Kamala Harris rejects Putin linking Moscow concert attack to Ukraine, says ISIS ‘by all accounts responsible’

Vice President Kamala Harris has rejected Russian President Vladimir Putin’s alleged attempt to place blame on Ukraine for the attack at a suburban Moscow concert hall that killed more than 130 people. 

During an interview with ABC’s Rachel Scott, Harris reiterated that ISIS was responsible for the shooting attack that sparked an inferno at the Crocus City concert hall in Krasnogorsk, outside Moscow. Russia observed a day of national mourning on Sunday and the death toll is expected to climb. 

‘Vladimir Putin is already trying to link this to Ukraine and say that Ukraine is responsible. Does the U.S. have any evidence to back that up?’ Scott said during the interview that aired on ABC’s ‘This Week’ Sunday. 

‘No. And first, let me start by saying what has happened is an act of terrorism and the number of people who’ve been killed is obviously a tragedy, and we should all send our condolences to those families,’ Harris responded. ‘No, there is no whatsoever any evidence. And in fact, what we know to be the case is that ISIS is actually, by all accounts, responsible for what happened.’ 

In a nighttime address, Putin called the attack ‘a bloody, barbaric terrorist act’ and said Russian authorities captured four suspects on Saturday as they were trying to escape to Ukraine through a ‘window’ prepared for them on the Ukrainian side of the border.

Russian media broadcast videos that apparently showed the detention and interrogation of the suspects, including one who told the cameras he was approached by an unidentified assistant to an Islamic preacher via a messaging app and paid to take part in the raid.

Kyiv strongly denied any involvement, and the Islamic State group’s Afghanistan affiliate claimed responsibility.

Putin didn’t mention ISIS in his speech to the nation, and Kyiv accused him and other Russian politicians of falsely linking Ukraine to the assault to stoke fervor for Russia’s fight in Ukraine, which recently entered its third year. U.S. intelligence officials said they had confirmed the ISIS affiliate’s claim.

‘ISIS bears sole responsibility for this attack. There was no Ukrainian involvement whatsoever,’ National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said in a statement.

Two weeks before Friday’s attack on the Russian concert hall, the U.S. embassy issued a warning to Americans to ‘avoid large gatherings,’ including concerts, because of ‘imminent plans’ for an attack by ‘extremists.’

‘The Embassy is monitoring reports that extremists have imminent plans to target large gatherings in Moscow, to include concerts, and U.S. citizens should be advised to avoid large gatherings over the next 48 hours,’ stated the March 7 alert. 

Fox News’ Brie Stimson and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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