETA 

Russia’s Investigative Committee has announced that the April 3 terrorist attack in St. Petersburg had been committed by twenty-two-year-old suicide bomber Akbarjon Jalilov. The attacker first left a bomb at the Ploshchad Vosstaniya metro station, before blowing himself up in the third card of a train passing from the Sennaya Ploshchad metro station to the Tekhnologichesky Institut metro station. The attack took the lives of 14 people and left more than 50 passengers injured.

Akbarjon Jalilov was born in the Kyrgyz city of Osh on April 1, 1995. He had turned 22 years old just two days before the terrorist attack. At the request of his father, who had already been working in Russia for ten years, Jalilov received a Russian passport at the Russian Consulate in Osh in 2011. Then Jalilov moved to Russia; he did not have Kyrgyz citizenship.

Jalilov lived in St. Petersburg. He worked as a cook at the Sushi wok and worked with his father at an auto shop as a car repairman. He was also engaged in hand-to-hand combat and, according to his coach, was not especially successful in the sport.

The alleged terrorist’s mother and younger brother still live in Osh, but local journalists were unable to locate his relatives upon visiting the family home; the house was locked up (it is possible that the relatives were being interrogated by secret services at this time.) Neighbors told new agency Interfax that Jalilov had not reappeared at home since he left to Russia. According to news source 24.kg, Jalilov came to Osh on March 3; Gazeta.ru reported that he came at the end of February and left on March 3. News source Vremya.kg reported that he would ordinarily fly to St. Petersburg, but that this time he flew to Moscow. Special services are trying to determine whom he communicated with while in the Russian capital.

According to a source interviewed by Gazety.ru, Jalilov adhered to “the ideas of one of the extremist organizations banned in Russia, connected with the so-called Islamic state.” Newspaper Kommersant reported that that Jalilov is believed to have been ideologically inspired by someone in Syria. Investigators are now studying his correspondence. According to Gazety.ru, he was not being investigated by security services and had not been convicted of any crimes before the attack.