At least 31 people were killed
and 120 injured in an explosion at Moscow's busiest airport Monday
morning. On-the-scene testimonials and amateur video recordings are
chronicling a powerful blast leaving dead bodies strewn about Domodedovo
airport and smoke billowing throughout the arrivals hall. Immediate
suspicion is falling on separatist rebels in Russia's long-restive
Caucasus region—though no one can say with any certainty at this point.
In a televised address, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev said “At
Domodedovo an explosion has occurred, and according to preliminary
information it was a terrorist attack." Here's what reporters and
bloggers are gathering from around the web:
- Did Chechens Do It? "The most obvious suspects here would seem to be the Chechens," offers Doug Mataconis at Outside the Beltway. "[They] have shown an ability to carry out spectacular, and deadly, terrorist attacks throughout Russia and even in Moscow itself many times over the past decade."
- There Are Lots of Possibilities, writes Ed Morrissey at Hot Air: "The Russian Federation has fought a years-long war in the Caucasus against Islamist separatists. On occasion, those groups have staged terrorist attacks in Moscow and other parts of the country. Those battles have been quiet lately, though, and Russia has other sources of unrest that could have resulted in an attack. It also could still be an accidental explosion in the terminal."
- Suicide Bombers RIA Novosti, a Russian state-owned news agency is reporting that "two suicide bombers blew themselves up as people emerged from the international arrivals zone."
- One Group Targeted "Early suspicion has fallen on the 'Caucasus Emirate,' an Islamist separatist movement in Chechnya, which has been held responsible for deploying two female suicide bombers against the Moscow Metro subway system in March 2010," writes John Hayward at the conservative magazine Human Events. "Those attacks claimed over 40 lives. Chechen separatists supposedly trained a sizable group of 'black widow' female bombers, and promised future terror attacks."
- The Nature of the Bomb "Police said they believed that about 15 pounds of explosive had been used," Will Englund at The Washington Post reports. "Cellphone jamming devices were activated at the airport to try to prevent more potential bombs from being detonated."
- The Airport Has Had Security Problems in the Past, notes Lynn Berry at The Associated Press: "Domodedovo is generally regarded as Moscow’s most up-to-date airport, but its security procedures have been called into question. In 2004, two suicide bombers were able to board planes at Domodedovo by buying tickets illegally from airport personnel. The bombers blew themselves up in mid-air, killing all 90 people aboard the two flights."
- Witness Testimonies “There was a bang, and all I remember is that the shock wave pushed me to the floor. My hat flew away, and I put my jacket over my head. Five seconds later, when the smoke cleared, I saw people running out,” one man told the Pervy Kanal news channel. "I heard a loud bang, saw plastic panels falling down from the ceiling and heard people screaming. Then people started running away," said Sergei Lavochkin to Rossiya 24 television.
- "Here's Something You Don't See in America," notes Dan Amira at New York Magazine. He points to a remark by Russian president Dimitri Medvedev who "admonished officials for their failure to prevent the attack."