People gather on Wednesday to honor the memory of the victims of the subway bombing in St. Petersburg, Russia. (AP Photo/Yevgeny Kurskov)

Russian police arrest 3 suspected of links to subway bombing

By Irina Titova and Vladimir Isachenkov / Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia — Russian security agents on Thursday arrested three people suspected of links to a suicide bomber accused of attacking the city’s subway and deactivated an explosive device in the apartment where the suspects lived.

The Investigative Committee said the suspects are residents of the former Soviet Central Asia region like the bomber, 22-year-old Akbarzhon Dzhalilov, a native of Kyrgyzstan. Dzhalilov blew himself up on a busy subway line Monday, killing himself and 13 others and wounding over 50 people.

The impoverished, predominantly Muslim countries in Central Asia are seen as fertile ground for Islamic extremists, and thousands of their citizens are believed to have joined the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.

No one has claimed responsibility for Monday’s subway bombing, but Russian trains and planes long have been targeted by bombings by Islamist militants.

The committee, the nation’s top criminal investigation agency, said investigators also found objects that would help advance the probe during a search of the home on St. Petersburg’s eastern outskirts.

The Federal Security Service, the main KGB successor agency, said in a statement that its experts defused a self-made explosive device at the apartment. The Russian news reports said three people were arrested.

A leading St. Petersburg news portal, Fontanka.ru, said materials used in the explosive device found Thursday matched those used by militants in Syria.

An unidentified law enforcement official told the Tass news agency that investigators were checking information that Dzhalilov may have trained with IS in Syria.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said between 5,000 and 7,000 people from Russia and other former Soviet republics were fighting alongside the Islamic State group and other militants in Syria. He has named the IS threat as one of the reasons behind Russia’s military campaign in Syria in support of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Thursday’s arrests came a day after law enforcement agencies detained eight Central Asian migrants suspected of acting as recruiters for IS and al-Qaida’s Syria branch. The investigators found no immediate evidence of their involvement in the subway attack.

With St. Petersburg residents tense following the deadly subway bombing, the collapse of part of apartment building on Thursday triggered fears of a new attack until city authorities explained the cause. No one was hurt.

One victim of Monday’s attack, 50-year-old Irina Medyantseva, an artist well-known for the dolls she made, was buried Thursday in a funeral attended by a few dozen relatives and friends.

“I’m thankful to all those who want to help us,” said her husband, Alexander Kaminskiy. “The country and the entire world share our pain.”

Isachenkov reported from Moscow.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Brace for delays along U.S. 2 for bridge and road work

Projects between Snohomish and Index are set for the coming week, with single-lane traffic in spots.

Memorial honors fallen Bothell police officer Jonathan Shoop

After a motorcade through the city, the rookie cop’s two brothers spoke at a service Tuesday in Bothell.

Jen Hirman and her daughter Elizabeth, who attends Jackson High, waves signs along Evergreen Way in support of the Everett schools levy on Monday, Aug. 3, 2020 in Everett, Wa. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
School levies are in trouble in Lakewood and Darrington

Everett’s $317 million bond proposal is within striking distance, but levies could go down in the north county.

Appointees leading in area legislative races; few close ones

It was a solid night for incumbents, with more than half the expected ballots counted.

Mead and Carrington lead in Snohomish County Council race

Incumbent PUD Commissioner Sid Logan will likely face Rob Toyer for a spot on the utility board.

Police: Boy, 12, fights off kidnapper south of Everett

A suspect, 44, was tracked down and arrested Tuesday by Snohomish County sheriff’s deputies.

Man identified as the deceased in Bothell police shooting

Court records show Juan Rene Hummel Jr., 25, had a history of mental health issues.

Everett school bond loses ground in latest tally of ballots

Some good news in Lakewood where the district’s two-year technology levy inched closer to passage

Homeless on Everett street corner fenced out amid protest

Some 20 people were told to leave a park on Wednesday as authorities continue to clear out encampments.

Most Read