- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 4, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Russian authorities have identified the name of the man they think responsible for setting off the St. Petersburg subway blast that killed 14 and injured dozens — Akbarzhon Dzhalilov, 22.

And they’re not using the “I-word”yet — Islam — but all fingers are pointing in that direction. The guy was born in a hotspot breeding ground for jihad.

On Tuesday, the Kyrgyz Foreign Minister confirmed the attacks were conducted by a suicide bomber. But authorities were still unclear on the motives.

“Regarding the link with Islamic radicalism, we have to wait to know more until the investigation yields its full results,” said Erlan Abyldaev, the foreign minister, at a joint press conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

State security officials said Dzhalilov hailed from Osh, a volatile region of Kyrgyzstan known for ethnic conflicts and home-grown jihadi plots. As The Washington Post reported: “The city is located in the Ferghana Valley, an area shared by three former Soviet republics that is known as a breeding ground for extremism in Central Asia.”

Sources in the news story did not indicate if Dzhalilov was Islam, or had been radicalized. Neither did other sources cited by other media outlets, but The New York Times noted ISIS has recruited hundreds of terror members from the region of Dzhalilov’s home, Osh.

“[It’s not known] whether the authorities believed Dzhalilov had acted alone or in concert with others, whether he had any ties to Islamic or other militant groups, or even whether he survived the attack,” The New York Times reported.

But here’s the thing: If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, walks like a duck — it’s most likely a duck.

Authorities haven’t yet released information that confirms Dzhalilov’s motive was rooted in Islamic terror — that the dozens of killed and injured were killed and injured as an “allah akbar” type of deal.

But here’s another duck to toss in the pond: ISIS ain’t too happy with Russia. Russia sent in plenty of airstrikes over Syria to root out rebel forces of President Bashar Assad — rebel forces who are believed, at least by Moscow authorities, to have shot down a Russian jet over the Sinai desert in 2015, killing 224 aboard.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for this attack, however.

Just a quick sidenote: The scene of Monday’s attack was in one of St. Petersburg’s most tourist-frequented areas; it was the setting for “Crime and Punishment,” Fyodor Dostoevsky’s famed novel.

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