An image from Lifenews.ru shows victims of a bomb explosion in a damaged coach at Lubyanka metro station in Moscow March 29, 2010. Two female suicide bombers killed at least 37 people and injured 38 on two Moscow metro trains in the rush hour on Monday, officials said. The blasts took place at Lubyanka and Park Kultury metro stations. REUTERS/Reuters TV/Life News
Female suicide bombers blew themselves up Monday in twin attacks on Moscow subway stations packed with rush-hour passengers, killing at least 38 people and wounding more than 60, officials said. The carnage blamed on rebels from the Caucasus region follows the killings of several high-profile Islamic militant leaders there. (read more)
According to STRATFOR sources in Moscow, the two locations of the attacks on the subway in the city are symbolic. The first attack in Park Kultury is symbolic in that it is one of the city’s cultural centers being located near Gorky Park. The second location of the attack at the metro station of Lubyanka is nearly under the Federal Security Bureau’s headquarters—former KGB headquarters—the security hub of Russia. According to media reports, the attacks were caused by suicide bombers at the peak of rush hour in Moscow.
AP Photo - In this image from a security camera bodies lie in the passageway of Lubyanka subway station in central Moscow after a bomb blast Monday
Two female suicide bombers strike Moscow subway, at least 37 dead Jihadwatch
Jihad in Moscow. "Double suicide bombings kill 37 on Moscow subway," by David Nowak for the Associated Press, March 29:
MOSCOW - Two female suicide bombers blew themselves up on Moscow's subway system as it was jam-packed with rush-hour passengers Monday, killing at least 37 people and wounding 102, officials said.
The head of Russia's main security agency said preliminary investigation places the blame on rebels from the restive Caucasus region that includes Chechnya, where separatists have fought Russian forces since the mid-1990s.
The first explosion took place just before 8 a.m. at the Lubyanka station in central Moscow. The station is underneath the building that houses the main offices of the Federal Security Service, or FSB, the KGB's main successor agency.
A second explosion hit the Park Kultury station about 45 minutes later.
Emergency Minister Sergei Shoigu said the toll was 37 killed and 102 injured, but he did not give a breakdown of casualties at each station, according to Russian news agencies.
"I heard a bang, turned my head and smoke was everywhere. People ran for the exits screaming," said 24-year-old Alexander Vakulov, who said he was on a train on the platform opposite the targeted train at Park Kultury.
"I saw a dead person for the first time in my life," said 19-year-old Valentin Popov, who had just arrived at the station from the opposite direction.
In a televised meeting with President Dmitry Medvedev, Federal Security Service head Alexander Bortnikov said body fragments of the two bombers pointed to a Caucasus connection. He did not elaborate.
"We will continue the fight against terrorism unswervingly and to the end," Medvedev said. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, on an official trip to Siberia, was being kept informed of developments, news reports said.
The blasts practically paralyzed movement in the city center as emergency vehicles sped to the stations.
In the Park Kultury blast, the bomber was wearing a belt packed with plastic explosive and set it off as the train's doors opened, said Vladimir Markin, a spokesman for Russia's top investigative body. The woman has not been identified, he told reporters.
A woman who sells newspapers outside the Lubyanka station, Ludmila Famokatova, said there appeared to be no panic, but that many of the people who streamed out were distraught.
"One man was weeping, crossing himself, saying 'thank God I survived'," she said.
UPDATE: From Moscow to Manhattan China Confidential
Chechen terrorist groups have regularly recruited women to act as suicide bombers or “Black Widows”.
The women are willing, even eager, to become “martyrs” for the Islamist jihad, or holy war, driven by a burning desire for revenge on Russia after witnessing the deaths of children, husbands or family members at the hands of the military during the two Chechen wars of the 1990s.
The prolonged war on insurgents over the past decade has added to the pool of recruits among women enraged at seeing security services kidnap, torture and kill male relatives, or destroy their family homes as punishment for alleged involvement with terrorist groups.
The principle of “blood revenge” is extremely strong among ethnic groups in the volatile North Caucasus and surviving family members often see it as their duty to avenge the killing of relatives. Distrust of the state means that few leave the issue to local law enforcement – and it is usually the state security services that are responsible.