In Depth: Black Widow terrorists being sought in Sochi maybe more dangerous than men counterparts
6:44 PM, Jan 21, 2014
1:20 PM, Jan 24, 2014
TAMPA, Fla - The hunt is on for three women who security officials think could carry out a terror attack at the Olympic Games in Sochi.
Action News takes a loser look at the women being called the "Black Widows." A local expert weighs on on why they may be more dangerous than the men.
USF Professor Dr. Darrell Slider, an expert in Russian government, said these women have nothing else to live for and are motivated by revenge.
"Their chances of getting married again are about zero, it's too late for them to get an education and many married when they were teens or mid-teens," said Slider.
Slider said "Black Widows" emerged about 15 years ago. Their husbands were killed as a result of an internal war in the region, known as the North Caucasus. He said the future is very bleak for some of the women.
"They are very easy to recruit," said Slider.
He said it makes them more deadly
"For them the loss of a husband and all the connections meant for them means there is no future," said Slider.
But unlike the Boston bombing suspects linked to the same region where these female terrorists reportedly trained, the professor said their targets aren't Americans
"It's not part of Al-Qaeda. They have weak links with international terrorism. This is a domestic-grown problem and the reason why it exists is because the policies Russia have adopted is a failure," said Slider.
But the international stage set by the Olympics. Is the perfect platform Slider says to embarrass their real target: President Vladimir Putin
"The whole message of their campaign is that until Russia deals with the problem of the North Caucasus, then life should not go on as normal," said Slider.
Slider said tourists could certainly get caught in the crossfire and the fact that these are female terrorists, could help them blend in more easily than their male counterparts, even despite all the publicity.
"Security forces are largely men and they are focusing their attention on men even though there is this pattern on black widows," said Slider.
Slider believes it's because of that attitude, the female terrorists may have penetrated what Russia called a ring of steel - or security forces. They weren't searched as thoroughly as men.
Right now, the U.S. Military is making disaster plans for a possible attack in Sochi.
Officials said they are moving two warships to the Black Sea and if there is a crisis helicopters from those ships will be able to get to Sochi.
Officials also said military aircraft are being put on standby in Germany so they can be on scene within two hours.