In what can only be described as a new twist to terrorism in the world, a female suicide bomber posing as a Muslim pilgrim killed a leading Islamic scholar and at least five others on Tuesday in Russia’s restive Muslim region of Dagestan.
The scholar, Sheikh Said Afandi, 75, is a Dagestani native who and had studied Islam in the Soviet era before establishing warm relations with the current Russian authorities. This latest high-profile slaying has occurred just weeks after militants claimed responsibilities for a car bombing and shooting in the main Muslim region of Tatarstan which targeted its own religious leaders.
According to the official statement released, a woman “posing as a pilgrim” walked into the home of Sheikh Said Afandi and detonated a suicide belt. The federal Investigative Committee said Afandi was one of seven people instantly killed by the bomber.
Meanwhile, Police in Dagestan have identified the bomber as one Aminat Kurbanova, a 30-year-old resident of Dagestan’s capital, Makhachkala. The Interfax news agency claimed she was an ethnic Russian woman who had converted to Islam after marrying an Islamist militant.