“The nine men, all from Central Asia, are charged with 17 murders and two attempted murders.” There were earlier, unconfirmed reports that this gang was recruiting for the Islamic State.
Hostage-taking is a practice that is sanctified in Sharia. Here is a salient passage on this issue from a Shafi’i manual of Islamic law:
When an adult male is taken captive, the caliph considers the interests … (of Islam and the Muslims) and decides between the prisoner’s death, slavery, release without paying anything, or ransoming himself in exchange for money or for a Muslim captive held by the enemy. (Umdat al-Salik (Reliance of the Traveller) o9.14)
A revered Islamic jurist, Al-Mawardi, agrees with Reliance of the Traveller:
As for the captives, the amir has the choice of taking the most beneficial action of four possibilities: the first, to put them to death by cutting their necks; the second, to enslave them and apply the laws of slavery regarding their sale or manumission; the third, to ransom them in exchange for goods or prisoners; and fourth, to show favor to them and pardon them. (Al-Ahkam As-Sultaniyyah (The Laws of Islamic Governance), 4.5)
“Four killed in shooting at Moscow court,” Reuters, August 1, 2017:
MOSCOW – Four people standing trial in a Moscow court were killed on Tuesday in a gunfight that broke out in the court building, a lawyer for the defendants said….
TASS news agency said the gunfight broke out after some of the defendants had tried to grab firearms from court security officers, and take hostages.
“2 injured in shooting at courthouse outside Moscow,” Associated Press, August 1, 2017 (thanks to David):
Two people have been injured in a shooting inside a courthouse in a Moscow suburb, local health officials said on Tuesday.
Russia news agencies quoted the Moscow region’s health ministry as saying that a 45-year-old man and a 40-year-old woman have been taken to the hospital from the Moscow Regional Court with gunshot wounds….
Russia media dubbed the accused “the Grand Theft Auto gang” after the violent video game. The men on trial are accused of terrorizing Moscow motorists for months in 2014. Prosecutors said the gang members were placing spikes on roads, forcing the motorists out of their vehicles and shooting them dead.
The nine men, all from Central Asia, are charged with 17 murders and two attempted murders.
“Casualties reported in shooting at Moscow region court,” RT, August 1, 2017:
Shots have been fired at the Moscow Region court, according to the court’s spokesperson, who said the site of the incident has been evacuated. There are reports of several people being shot, as members of a criminal gang disarmed their police escort….
No less than 20 shots were heard, a witness, attorney Sofia Rubasskaya, told RIA Novosti.
“There was a shootout at the court, some employees were injured, a female enforcement agent was injured as well,” she said.