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– AISHAT  BAKUEVA

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* Aishat  Bakueva was born in Ilinovka, Chechnya, near Grozny in 1973, the fourth of six children. In the Summer of 2001, Aishat  Bakueva’s brother, Bauddi Bakuev, a famous commander who was considered close to Chechen Vice President Vakha Arsanov, was killed by federal forces near Argun. That was the first casualty in Aishat’s family. A few months later her brother Aslan and brother-in-law Khassan were killed. The third brother, Idris, was killed during a “cleansing.” Aishat  Bakueva’s sister, Zareta Bakueva, died soon thereafter from a heart attack.

Finally, in May 2002, Aishat  Bakueva’s youngest brother, the 15-year-old Daud, was caught laying a landmine on a road north of Grozny by federal soldiers and the Chechen OMON. The family never recovered Daud’s body. Only Aishat and her mother, Datu, remained. Neighbors recall that Aishat  Bakueva did not cry at the funerals and avoided going to the cemetery to visit her siblings’ graves.

The neighbors considered Aishat  Bakueva a Wahhabi and reproached Datu for having failed to raise her children properly. The rebukes grew louder and more venomous after the circumstance of Daud’s death became known, since local civilians are the usual victims of landmines.

After Daud’s death, Aishat  Bakueva was rarely in Ilinovka. According to Datu, she was too busy with her little pharmacy in Grozny. Aishat  Bakueva really did run a pharmacy and even traveled to neighboring republics to purchase medicine, but neighbors suspected that she was helping Wahhabi units to carry out diversionary maneuvers against the military.

In 10/2002, Aishat  Bakueva sold her pharmacy to a friend. She told her mother she was going to Moscow on business. A week later neighbors recognized Aishat on television among the Black Widows female terrorists in the Nord-Ost Moscow Theater hostage-taking crisi, on 10/23/2002. One of her few friends said that Aishat never intended to return. The type of documents she may have used to get to Moscow is not known.

 

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