FSB: 17-year-old Boy Blows Himself up in Russia's Main Intelligence Agency Building

Three people were injured in a suicide bomb attack on a local branch of Russia's main intelligence agency—the Federal Security Service.

The attacker, believed to be a 17-year-old boy, blew himself up inside the FSB building in the city of Arkhangelsk on the coast of the White Sea, 800 miles north of Moscow.

According to The Associated Press, the bomber entered the building and removed an improvised explosive device from the bag he was carrying, causing it to detonate just before 9 a.m. local time. It was not immediately clear whether the attacker intended to leave the bomb somewhere inside the building or if he planned to die in the blast.

Russian investigators said the bomber was from the local area and that the explosion was being treated as an act of terrorism. The National Counterterrorism Committee released a statement, saying, "According to preliminary information, the person who came into the building took an unidentified item out of a bag which after a period of time exploded in his hands, as a result of which he sustained fatal injuries."

Authorities cordoned off the area around the FSB office and increased security measures at other public buildings in the city, the AP said, while remaining FSB employees were evacuated following the explosion. Those who were hurt in the blast were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.

Arkhangelsk governor Igor Orlov—who earlier reported one death, without specifying it was the attacker—said the authorities were working to establish the boy's identity, background and the type of explosives used.

Russian media initially reported that the bomb had gone off outside the entrance to the office, but officials later released CCTV footage showing the suspect inside the building just before his device detonated.

While the intelligence service has been targeted by militants in the past, such attacks usually occur in the restive North Caucasus province where Islamist groups are most active.

That said, an FSB office in the southeastern city of Khabarovsk was targeted by a lone gunman in 2017, leaving two people dead and one injured. Though the Islamic State militant goup, or ISIS, claimed credit for the attack through its Amaq news agency, FSB investigators suggested the suspect had far-right links.

The FSB leads Russia's counterterrorism operations. More than 3,500 people are believed to have died in more than 800 attacks since 1970, according to The Washington Post. In the 21st century, separatist threats have given way to plots from Islamic extremists, often from the Muslim-majority provinces of Chechnya and Dagestan.

Though both regions are now under the control of the Kremlin, thanks to Moscow's victory in the bloody Second Chechen War, low-level violence persists.

Moscow's support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the country's civil war has made Russia an even more prominent target for international jihadists groups such as ISIS.

FSB: 17-year-old Boy Blows Himself up in Russia's Main Intelligence Agency Building | World