The Russian press is referring to the woman in the picture as Sabina Musayeva – the “common law wife” of terrorist leader Soltan Sayid Soltanov.
You don’t really see pictures like this in the American media, do you? In recalling 9/11, I remember how we were spared the worst of it on our own TV channels, for example. The gruesomeness was not dealt with head-on. It is considered exploitative and sensationalist and disrespectful, to show the real effects of terror and the war on terror.
In the second picture, Musayeva’s hijab has been removed, and her gun is gone. You can see that she was shot in the head. Not really sure what’s going on here. Of course, plenty of people will start yelling about how, “Evil special forces guys from Russia put the gun in the poor woman’s hand after the fact! She was merely an innocent victim!” I don’t know – some people will automatically brand everything that Russian special forces do in the region as treacherous and barbaric. I’m willing to bet that the pictures are real, and that Musayeva went down fighting – her brother, Aslan Musayev, accidentally blew himself up a while back, while experimenting with explosives. I don’t get what these people are fighting for (please don’t say “Freeeeeeduuuuuum!”, Mel Gibson) – and never have. I’m just oddly glad that the Russian media shows the reality of the conflict. It’s ugly, really ugly. And it may not be over for a long time.
I don’t feel any sympathy for people who order terror attacks. I don’t really care about “what influenced their motives” or else “the geopolitical factors” that are surely “at play.” My view on it is simplistic – terrorists are nihilists, and the atmosphere of nihilism is infectious. We’re all living in it. Every time I ride the Moscow metro at rush hour, I dwell on this basic fact.