Despite growing tensions between the two nations, U.S. and Russian officials announced on Sunday that information provided by the American intelligence apparatus aided in thwarting a terror attack that would have taken place in St. Petersburg, Russia. Both the United States and Russia have been embroiled in an ongoing anti-terror campaign in Syria, but despite their mutual enemy, there has been no love lost between the two military powers throughout the effort.
The Russian president thanked his US counterpart for information shared by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) that helped trace, expose and detain a group of terrorists who had plotted explosions in St. Petersburg’s Kazan Cathedral and in other crowded places in that city,” the Russian government said in a release provided to their state-owned media outlet, TASS. The statement went on to indicate that Vladimir Putin asked President Trump to extend his personal thanks to CIA Director Mike Pompeo.
The release did note, however, that the cooperation was spurred by a Russian request for information the CIA may have had regarding the suspected terrorists. According to reports from both nations, it was the CIA’s information that led to the identification and detainment of the suspects last week.
The terror plot was said to include bombing the Kazan Cathedral in Russia’s second city of St. Petersburg, as well as a number of other locations where large groups were expected to be gathered. Although U.S. officials have not corroborated the Russian claims that the terrorists had affiliations with the Islamic State, whom both the U.S. and Russia are fighting independently in nations like Syria, multiple Russian outlets have indicated that to be the case.
“Both leaders agreed that this serves as an example of the positive things that can occur when our countries work together,” the White House said in an official statement.
The Russian government also seemed eager to highlight their willingness to cooperate with the United States in the face of potential terror attacks, echoing the White House’s sentiments regarding the sharing of intelligence that could save lives in either nation.
“Russian security services, should they have information about possible terrorist threats to the United States and its citizens, will swiftly and unconditionally share it with the US colleagues via partner channels,” the Foreign Ministry release read.
The friendly demeanor between these two states couldn’t come at a stranger time, as Russia recently released a fabricated account of an airborne interaction between Su-25 close air support aircraft and their advanced Su-35 fighter and an American F-22, intended to portray the United States as working to support ISIS efforts in Syria. This was the second time in recent months Russia misinformation efforts of this sort have been brought to light, after their release of a hoax video last month the Russian Foreign Ministry also claimed to be proof of American collusion with the Islamic State.
Image courtesy of the Associated Press