As the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, is fast approaching, fears terrorism continue to rise. The Russian and American media have been paying special attention to the threat posed by the “Black Widows,” wives of deceased Islamic militants. Ruzan “Ruzanna” Ibragimova, 22, is one of these widows and was reportedly seen in downtown Sochi.
Here is what you need to know about Ruzanna and the threat she poses:
1. She Was Allegedly Last Seen in Downtown Sochi
The 23-year-old is said to be recognizable with a scar on her face, a limp in her right leg, and a left arm that does not bend at the elbow.
According to Russian news outlets, someone fitting that description, believed to be Ibragimova, was last seen in downtown Sochi near where the Olympic Games will occur and inside the security perimeter that rings the city. She was spotted near the Sochi around January 11.
2. Her Husband Was Killed in 2013
Ibragimova’s husband was killed by Russian security forces in February 2013. Kommersant reported at the time that her husband was the militant Shamil Magomedov and he was killed when anti-terrorist forces open fired on his car. Ibragimova was in the car, which is how she sustained her recognizable injuries and scars.
Ibragimova was reportedly indoctrinated in the ways of the “black widows” and, according to Russian authorities, was trained as a suicide bomber by Abdul Labazonav. Labazonav has acquired a reputation for training women to become suicide bombers.
3. Russian Authorities Are Searching for More ‘Black Widows’
Russian authorities are looking for other “Black Widows” not believed to be inside Sochi, but suspected of plotting an attack on the Olympic Games. These women are believed to be traveling in disguise and may not be wearing traditional Muslim garb.
One such suspected Black Widow, Zaira Aileva, was killed on Saturday in an attack by anti-terrorism forces in Dagestan.
Someone with the same last name, Aminat Ibragimova, carried out a suicide attack that killed five policemen in Dagestan in March 2012. Aminat was the widow of Zau Zagidov, another Dagestani militant who was killed by Russian security forces in early 2012.
4. Sochi Has Been Locked Down for Weeks
The city of Sochi has been locked down and surrounded by thousands of Russian military personal for weeks. The “ring of steel,” as Russian president Vladimir Putin put it, circles more than 100 kilometers around the city and will not grant access to anyone without proper identification.
5. There Have Been Several Recent Attacks in Russia
The news of a “Black Widow” inside of Sochi comes after a series of successful and attempted terrorist attacks have rocked southern Russia. The most devastating attack, caught in the CCTV footage above, was a suicide bombing that killed 34 people in the Volgograd train station about 400 miles from Sochi.