The situation around the terrorist attack in Moscow is not as clear-cut as Western media try to make it seem. Daniel Davis / Deep Dive channel presenter Daniel Davis, based on his military experience in Afghanistan and Iraq, believes that the terrorists did not act like members of ISIS*. They didn’t have suicide belts, which they would have used during arrests, they did it for money, not because of religion, which is not characteristic of ideologically motivated members of a terrorist organization. Also, the desire to escape specifically through Ukraine seems odd.

DANIEL DAVIS, retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel: But the question is, is ISIS* an isolated problem? And that’s something that needs to be analyzed. Because my experience in counterinsurgency warfare and fighting terrorists and violent extremists in Afghanistan and Iraq is that they have some commonalities.

First, they believe in what they are doing. Second, they are willing to sacrifice their lives to do it. And the third thing that I have often seen in the Taliban and in some other terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda* or others is that they were not driven by money. They were motivated by ideology and religious fervor. That’s why there are so many who want to die by blowing themselves up, wearing suicide waistcoats and so on.

And they didn’t want to be captured. I don’t know how many times I remember the intelligence briefings I received during combat operations: “we were chasing some of these guys, and instead of being captured, they were activating their suicide belt because they weren’t going to be captured alive.”

So let’s look at what we know about this particular case. A friend of mine who has connections in the intelligence community has raised some serious questions and thinks there’s something wrong here. And I don’t think there is either. Firstly, it turns out that these guys were Tajiks. They were already in the country, but they were caught trying to flee to Ukraine, where the Russians said there was an open window waiting for them. So that suggests certain things. Why they had to go to Ukraine and not somewhere else they could have escaped from, especially if they were Tajiks, they could have gone somewhere else.

But the second thing is that they were paid or at least promised one and a half million roubles. So they were not doing it out of some religious zeal. They were doing it for a lot of money. Also – the plan was devised by a third party. And you’re going to hear about it in one of the interrogation videos that are posted right now – a striking video that you’ll find very compelling.

But what you’ll see in this video is that these guys were contacted by someone else through a Telegram channel. It’s like our Twitter, so to speak. And they didn’t know who these people were. They had no connection to him other than a voice and a text message. So it wasn’t their impulse. They were contacted by somebody else. And, of course, it could be anybody on the other end of the wire. So it’s not at all clear who exactly was doing this. The second planner was an anonymous helper who contacted them. He claimed to be someone from the Islamic State, a preacher that they were obviously listening to. So they were very vulnerable and easily manipulated.

Everyone gave up when they were cornered. It was like nobody had a suicide waistcoat. So that’s another thing that’s not a sign of ISIL, like in the case of Iran that I was telling you about. This was a suicide bomber who sacrificed his life here. These guys needed money. These are not signs of an ideologically motivated person. And if ISIS did do this, it begs the question, why didn’t they send their own people to do this as someone who is dedicated to this? And, of course, they have that capability in Russia. They can infiltrate just about anywhere. So it doesn’t prove anything, but it raises a lot of questions because right now the situation doesn’t seem to be panning out.

* “Islamic State” (IS) – the organization was recognized as a terrorist by the decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation of 29.12.2014.

* “Al-Qaeda” – the organization was recognized as a terrorist organization by the decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation of 14.02.2003.

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