A Moscow teenager has been jailed on suspicion of preparing bomb-making materials a week after a 17-year-old boy bombed a federal security agency office in northern Russia.
Russia opened an investigation into suspected terrorism after the 17-year-old blew himself up in the lobby of a Federal Security Service (FSB) building in Arkhangelsk on Wednesday, injuring three service members. The investigation led to the detention of a 14-year-old allegedly found to be in possession of explosives in northwestern Moscow on Friday.
A court in Moscow ordered to hold the unnamed teenager in custody until Dec. 2, a court spokesman told the state-run TASS news agency on Tuesday.
The spokesman said the pre-trial hearing took place behind closed doors because the defendant is underage. Russian law prohibits the identification of juvenile suspects.
The storage and illegal manufacturing of explosives charges the suspect faces each carry a maximum prison sentence of 12 years, according to TASS.
The Mediazona news website noted that prosecutors did not ask the court to place the suspect in pre-trial detention.
The boy’s father told the m24.ru news outlet that his son had communicated with the suspected Arkhangelsk bomber online. He maintained, however, that the explosive in question was “some sort of firecracker” and not a full-fledged explosive device.
“Children play around with firecrackers and the like. Are they going to make a mountain out of this molehill now?” Kuzminkin told Moscow region’s 360TV broadcaster.
On Monday, a young anarchist in Russia’s westernmost region of Kaliningrad was charged with justification of terrorism on allegations that he had called the alleged Arkhangelsk bomber a “real hero” online.
Russian media had earlier published an unconfirmed warning posted on social media before the blast by someone purporting to be the Arakhangelsk bomber. The individual described himself as a communist anarchist and said he had decided to act because the FSB was fabricating cases and torturing people.
Russian anarchists – a relatively small movement with a history dating back to the mid-19th century – told Agence France Presse they fear a renewed crackdown following the attack.
“There will be more repressions, that is the only result that I see at the moment,” an anonymous anarchist told AFP on Monday.
Reuters contributed reporting to this article.