Russia Hunting 'Black Widow' Terrorists Targeting Sochi

Wanted posters already up for one woman

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 20, 2014 2:17 PM CST

(Newser) – Russian authorities believe that as many as four women intend to launch terror attacks targeting the Sochi Olympics, and that one might already be in or near the city, sources tell NBC News. Wanted posters are already up in Sochi for Ruzan Ibragimova, aka Ruzana, a 23-year-old woman described as having a limp, a left arm that doesn't bend at the elbow, and a 4-inch scar on her cheek. Russian security forces killed her husband last year.

"Black widows," the bereaved wives of fallen militants, are common agents for Caucasus militant groups, prized for their ability to avoid attention. US officials were already getting worried about Sochi security, complaining that Russian authorities weren't sharing information, CBS reports. "I think fundamentally, they don't want to admit that they don't have complete control here," one former CIA official said. Yet despite the fears—and an explicit video threat—the US is sending a smaller-than-usual security team, the Wall Street Journal reports. About 40 FBI personnel are headed to Sochi, the smallest US contingent in a decade. But CNN adds that the US military is planning to have two warships stationed nearby in the event that an evacuation is necessary.

In this Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2010 file photo police officers guard the site of an explosion after a parked car exploded outside a cafe in downtown Pyatigorsk, a city in southern Russia.
In this Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2010 file photo police officers guard the site of an explosion after a parked car exploded outside a cafe in downtown Pyatigorsk, a city in southern Russia.   (AP Photo/Viktor Korotayev, File)
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