St. Petersburg Blast Likely an Act of Terror

By Steven L. Hall

Steven L. Hall retired from the Central Intelligence Agency in 2015 after 30 years of running and managing intelligence operations in Eurasia and Latin America.  Mr. Hall served as a member of the Senior Intelligence Service, the small cadre of officers who are the senior-most leaders of the CIA's Clandestine Service.  Most of Mr. Hall's career was spent abroad, overseeing intelligence operations in the countries of the former Soviet Union and the former Warsaw Pact.

Monday’s explosion in a St. Petersburg metro car, which killed at least 14 people and left dozens injured, was described by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev as an act of terror. However, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, and Russian President Vladimir Putin himself said it is “too early” to determine the cause. The Cipher Brief’s Kaitlin Lavinder and Bennett Seftel spoke with Steve Hall – a former CIA agent, Russia expert, and The Cipher Brief contributor – to get his take on the blast.

The Cipher Brief: Given the recent anti-corruption protests in Russia and the country’s involvement in Syria, how do you read the situation of Monday’s bombing in the Russian subway?

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