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Black Widow terror threat linked to Islamist recruitment of women

Police and intelligence officers in Russia on Tuesday continued their intense search for three suspected female suicide bombers who may be headed to Sochi, where the Winter Olympics will begin on February 6, according to numerous reports.

Images of suspects released by Russian authorities. Clockwise from top left: Oksana Aslanova, Dzannet Tsakhaeva, Zaira Allieva, Murad Musaev and Ruslan Saufutdinov.
Images of suspects released by Russian authorities. Clockwise from top left: Oksana Aslanova, Dzannet Tsakhaeva, Zaira Allieva, Murad Musaev and Ruslan Saufutdinov.
Global Security

The hunt for these three women suspected of planning terrorist attacks at the 2014 Winter Games has diverted the attention of news organizations away from anti-terrorism operations against Russia's Muslim extremists and onto the female suicide bombers known as "black widows."

For more than a decade, women have committed many of Russia's worst terror attacks, downing airliners, blowing up subway cars and killing people going to a rock concert.

“Black widows” are women who were married to Islamist men killed during the ongoing battle between the Muslims of the North Caucasus and Russia. According to Russian cops, these three women could be used by terrorist groups to perpetrate suicide bomb attacks.

The Muslims in Russia aren't the only radical Muslims to recruit or force women to become part of their terrorist operations. For example, al-Qaeda continues to increase the role of women in its terrorist activities. They know that they are using unethical means to recruit women, in addition to their using the widows of their former members and their female relatives, but the see the goal worth violations of Islamic law, according to an Examiner news story.

"Women can be used to convey letters and explosives in addition to their possible role in gathering intelligence about al-Qaeda's targets, according to experts.

"A woman activist in Baquba said that the female victims of al-Qaeda would fall under psychological and physical pressure as their conservative society would push their families to reject them or even kill them to save the honor of the family."

Also, there exists a special women's unit within the banned Muslim Brotherhood that is operating in Egypt and possibly other Arab nations, according to an Examiner news story.

The report states that the deputy chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mahmoud Ezzat, was arrested with other members of the al-Qaeda-affiliated group and that investigators uncovered evidence of a group of women who serve as "mules" to deliver messages and act as messengers for the terrorist group.

The Examiner also reported :

"According to Middle East reports, the secret "sisterhood' is being likened to a group of female terror group members that operated in the 1960s, especially in operations targeting Israel.

"Sayyid Qutb, an early Brotherhood leader, taught that Muslim society had turned its back on Islam and had to return to its roots. He advocated violent revolution in order to overthrow secular governments and restore Islamic rule. He was captured, tried and executed by the Egyptian government in 1966.

"While the group itself is outlawed on Egypt, security experts say that individual members of the ultra-secret Muslim Brotherhood may be among the candidates running for government office in the national elections later this year.

"The women's secret unit was created much in the same way that the Muslim Brotherhood was founded, according to U.S. intelligence sources."