Sat, Apr 03, 2010 - Page 6 News List

Teenage ‘Black Widow’ behind Moscow attack

AFP , MOSCOW

Russian investigators have identified one of the women suicide bombers who carried out the Moscow metro attacks as the 17-year-old widow of a Caucasus militant, Kommersant daily reported yesterday.

The bomber was named as Dzhennet Abdurakhmanova. The newspaper published a photograph of the baby-faced teenager in an Islamic headscarf with her late husband Umalat Magomedov. Both are posing casually with pistols.

Magomedov was a Dagestani Islamist rebel killed in a special operation last year, the newspaper reported citing investigators in Dagestan.

It was unclear whether the couple were formally married. Magomedov does not wear a ring in the photograph. Kommersant said that Abdurakhmanova may have another surname, Abdulayev.

Abdurakhmanova came from the Khasavyurtovsky district of Dagestan and met Magomedov at the age of 16 after she contacted rebels on the Internet, Kommersant reported.

Abudurakhmanova has been preliminarily identified from photographs, the newspaper wrote.

Her name Dzhennet, found among Muslim women in Russia, is derived from the Arabic word Jannat, meaning paradise.

Russian investigators believe that Abdurakhmanova was responsible for the first of the double suicide blasts on Monday which together killed 39 people.

The bombings sent a chill across Russia, recalling the string of suicide attacks carried out earlier in the decade by the so-called “Black Widows,” women were found to have been relatives of men killed by Russian forces.

Investigators have not officially identified the second bomber, but one version is that she was a Chechen woman called Markha Ustarkhanova who was also married to a Caucasus militant, Kommersant reported.

Ustarkhanova, 20, is the widow of a rebel from the Chechen town of Gudermes, Said-Emin Khizriyev, Kommersant reported. Khrizriyev was killed in October last year as he prepared an assassination attempt on Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov.

Ustarkhanova is listed as a missing in Chechnya. Her parents said she went missing last summer after contacting rebels and later contacted them saying that she had married Khizriyev, Kommersant reported.

The two women are believed to have arrived in Moscow by bus early on Monday just before carrying out the attacks at two subway stations, reports have said.

The Russian authorities have released grisly photographs showing the severed heads of the two women’s corpses, which are the prime evidence in the police investigation.

Meanwhile, police defused a large bomb in the Russian republic of Dagestan on the same day that suicide bombers killed 12 people in the region, Russian news agencies reported yesterday, citing security forces.

Police found the “powerful bomb” on Wednesday evening in a cemetery in the Kizlyar district of Dagestan, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.

It said the bomb was hidden inside a metal bucket and was packed with metal nuts and bolts.

In a deadly blast earlier on Wednesday in Kizlyar, a car driven by a suicide bomber blew up when police tried to stop it for a regular check.

Minutes later, a suicide bomber in police uniform approached police working at the scene and triggered a second explosion.

The two blasts killed 12 people including nine police, one of whom was a local police chief.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev flew to the North Caucasus on Thursday for a surprise visit to Dagestan in which he met regional officials and police and urged tough anti-terror measures.

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