Former MI5 intelligence officer Annie Machon suggested that “as we have seen different types of attacks unfolding across the world over the last few years, however, I’d suggest that this does have the hallmarks, potentially of the ISIS-inspired type attack.”
“I say this particularly because of the intervention Russia made in Syria and freeing East Aleppo over the last few months. ISIS has been very vocal in saying that it would attempt to hit back at some point. That is one very strong possibility,” Machon argued.
As to why St. Petersburg was picked as a location for the attack, Machon said it could be a “PR coup to be seen to be attacking the heart of any country’s establishment.”
“So if the president is in that city on that day, and it is his hometown anyway, obviously it is a PR coup,” she said.
On Monday, Vladimir Putin is in St. Petersburg to meet Belarusian counterpart, Aleksandr Lukashenko.
“It has been like the attack in London recently, as well. Why outside the palace of Westminster? Because it is the seat of the government.”