First seen in action in Moscow in 2002, the Black Widows - reputedly the wives and relatives of men who have died in the Chechen independent struggle - have carried almost two dozen deadly attacks in the Russian capital.
Last year 38 people were killed in an attack on a crowded Metro train in Moscow. A similar attack in 2004 killed 41 people.
|Killer burqa babes ~ Russian theatre siege 2002|
Women have also been responsible for attacks in crowded restaurants and at a rock concert in the Russia capital that resulted in heavy loss of life.
The most deadly was the nearly simultaneous detonation of two bombs on separate Moscow bound planes in 2004.
The Black Widows first made their mark in Chechnya in 2000 when Khava Barayeva and Luiza Magomadova detonated themselves in an attack on a military convoy.
|Moscow Metro ~ Black Widow ~ Hubby went out a few weeks before!|
Over the last decade women have been involved in attacks once every two months inside Chechnya. One of the most deadly of these was the murder of 17 people on a military bus last year.
Women attackers, who face fewer security searches than men, are statistically more succesful than their male counterparts, killing an average of 21 people per attack, compared with 13 by men.
Women were also part of the gang that assaulted a Moscow theatre triggering a seige that killed 129 and the gang took over a junior school in Beslan, a town in North Ossetia, in 2004.
That attack resulted in 334 deaths, including 186 children.
Shamil Basayev, a Chechen fighter who was killed in 2006, was believed to be the first terrorist commander who recruited Black Widow cells into the movement for independence from Moscow.