Terrorist bombing in Russia
Two female homicide bombers blew themselves up on Moscow’s subway system as it was jam-packed with rush-hour passengers Monday, killing at least 37 people and wounding 102, officials said.
The head of Russia’s main security agency said preliminary investigation places the blame on rebels from the restive Caucasus region that includes Chechnya, where separatists have fought Russian forces since the mid-1990s.
The first explosion took place just before 8 a.m. at the Lubyanka station in central Moscow. The station is underneath the building that houses the main offices of the Federal Security Service, or FSB, the KGB’s main successor agency.
A second explosion hit the Park Kultury station about 45 minutes later.
Emergency Minister Sergei Shoigu said the toll was 37 killed and 102 injured, but he did not give a breakdown of casualties at each station, according to Russian news agencies.
(HT to Captain Ed)
CNN reports that these women are Chechen "Black Widows" -- Chechen females that have lost husbands, brothers, or fathers in the continuing violence:
Monday's bomb attacks on the Moscow subway bear the hallmarks of an operation carried out by female Chechen suicide bombers called "Black Widows," according to security analysts.
At least 38 people were killed by twin explosions at the height of the rush hour in what appears to be Chechen separatists' latest salvo in their long-running battle for independence in Russia's northern Caucasus. Russian officials said the blasts were a "terrorist act carried out by female suicide bombers."
Chechens, the majority of whom are Sunni Muslims, regard the region as their ancient homeland, while Moscow fears the creation of an independent Muslim-majority state in its midst and has refused to grant any real autonomy.
The struggle can be traced back to the Stalin era when hundreds of thousands of Chechens were forcibly displaced to Siberia, according to Bob Ayers, a retired international security analyst.
"When they returned they wanted to reestablish their presence in Chechnya and they saw it as their homeland," said Ayers.
The use of women as suicide bombers or "Black Widows," is one way in which the struggle in Chechnya is different from al Qaeda and more analogous to the military campaign waged by the IRA in Northern Ireland, says Ayers.
"This war is politically motivated, it is not about a religious ideology as in the case of al Qaeda, so everyone participates and it is ultimately irrelevant if you are a man or a woman," said Ayers.
"They are not like al Qaeda who might say women should be hidden away and have no role in attacks."
The "Black Widows" are believed to be made up of women whose husbands, brothers, fathers or other relatives have been killed in the conflict. The women are often dressed head-to-toe in black and wear the so-called "martyr's belt" filled with explosives.
How prominent is this group, the Black Widows (AKA "shahidka")? Notorious is a better word to describe their infamy. They were involved in the Moscow theater attack where 129 innocent civilians were killed. Then there was an attack in 2003 at a rock concert where a pair of Black Widows detonated a bomb that killed 14 people. And finally, there was the Beslan school massacre where over 330 people were killed.
These bombers/militants aren't anything like the ones used by Palestinians. The ones that are "trained" and chosen by the Palestinians are the same type of women that gladly hand their children over to the Palestinian terror groups to be used as suicide bombers. The Chechen Black Widows that are involved in the continuing conflict are involved because, for the most part, the conflict has taken a loved one from them. For the most part, these women want revenge against the Russian government.
Viv Groskop, writing for The Scotsman gave the uninformed a look into the life of one of these Black Widows when she was captured after failing to detonate a bomb she was carrying in a shoulder bag. For her, revenge wasn't the reason behind her attempted "martyrdom," but rather paying off a large debt she owed.
Whether the reason is revenge or otherwise, these women are a force to be reckoned with amongst Chechen rebels. They are just as hardened as the IRA's female operatives, and equally as ruthless.