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6 Apr, 2010 09:14

One of the Moscow suicide bombers was a modest teacher from Dagestan

The female suicide bomber who blew herself up at Moscow's Lubyanka station, in one of the two Metro attacks last Monday, has been identified by Russia’s anti-terrorist committee.

On Tuesday, April 6, the National Anti-terrorist committee confirmed that one of the suicide bombers who committed one of recent deadly Moscow terror attacks was Maryam Sharipova, born in 1982 and a resident of Balakhni village in Dagestan.

She was wife of Magomedali Vagapov – a top militant leader in the republic, who was trained in Pakistan, the anti-terrorist committee also confirms. The investigation is continuing.

Earlier Maryam Sharipova was identified by her father from photographs. Magomed-Rasul Magomedov recognized her as his daughter, who was a teacher in a village in Dagestan.

“This really is my daughter…No doubt,” he said. “There are lots of questions…and no answers.”

28-year-old Maryam Sharipova was his only daughter among four children. Having graduated from university with a degree in psychology, she taught local children for nearly four years. Her father says she was modest and shy, and an ardent Muslim since early childhood.

Balakhani is a typical remote mountainous village in Dagestan. There is no central heating and water is still drawn from the well. Locals are mainly engaged in agriculture, small trading and cattle breeding. Such a traditional way of life has been preserved here for ages. Even during the Soviet Union, residents honored their customs and practiced Islam.

With the fall of the Iron Curtain, this predominantly Muslim region became fertile ground for radicals from all over the Middle East. Many foreign mercenaries poured in for money and glory. Among them, notorious Arab warlords. Acting under the guise of jihad – or Holy war – they interpreted the Koran for their convenience.

Maryam disappeared the day before the Moscow bombings. Her father denies that his daughter had any connection to terrorist groups. According to sources, Magomedali Vagapov found another favorite and decided to get rid of Maryam, pushing her to become a suicide bomber.

One of her colleagues says she was quiet and reserved and no one would have thought it possible she could be a terrorist.

“We’re all in shock! No one was expecting this from her, taking into account her job,” Isa Magomedov stated.

Her father still refuses to accept that his daughter could have been involved in the Moscow terror attacks.

“It’s a grief and a tragedy that she appeared to be there… How is a different question,” he professed. “She didn't even leave a note or a will.”

International terrorism is penetrating the depths of the North Caucasus. And ordinary people are getting caught up in the violence.