– BLACK WIDOWS OF CHECHNYA
“Black Widows” is the named given to a group of Chechen female suicide bombers or self-sacrifice women, who emerged from the Second Chechen war against the Russians, which began in 1999 in Chechnya.
Most of the women, although not all of them, suffered abuse from Russians or lost close relatives in the war against the Russians and were motivated by the particular hate toward Russia and by personal vendetta but not by devotion to Islam. There were only very few cases of manipulation and abuse of would be Black Widows by their handlers and operators.
A first group, estimated by the Russian FSB (security service) as numbering 36 women in their 20s’, where gathered by the Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev already in 2002 in the Mountainous region of Southern Chechnya for special training as suicide bombers. Some female suicide bombers acted under other Chechen warlords and some even acted on their own and relied on family connections.
Self-sacrifice women participated in operations like the Moscow Theater or the Beslan Horror and many other suicide attacks were committed all over Russia by the Black Widows – the most notorious of them was the Double Airliner Explosions, committed on 08/24/2008, a week before the Beslan Horror. About 70 Chechen women participated in self-sacrifice operations or committed suicide attacks against Russians and their allies – 18 of them in the Moscow Theater Crisis.
In rare cases a Black Widow regretted or surrendered herself to the authorities. Five days after the Tushino Rock Bombing, also committed by Black Widows, on 07/10/2003, a third Chechen Black Widow, Zarema Muzhakhoyeva, 23, went by taxi to Mon Café in the busy Tverskaya Street in Moscow when she panicked and gave herself up to the authorities.
Eventually the usage of women as suicide bombers became widespread in Iraq and in the second Palestinian uprising – Intifada. But in Iraq and in the Palestinian society would be female suicide bombers were cornered to despair and dead end by abuses, often sexual abuses, by their own society. They were motivated by a sense of personal salvation and partially by devotion to Islam rather then hate toward the enemy or personal vendetta.
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