Four suspects arrested after at least 115 killed in Moscow concert attack, Russia says

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Matthew Sussex, an expert on Russia and an associate professor at the Australian National University, has been speaking to BBC News about why Islamic State would attack Russia – and what it would do in response.

“Russia has a long history of treating many of the people on its own territory who are Muslims not particularly well,” he tells the BBC.

“We have had two wars in Chechnya… the second 1999 to 2006 was something of a radicalised war in which you did have people who went on to fight with Islamic State against the Russian government.

“Since then, Russia’s activities in Syria have made Islamic State see the Russian government as a primary threat.”

He says he expects the Russian response to the Crocus Hall attack to be one of “extreme violence”, citing the aftermath of the 2002 Moscow theatre siege and 2004 Beslan school siege as examples.

“Perhaps it’s not so important who carried out the attacks but who the Russian government decides is to blame and who they are going to respond against.”

He says the US warning about a potential attack, issued on 7 March, was treated by the Kremlin as an attempt to “meddle” in its recent general election and its internal affairs.

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