...Responsible for the deaths of 39 people in two Moscow subway bombings this week, they have also blown up a Russian airliner and taken part in two bloody hostage-takings, leaving hundreds of innocent victims in their wake. Reports say that since 2000, Black Widows have been responsible for at least half the suicide attacks in Russia.
Their menacing but unobtrusive presence has made them the most feared militants in the country, convincing many Russians there is no safe place. And they have raised worldwide questions about the minds and motivations of women who are prepared to kill ruthlessly for political ends.One big diff between Judy, Boudy, Fanny, Val et al and the Chechen chicks--the former weren't part of a global movement that's waging jihad on the infidel.
“Chechen women are the most dangerous for national security because they have carried out the most risky operations,” says a study by psychologists Anne Speckhard and Khapta Adhmedova, an American and Chechen respectively. “If the trend continues (they) will continue to be a grave threat.”
Although large-scale terrorism, and the targeting of innocent civilians, are relatively new to women, political murder committed by females has gone down through the ages.
The beautiful Jewish heroine Judith may have been the first “black widow,” using her wiles to seduce and behead the drunken Assyrian general Holofernes and save her city of Bethulia.
Before her, Yael, a nomadic woman, hammered a spike through the head of the sleeping Canaanite commander Sisera after he had fled a battle with the Israelites.
Celtic Queen Boudicca famously fought the Romans after the death of her husband, fitting her chariots with knives to slash enemy troops. And Charlotte Corday stabbed Jean-Paul Marat in his bath, fatally wounding one of the instigators of the Terror during the French Revolution.
Russian firebrand Fanny Kaplan fired nearly fatal shots at Vladimir Lenin when he betrayed her revolutionary ideals, and the Irish aristocrat Violet Gibson made an unexplained assassination attempt on Mussolini.
In the 1960s, militant feminist Valerie Solanas, who founded the Society for Cutting Up Men, shot and seriously wounded artist Andy Warhol. And German anarchist Ulrike Meinhof was involved in bombings, robberies and gunfights before killing herself in a jail cell...
Nevertheless, women have been in the vast minority of history’s killers, whether motivated by politics, passion, greed or revenge...
Update: Now why would a nice all-American blue-eyed blonde mom--a real June Cleaver type--want to kill a Swedish cartoonist? Any thoughts on that, Liv?