In the wake of the suicide bombing that killed 14 in a St Petersburg, Russia subway, details have slowly emerged, revealing what Akbarzhon Jalilov was doing the two hours prior to the heinous attack.
Russian authorities released the CCTV video that shows Jalilov wearing a red parka and carrying a backpack that contained the bomb. The footage shows the radicalized man with his fist clutched. Authorities suspect the trigger to the bomb was in that hand.
Jalilov walked around for two hours looking for a spot that would cause the most death, according to the Daily Mail.
News outlets in Russia reported this week, “Either he couldn’t make up his mind, or he chose the moment when there were as many people as possible.”
The reports indicated that Sennaya Ploshad station was not a random target as it is in the heart of St. Petersburg. “He waited for the train to pull away from the station before detonating the device,” one official noted.
Part of Jalilov’s body was recovered the day after the attack. He also had another bomb disguised as a fire extinguisher ready to explode at another location, but an employee of Rosgvardiya risked his life disarming it.
A former friend of Jalilov, Ali Matkarimov, said in a recent interview that the 22-year-old was once a sushi maker and was ‘not even saying his prayers’ when the pair worked together in the city in 2013.
The Kremlin believes that within the past two years Jalilov was radicalized by ISIS. His home country of Kyrgyzstan is prominently Muslim, and there have been an increase in Muslim citizens moving to Syria to support ISIS.
The Boston Marathon bombers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev were both born there. ISIS has not claimed responsibility for the attack as of now, but Russia is aggressively bombing ISIS camps as it is believed to be their work.
Russia’s president Vladimir Putin was in St. Petersburg at the time of the explosion, and the Kremlin said they’re looking into whether that played a greater part in the timing of the attack.
Russian officials have yet to confirm if they plan any further retaliation following the attack. But if Putin’s past responses to attacks on his country are any indication, this isn’t over yet.