Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Shahidi or Black Widows = Women As Suicide Bombers – “Blood Revenge”

Posted by Info on 30/03/2010

Chechen terrorist groups have regularly recruited women to act as suicide bombersthe Black Widows.

These women are willing, even eager, to become martyrs, often driven by a desire for revenge on Russia after witnessing the deaths of children, husbands or other relatives in the two Chechen wars of the Nineties.

The principle of “BLOOD REVENGE” is extremely strong among ethnic groups in the North Caucasus and surviving family members often see it as a duty to avenge the killing of relatives.

Another cases knowed of women blackmailed and indoctrinated into taking part in attacks because they have run up unpayable debts or been raped and told they are disgraced in the eyes of Chechnya’s highly conservative society.

The Black Widows draw their name from the full-length black dress that many have worn at terrorist attacks, around which they wear belts packed with explosives and shrapnel. Nineteen of the 41 terrorists who took 700 hostages in 2002 siege at Moscow’s Dubrovka theatre were Black Widows.

Two Black Widows were also among the terrorists involved at Beslan’s School Number One in 2004, when 344 people died including 186 children. Reports at the time suggested at least one of the women expressed doubts and was blown up by a male accomplice. .

They strike particular fear among Russians, who find it hard to conceive the depths of hatred towards them because of sanitised media coverage of the Kremlin’s military campaign in Chechnya.

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