This morning a female Islamikaze bomber struck a rail station in Volgograd, Russia, killing at least 16 people.
For hours there was scant coverage of this Jihadi attack in the US news media, but foreign news organizations did manage to fit in coverage of the event.
The Belfast Telegraph from the UK had a report, including video footage of the detonation of the bomb:
Note from the Telegraph report that the Jihadi appeared to detonate the bomb as she approached a metal detector at a security checkpoint:
A spokesman for the nation’s top investigative agency said the bomb appeared to have been detonated as the attacker approached a metal detector at the entrance to the central railway hub in the city of Volgograd.
This is not the first time Jihadists have targeted a transportation hub in Russia. A few years ago they detonated a bomb in a Moscow airport terminal. It should also be pointed out that the FBI intercepted a plot earlier this month in Wichita, Kansas in which a Jihadi sought to bomb an airport terminal.
The point here is that, as security services seek to tighten access to airplanes and trains, which have been targeted in the past, they are creating massive bottlenecks in passenger terminals, particularly at the security checkpoints that are ostensibly there to keep travelers safe. As a result, the Jihadis now target the lines of travelers in the passenger terminals themselves.
We have blogged about this in the past and it seems that security services have no answer at this point for this new Jihadi tactic:
While our 13 November 2012 post focused on airport security, the same clearly applies to rail security, as was so tragically demonstrated in Russia this morning.
Here is direct link to the video of the train station explosion in Volgograd at LiveLeak:
Mediaite points out that this attack comes just six weeks before the Olympics are due to open in Sochi, Russia. Jihadists have in fact threatened the Olympics.
Volgograd is in the southern part of Russia:
Sochi, site of the Olympics is not terribly far from Volgograd:
Note also that both Volgograd and, rather ominously, Sochi, are quite close to Chechnya and Dagestan, two hotbeds of the global Islamic insurgency:
Volgograd was once called Stalingrad. There are now conflicting reports that the Islamikaze bomber may have been a man, not a woman, or that the woman may have had a male accomplice. Note that the cited source for these contradictory reports are Russian law enforcement agencies, something that isn’t terribly comforting or surprising given the circumstances:
The UN Secretary General has condemned the attack (we’re sure the Jihadis are quaking in their boots over that). Note also that this is the second Islamikaze bombing in Volgograd in the past two months. Another female Islamikaze bomber blew herself up on a bus two months ago, killing 7 innocent victims and wounding scores of others.
Speaking of injuries, initial reports indicate that 45 were injured in the attack, including a 9-year old girl:
The Volgograd attack comes in the wake of threats by Chechen Jihadi terrorist Doku Umarov calling for new attacks against civilian targets in Russia, including the Sochi Olympic Games.
This article from the New Zealand Herald contains good detail from the Associated Press, eyewitness accounts and a historical background. It’s the best piece we’ve seen so far on the attack:
Note especially that Russia has been victimized numerous times in recent years by Islamikaze bombers, including females. Also included is some general information on Russia’s extraordinary security measures to protect the Olympics, including measures that would never be approved of here in the US due to trespassing on civil liberties and the overt use of military forces on a direct, wide scale, as opposed to a support capacity. Hopefully the Russian measures will prove effective once the Olympics get underway.
Russian authorities have tentatively identified the Islamikaze bomber as Oksana Aslanova, a Dagestani citizen whose husband was a Jihadi killed by Russian special operations forces. Evidently Aslanova was known to Russian authorities and she “got around,” having reportedly been married to other Jihadist terrorists as well.
This article from The Age in Australia includes a close-up image of the entrance to the railway station. It appears that the Russians smartly placed the metal detectors at the entrance, so most of the people in the crowded station escaped injury. The article also contains more background on “black widow” Islamikaze bombers that have struck Russia. Incidentally, there was evidently a previously little-noticed car bomb in Pyatigorsk, Russia on Friday:
Finally, here is a photo of Oksana Aslanova, prime suspect in the attack:
The second video shows additional imagery of the explosion: