Following Monday’s devastating explosion on the St. Petersburg metro line, which killed 14 and injured over 50 during their early afternoon commute, Russian authorities revealed the identity of the bombing suspect. According to the New York Times, Kyrgyz officials working together with Russia released Akbarzhon Dzhalilov’s name to the public. Described as a native of Osh, Kyrgyzstan’s second largest city, Dzhalilov was born in 1995 — which conflicts with a prior BBC News report identifying a” 23-year-old man from Central Asia known to have links to radical Islam.”
Since Russian and Kyrgyz officials went public with Dzhalilov’s identity, however, BBC News has updated its previous story with more information — including some officials’ belief that Monday’s attack was a suicide bombing. “It has been ascertained that an explosive device could have been detonated by a man, fragments of whose body were found in the third carriage of the train,” Russian Investigative Committee spokesperson Svetlana Petrenko said in a statement. “The man has been identified.”
Petrenko’s statement, which the NYT and other major outlets also carried, refrained from releasing Dzhalilov’s name to the public. It also didn’t clarify whether the alleged suspect acted alone, or in conjunction with a group effort. Kyrgyz government officials with knowledge of the matter, however, identified him at a later time. They and other Russian investigators have also hinted, though unofficially, that the St. Petersburg bombing may have been carried out by the Islamic State — either directly through Dzhalilov’s recruitment, or indirectly via his inspiration.
Per Dmitri Peskov, President Vladimir Putin’s official spokesperson, however, it is far too early to tell what precisely took place, and why. “Investigative authorities will chose in their own good time when to make public this or that information emerging in the course of investigation,” he told state media, adding that a possible suicide bombing was simply “one of the versions being considered.”