What would compel a woman to strap on a bomb, kill herself, and take the lives of innocent by-standers? Meet the newest weapons of terror: female suicide bombers. They’re also the hardest to detect and understand. They’ve pierced the heart of Moscow and sunk Russia beneath a tidal wave of grief. They hace ripped apart markets in Jerusalem and assassinated an ex-prime minister of India.
After September 11, we thought we knew what terrorists looked like: angry young men. But now a new kind of terrorist– one that’s much more difficult to spot– is on the rise.
Were these women forced to commit these horrific crimes? Lisa Ling looks for answers in Russia, a place that has recently become a hot bed of terror and the capital of female suicide bombers known as black widows.
In 2002 the world got its first glimpse of black widows when 700 people at a Moscow theatre were taken hostage during a musical. There were 41 terrorists and 18 of them were women. The women wore the bombs. The “givers of life”, the “keepers of home and family” had now become the murderers.
Female bombers have sprung up all over Turkey, India, Sri Lanka, Iraq, and Israel. In a culture where the glorification of the fallen is embraced, mothers seem to be pushing their children to die as martyrs for the name of Allah.