BREAKING: More Russia terror suspects arrested. 19 men now in custody after operation led by Tajik president

Nine individuals suspected of having connections to the gunmen who carried out the Moscow Crocus City Hall terrorist attack have been arrested in Tajikistan on Good Friday.

The arrests were made during a major joint operation between Tajikistan’s national security service and Russian intelligence.

Tajikistan’s president, Emomali Rahmon, is believed to be personally overseeing the operation.

Russian state-owned news agency RIA reported the suspects were from the Vakhdat district, located in the outskirts of Tajikistan’s capital city, Dushanbe, with local reporting a heavy and visible presence of Russian intelligence operatives in region over the past four. days.

The individuals had allegedly been in communication with the perpetrators of the Moscow shooting incident before and after the attack, and are also believed to be tied to the Islamic State terrorist group.

Russian terror suspects arrests top 19

The arrest come one week after the Crocus City Hall concert attack which has now resulted in 144 deaths.

Within hours, four gunmen who were allegedly directly involved in the attack were arrested in Russian territory close to the Ukraine border.

The four, all identified as Tajik nationals, appeared in a Moscow court on Sunday on terrorism charges and showed signs of severe beatings. One appeared to be barely conscious during the hearing.

A further five men suspected of being linked to the attacked also faced various court hearings through the week.

The latest arrests in Tajikistan, takes the total number of arrests to 19.

Russian terror suspects were on drugs – report

IS-K, an Afghanistan-based branch of ISIS, has claimed responsibility for the Moscow terror attack.

It’s now been revealed Russian authorities have detected traces of illegal drugs in blood samples taken from the four alleged concert hall gunmen.

Russia’s Baza News reported the following on Friday.

“All of them had a psychotropic substance in their blood that alters perception of reality. It is understood that they took the unnamed drug before the gun and arson attack.”

The accused gunmen and their associates have been identified as radical Islamists. However they have claimed to be recruited by ISIS-K on telegram and some have said they were offered money to take part in the attacks.

The family of Faridun Shamsiddin, one of the four alleged Tajik gunmen, has told media he wasn’t religious, never prayed, drank alcohol, and was previously arrested for sexual assault.

Russian authorities continue to investigate suspicions of Ukrainian involvement in the terrorist plot, despite IS-K claiming responsibility.

Ukraine has angrily denied the allegations.