What The US’s “Duty To Warn” Is And How It Applied To The Concert Hall Attack In Moscow

(NewsReady.com) – Russia experienced a horrific terrorist attack recently. More than 100 people lost their lives. The attack has highlighted the US’ duty to warn policy.

On March 22, ISIS-K terrorists dressed in camouflage and carrying high-powered weapons entered Crocus City Hall and opened fire. The Soviet-era rock band Picnic was playing a concert at the 6,200-seat venue. At least 139 people died, including three kids, and over 150 people suffered injuries.

In the weeks before the massacre, the US followed its duty to warn policy and informed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government that intelligence indicated there would be an attack. The policy, formalized in 2015 by then-CIA Director James Clapper, requires the intelligence community to warn Americans and non-citizens of “impending threats of intentional killing, serious bodily injury or kidnapping.”

On March 7, the US Embassy in Moscow issued a security alert to US citizens, warning them “that extremists [had] imminent plans to target large gatherings” in the city, including concerts. The embassy advised Americans to avoid large crowds in the following 48 hours.

The State Department had previously told all Americans to leave Russia, in part because “individuals inspired by extremist ideology continue plotting possible terrorist attacks” in the country.

Hours after the US March 7 alert, Russian authorities claimed they stopped a synagogue shooting. Canada, Britain, Latvia, and South Korea all repeated the US Embassy’s warning to their citizens.

On March 19, just three days before the terrorist attack, Putin accused the US and its allies of making “provocative statements” about an alleged impending attack. He accused the West of trying to destabilize his country.

In the wake of the attack, the US stated that it tried to give Russia notice because of its duty to warn. Putin blamed the West and Ukraine for the massacre. US officials have said there’s no indication that any entity other than ISIS-K is responsible for the attack at the concert hall.

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