Russia has seen acts of violence perpetrated by Islamic terrorists from its Caucasus region in the recent past, but nothing prepared Moscow for the horrific scene that took place near a subway station on Monday morning when commuters heard a woman screaming, “Allahu Akbar” and turned to see the unthinkable.

The woman, a 39-year-old from Uzbekistan identified as Gyulchekhra Bobokulova, was wearing a black head covering, or hijab, and waving something in her hand – the severed head of a child.

Russian television showed videos of the woman at the subway station shouting the Arabic phrase meaning, “Allah is greater” and, in Russian, “I am a terrorist” before being brought down by men who may have been police or simply bystanders who felt compelled to act as reports also indicate the woman was threatening to detonate a bomb hidden on her body. No explosives were found.

Uzbekistan, formerly a part of the Soviet Union, is over 93 percent Muslim and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan was classified as a terror organization by the U.S. in 2002.

The Uzbekistan native, who was working as the child’s nanny, was arrested by Russian police who released a statement saying the child’s charred body had been found in the family’s apartment.

Spokeswoman for the department, Yulia Ivanova, said authorities believed the suspect, who has been charged with murder, “had waited until the parents left with the older child, and for unknown reasons committed murder of the child, set the apartment on fire and left the scene of the crime.”

The police added that the body of the child, thought to be 3 or 4 years of age, showed signs of a violent death before being decapitated.

The gruesome scene shocked even a reporter, Polina Nikolskaya, who told international news source Reuters, “She was standing near the metro entrance and caught my attention because she was screaming Allahu Akbar. I saw that she had a bloodied head in her arms, but I thought it was not real. People in the crowd said it was real.”

Russian television reported that the child’s mother had been taken to a local hospital after fainting when she was told the news.


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