Massive Attacks on Synagogues and Churches Spur Russian Terror Probe; Priest, Officers Among the Dead

Massive Attacks on Synagogues and Churches Spur Russian Terror Probe; Priest, Officers Among the Dead

In the Russian North Caucasus area of Dagestan, on Sunday, gunmen opened fire on two synagogues, two Orthodox churches, and a police post.

In reaction to the “armed attacks in Derbent and Makhachkala, as a result of which police officers and civilians were killed and injured,” the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, according to the organization’s Telegram feed, launched a terrorism probe.

The 66-year-old priest was discovered at an Orthodox church with his throat slashed, according to Shamil Khadulaev, chairman of Dagestan’s Public Monitoring Commission, according to the state-run TASS news agency.

The Russian Interior Ministry was cited by news organizations as stating that at least two police officers had also died, according to Reuters. There were at least six injuries.

Massive Attacks on Synagogues and Churches Spur Russian Terror Probe; Priest, Officers Among the Dead

Days before eight suspected members of ISIS were apprehended throughout the United States, FBI Director Ray was alerted to the threat of terror posed by open border conditions.

Russian synagogue burning and attacks

In Russia’s Dagestan area, attackers set churches and synagogues on fire. (East-West)

An official statement from Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed a “combined attack in two cities in Dagestan province, Makhachkala and Derbent.”


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“In Derbent, the synagogue was set on fire and completely destroyed. There were local guards murdered. The statement read, “There are no additional details. Gunfire attacked the Makhachkala synagogue.” “At the same time, churches were attacked in Makhachkala and a priest was murdered in Derbent.”

“As far as is known, there were no worshipers in the synagogues at the time of the attack and there are no known casualties from among the Jewish community,” stated the statement. “The Israeli embassy in Moscow is in contact with the leaders of the Jewish community in the district.”

The derbent shooting in Russia

An illustration of the Russian city of Derbent. (News from Fox)

Internet users shared videos of gunmen shooting police officers and burning buildings.

Reuters, citing unidentified sources, reported that gunfire broke out outside a synagogue in Derbent, the North Caucasus town that is home to a long-standing Jewish population. One officer was killed in the incident.

It has also been alleged that gunfire was exchanged in the town’s UNESCO-designated Orthodox church. A second gunfight was reported at a police post in Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan, a predominantly Muslim area of southern Russia, which is located approximately 75 miles north along the shore of the Caspian Sea, according to Reuters.

The president of Dagestan nominated by Vladimir Putin, Sergei Melikov, claimed that “unknown persons” in Derbent and Makhachkala made an effort to “destabilize the social situation,” according to Russian news agency RIA.

There was no prompt identification of the gang responsible for the attacks.

Russian attacks by gunmen

In the Dagestan territory of Russia, gunmen are said to have opened fire on police. (East-West)

But they coincide with worries over the growth of Islamic extremists, particularly the ISIS-K organization, in the area.

The Biden administration’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, along with the terrorist attack by Hamas on southern Israel on October 7, have increased the threat of terrorism, FBI Director Christopher Wray warned earlier this month. He cited “the potential for a coordinated attack here in the homeland, not unlike the ISIS-K attack we saw at the Russian concert hall back in March.”

Terrorists stormed Moscow’s Crocus City concert hall on March 22, killing over 140 and wounding over 180. Russian media revealed that Tajikistani nationals were the gunmen responsible for the incident. The terrorists entered the 6,200-seat arena and started firing randomly after gaining access with automatic weapons.

Smoke near the Russian assault site

In the Russian state of Dagestan, smoke is visible following reports of gunmen attacking churches and synagogues in the cities of Derbent and Makhachkala. (East-West)

A large fire was raging at the performance venue, according to images from the site.

The news of attacks in Russia on Sunday coincides with the groundbreaking of a new building at the location of Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue, where 11 Jewish worshipers were killed on October 27, 2018, a Shabbath morning, in the deadliest act of antisemitism in American history.

Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro and U.S. Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff were among the dignitaries attending the groundbreaking.

The goal of Emhoff’s Sunday speech, according to the first Jewish spouse of an American president or vice president, was to “send a message to the Jewish community of Pittsburgh, to the country, and to the world, that we must never forget what the poison of antisemitism can do.”

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