An Editorial in The Pioneer, New Delhi
April 3, 2010
The Russian authorities have proved to be right: Last Monday’s deadly suicide bombings on the Moscow Metro, which claimed the lives of 39 innocent people and maimed many more, were indeed carried out by Islamists waging a separatist war in Daghestan and thus qualify as jihadi terror. According to reports emanating from Moscow on Friday, one of the bombers has been identified as the 17-year-old ‘baby-faced’ widow of an Islamic terrorist who was earlier killed by Russian security forces. Women like Jannat Abdurahmanova, who blew herself up to ‘avenge’ the death of her husband, Umalat Magomedov, a ‘prominent militant’ affiliated to Dagestani Jamaat, are known as ‘Black Widows’ — they are merciless in seeking to quench their bloodthirst. The Federal Operative Headquarters of the National Anti-Terrorist Committee of Russia has determined that she was the suicide bomber who attacked Lubyanka Metro station. A resident of Khasavyurt region of the North Caucasus Republic of Dagestan, she is likely to have agreed to take the extreme step to avenge the death of her husband in an anti-insurgency security operation last year. In the past, too, Russia has witnessed jihadi assaults by women Islamists driven by the criminal ideology of hate which motivates Muslim fanatics around the world. The other bomber, officials have said, is believed to be 20-year-old Markha Ustarkhanova, widow of Chechen terrorist Said-Amin Khizirov.
While the identification of the bombers will no doubt help Russian intelligence agencies to get to the network of terror that operates in the name of Islam, it is of importance for others, too. Three points have emerged from the investigations that are of direct relevance to all nations threatened by the monster of jihadi terror. First, various fatwas issued by theologists of Islam condemning terrorism, particularly suicide bombings, that claim innocent lives, and insisting that Islam does not sanction such violence have failed to convince Islamists of the folly of their fanaticism. At the ground level, such edicts have had no impact and are unlikely to serve any purpose as ‘deterrents’. Second, there is no gender distinction between men and women who have vowed to unleash terror: The terrorist as a rage boy is a myth created by those who have a poor understanding of what motivates the mass murderers. Third, global jihad remains untamed and uncurbed despite the much-publicised US-led war on terror. If anything, US President Barack Obama’s line of least resistance vis-a-vis the Taliban has served to embolden Islamists who see nothing wrong with shedding the blood of innocent people in their pursuit of the chalice of poison.