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Black Widows on the Air Again

Women prefer a kamikaze death to demonstrate the strength of the resistance movement
Chechen woman Raisa Ganiyeva, a sister of the two female terrorists who were killed when the theatre building was stormed during the hostage crisis in October 2002, appealed to the law enforcement authorities on Monday. She says that her brother Rustam, who is a subordinate to terrorist Shamil Basayev, forces her to join vakhabits and later become a kamikaze. According to Raisa Ganiyeva, her brother participated in organization of large-scale acts of terrorism. The Chechen woman says that Rustam "forces her to repeat the fate of her sisters Fatima and Milana" who became suicide bombers and were killed during the storm of the theatre in October 2002.

FSB representatives said in an interview with correspondents from Rossia television that a terrorist named Rustam Ganiyev was actually a member of Basayev's gang and he was allegedly connected with formation of a group consisting of female kamikazes. The Russian press calls the terrorist group formed by Ganiyev "Black widows".

FSB officers learned that three months before the hostage taking at the Moscow theatre Rustam Ganiyev pressed two of his sisters adopt the vakhabism; a month before the tragedy the terrorist took the women away from home by force. According to results of the investigation, for participation of the sisters in the act of terrorism Rustam Ganiyev was paid $1,500 for each from Basayev, Russia's news agency Interfax reports.

Raisa Ganiyeva says there were ten brothers and sister in the family, but only four of them are now alive. "The parents strongly objected to joining the vakhabism by the children." Then she adds that despite of the persuasion and even the father's threats the children fell under the strong influence of vakhabism; the brothers became members of illegal armed groups. During the second Chechen campaign three brothers of Raisa Ganiyeva were killed. 

The news about a surrendered Chechen woman who didn't become a kamikaze was commented upon by Colonel Ilya Shabalkin, a representative of the regional operational headquarters for control over the North Caucasus anti-terrorist operation. "Being teenagers, the Ganiyevs' sons were involved into vakhabit communities, Jamaats. The results of it are quite obvious now. Two sisters were pressed into the gang headed by Movsar Barayev, and the women were delivered to the Moscow theatre where the hostage crisis occurred." According to the colonel, the military and law enforcement authorities will now protect the Chechen woman from her brother and other members of the Basayev gang stronger; it is not ruled out that she may be removed to other region of Russia.

Pursuing propaganda means, terrorists charge the "black widows" with commitment of terrorist acts. The "black widows" are wives and sisters of Chechens who were missing or killed during fighting with the federal forces. These women prefer a kamikaze death to demonstrate the strength of the resistance movement. They put on bomb belts, get seated into trucks stuffed with explosives and hit objects designated for the mission. Law enforcement authorities think that it was the "black widows" group that blew up a military bus in Mozdok; they committed an attack at Ahmad Kadyrov in Ilaskhan-Yurt and the act of terrorism in Moscow's Tushino and in Tverskaya-Yamskaya Street. Recently, the military have mentioned the exact number of female shahids from Basayev's group waiting for a chance to commit a deed. The Chechen Interior Ministry reports that Basayev has 35 "human bombs".