Moscow attack shouldn’t be used to split mankind
Published: Mar 25, 2024 05:23 PM
This photo taken on March 24, 2024 shows a billboard displaying the image of a candle to mourn victims of a terrorist attack in Moscow, Russia. Photo: Xinhua

This photo taken on March 24, 2024 shows a billboard displaying the image of a candle to mourn victims of a terrorist attack in Moscow, Russia. Photo: Xinhua

The Crocus City Hall concert in the Russian capital Moscow was attacked by terrorists on Friday. The latest death toll from the terrorist attack has risen to 137. This is the worst terrorist attack in Russian capital in decades.

Who is responsible for this massacre? Who organized and coordinated all this?

The four suspects appeared at a pre-trial hearing at Moscow's Basmanny District Court, where they were ordered held until at least May 22 pending trial. President Vladimir Putin addressed the nation on the concert attack, saying "we will identify and punish everyone who stands behind the terrorists, who prepared this atrocity, this strike against Russia, against our people."

This killing, apparently, is not an isolated incident. It did not happen haphazardly without pre-coordination and it was very thoroughly prepared with a massive amount of ammunition and resources.

Islamist group Islamic State claimed responsibility for Friday's rampage. However, I don't think we know the total truth about who is really behind this terrorist attack in Moscow. 
This massive killing happened at a time of great sensitivity. First, the presidential election in Russia just concluded. Second, on the battleground in Ukraine, Russia seems to be gaining the upper hand. And the Russian government may build up a link between the massive killings in Moscow and the war in Ukraine.

The Moscow civilians have suffered serious threats and loss of life. It doesn't seem to be an isolated, uncoordinated event. It is well planned. Its well-defined goal is to inflict as much death as possible on the civilian population in Russia. Their goal probably is to cause as much damage as possible and also to create social disturbance in Russia to undermine Russia's war effort in Ukraine.

Experts warn ISIS' attack on Moscow's concert hall could spark an escalation in the Ukrainian conflict, some media outlets reported. The timing could not be worse.

The real danger, therefore, is whether the war in Ukraine will escalate. If it does escalate, it will spill over to neighboring countries. What will be the real consequence of this escalation and this very serious development? Does it mean mankind will get closer to a World War III?  And does it mean that a WWIII, whenever it breaks out, will really be in the nature of a nuclear disaster rather than a war based on conventional weapons? I think lots of people in many capital cities in the world are really on edge today because no one knows what will happen in the coming months.

Moreover, when a society faces such a keen terrorist attack, generally speaking, it will get more and more united because they would need a strong leader, they would need strong actions by the government and by the military, and they would demand the actions be taken immediately to deal with the terrorist groups or the culprits behind them.

This is a terrorist attack, and there could not be any justification or rationale for such a terrorist attack aimed at innocent people.

The terrorists attacked massive numbers of innocent people. This is the time for mankind to be united in condemning such terrorist attacks. We should not try to use this terrorist attack to split mankind into opposing camps. And I do hope those behind this terrorist attack, directly or indirectly, will be brought to justice as quickly as possible, and their commitment to killing innocent people will be fully exposed.

The author is a chair professor at Soochow University and Vice President of the Center for China and Globalization. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn