Thursday 23 November 2017

Face of 'Black Widow' teenager who avenged husband's death

Dzhennet Abdurakhmanova (17) and her late husband Umalat Magomedov (30) pose with weapons
Dzhennet Abdurakhmanova (17) and her late husband Umalat Magomedov (30) pose with weapons

Tony Halpin in Moscow

THE teenage wife of an Islamist militant was named yesterday as one of the two "Black Widow" suicide bombers who attacked the Moscow metro.

Investigators believed that Dzhennet Abdurakhmanova (17) blew herself up at Park Kultury station in revenge for the killing of her husband. Russia's National Counter-Terrorism Committee named her as the number of dead from Monday's bombings rose to 40 when a male victim died in hospital.

The 'Kommersant' newspaper published a photograph of her in black Islamist headdress brandishing a pistol next to her husband, Umalat Magomedov. He was killed on New Year's Eve in a shootout with police in his native Dagestan, a Muslim republic bordering Chechnya.


Magomedov (30) was the leader of a terrorist group in Dagestan linked to the Islamist movement of Doku Umarov, which has claimed responsibility for the suicide bombings.

Abdurakhmanova, also from Dagestan, is said to have become acquainted with Magomedov via the internet as a 16-year-old. He took her as his wife soon afterwards, although it is unclear whether they had married formally.

Magomedov died when traffic police flagged down a Lada car carrying him and three other militants through the town of Khasavyurt, Dagestan.

Police said that the group began shooting at the checkpoint and were killed when officers returned fire.

Investigators released grisly photographs of the facial remains of both bombers earlier this week in a bid to identify them. Abdurakhmanova's head was severed from her body by the explosion. The second bomber has not been identified yet, but 'Kommersant' reported that investigators suspect she was a Chechen woman, 20-year-old Markha Ustarkhanova.

She was the widow of the self-styled "Emir" of the Gudermes region of Chechnya, Said-Emi Khizriyev, who was shot dead by police in October. Khizriyev had been accused of plotting to kill Chechnya's Kremlin-backed president.

Meanwhile, a survivor of the Park Kultury attack gave a vivid account of the moment Abdurakhmanova struck.

Sim Eih Xing, a medical student from Malaysia, recounted how he had stood next to the bomber for 20 minutes before stepping out of the carriage just before she detonated the device.

Sim (23) told the 'Moscow Times': "She wasn't wearing a scarf. Her eyes were very open, like on drugs, and she barely blinked, and it was scary." He had intended to stay on the train but delays caused by the explosion that had already taken place at Lubyanka prompted him to get off at Park Kultury to switch lines. As soon as he stepped on the platform, he said, there was an explosion.

"It was very loud, but I could see white sparks on my left. I thought I was dead at that time," he said. When he turned around, he saw dead and injured people throughout the carriage. Sim himself suffered only minor cuts to one leg and singed hair, and was able to walk out of the station.

"I kept on praying all the way up the metro because I thought there might be another bomb." (© The Times, London)

Irish Independent

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