Russia fears cell of 21 Black Widows may strike

Independent:

With rumours surfacing that a cell of suicide bombers was still at large, Vladimir Putin yesterday promised those responsible for planning the Moscow attacks would be "dragged from the bottom of the sewers".

The country was mourning the deaths of 39 people in Monday's twin suicide bombings on the capital's underground system, but they were also digesting a report in the Kommersant newspaper that a cell of 21 potential bombers could still strike.

Moscow police continued the hunt for three people who are thought to have aided the two female suicide attackers. Photos were released of the bombers' faces, badly disfigured from the blast. One of them appeared to be a very young woman, possibly a teenager.

Nobody has yet claimed responsibility for the blast, but all signs point to it being the work of a terrorist group from Chechnya or the wider North Caucasus region.

...

Citing security sources, Kommersant reported that Said Buryatsky, a leading terrorist ideologue who was killed by Russian security services earlier this month, had prepared a brigade of 30 potential suicide bombers.

The women had been sent to Turkey for training, and then returned to the Caucasus for personal instruction from Buryatsky. Nine of the women have already been deployed in terror acts, mostly in the North Caucasus, but 21 remain unaccounted for, the paper reported.

...

By my math there would be 19 left assuming the two who exploded in Moscow are part of the group. They seem to have good intelligence on the group so they should be able to identify the members of the group. One way to do so would be to look at all the deceased husbands who have met a violent end.

The attacks seem pretty futile to me. They are not sufficient to change government policy and they are likely to cause more widows in the end. Even if all 19 of the remaining Black Widows attacked it would not be likely to change Russian policy.

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