Terror in Crocus City Hall: Who are accused of the terrorist attack in Moscow

Three have minor children, and one is a 19-year-old

by Sededin Dedovic
Terror in Crocus City Hall: Who are accused of the terrorist attack in Moscow
© Channel 4 News / Youtube channel

The terrible events that took place on March 22, 2024 in the Crocus City Hall in Moscow disturbed the peace of an ordinary evening. A concert by the popular band Piknik was violently interrupted by a terrorist attack, leaving a trail of destruction and raising troubling questions about the attackers' motives and origins.

Four men are now accused of committing this heinous act: Dalerjon Mirzojev, Saidakrami Murodali Rachabalizoda, Shamsidin Fariduni and Muhamedsobir Fajzov. The details surrounding them give a complex picture, characterized by despair, poverty and several illogicalities in the story.

Dalerjon Mirzoyev, a 32-year-old citizen of Tajikistan, represents a particularly tragic figure. In addition to four small children, the youngest of whom are twins born in 2021, Mirzojev found himself involved in this act of violence.

His temporary registration in Russia had expired three months earlier, suggesting a precarious existence on the fringes of society. The stoic silence he maintained in court, along with the visible signs of torture, hint at the brutal journey that brought him to this point.

His inability to speak Russian required an interpreter, adding another layer of isolation to his predicament. Most disturbingly, Mirzoyev reportedly confessed to the crime, leaving a veil of uncertainty as to what drove him to participate in such a horrific act.

Suspects of Crocus Terrorist Attack© Channel 4 News / Youtube channel

Saidakrami Murodali Rachabalizoda, another citizen of Tajikistan, presents a similar profile. At the age of 30, he too was unemployed and had only a partial secondary education.

The gruesome injuries on his face, especially the bandaged ear that was said to have been cut off during his arrest, spoke volumes about his rough treatment. Married with a child, Rachabalizoda's story is further marred by his illegal presence in Russia since March 6, 2024.

The 2018 deportation for residence violations raises questions about his ability to reintegrate into society. Like Mirzoyev, Račabalizoda relied on an interpreter and admitted his involvement in the attack. Shamsidin Fariduni, the youngest of the accused at 25, appears to have been specially recruited for this crime.

Originally from Gisar, Tajikistan, he arrived in Russia with the sole purpose of carrying out a terrorist attack. Registered in Krasnogorsk, a stark contrast to the idyllic surroundings of his hometown, Fariduni seems to have been drawn into the web of radicalization.

Unlike the others, he understood Russian and readily answered questions, except for those concerning his small child. And he confessed to the crime, leaving the court with the unenviable task of determining the factors that prompted his participation.

Muhamedsobir Fajzov, only 19 years old, stands out not only for his age, but also for his physical condition. Brought to court in a wheelchair, with a visible eye injury sustained during a shootout with security forces on the Ukrainian border, Fayzov's vulnerability is in stark contrast to the brutality of the alleged crime.

Fresh out of high school and unemployed, he reportedly worked as a barber in Ivanovo before the events unfolded. His limited communication, relying on head nods and an interpreter, makes it difficult to understand his motives.

Despite his injuries, the court decided to keep him in a pre-trial detention facility.

Suspects of Crocus Terrorist Attack© Channel 4 News / Youtube channel

The alleged promise of a paltry 500,000 rubles (roughly 5,000 euros) hangs in the air.

This insignificant amount seems like an inadequate incentive for such a devastating act, which raises the suspicion of deeper manipulation or exploitation. The background of the attackers, characterized by poverty, lack of opportunities and possible radicalization, suggests fertile ground for extremist ideologies.

One of the arrested admitted that they were promised half a million rubles, which is about 5,000 euros, for carrying out the attack. "Half a million roubles," one of the arrested men pointed out in a video of the interrogation that was broadcast by the First Channel of Russian television.

"Who gave it to you?" one of the interrogators asked him. “I haven't got it yet. I got half," he replied. The attack itself was a real nightmare. A night of music and celebration turned into bloodshed as gunmen unleashed chaos on a packed concert hall.

The ensuing panic led to a stampede, with terrified concertgoers desperately seeking escape. Those who could not escape in time were forced to hide inside the scene as flames erupted, further hampering rescue efforts. The final death toll – at least 137 dead and over 180 injured – speaks volumes for the sheer brutality of the attack.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack that took place on Friday, and they also released a video. Russian officials initially claimed that Ukraine was involved, but Kiev called those claims absurd. As the legal process unfolds, the world grapples with the aftermath of this tragedy.

The broken lives of the victims' families, the physical and psychological scars of the survivors, and the underlying factors that led these young men down this path demand answers and action. The attack on the Moscow concert hall serves as a stark reminder of the ever-present threat of terrorism and the urgent need to address the root causes that fuel such violence