A Moscow nanny has been arrested after waving the dismembered head of a toddler around a subway station on Monday.
The woman has been identified Gyulchehra Bobokulova, an Uzbek national believed to be in her late 30s. Bystanders said Bobokulova was clad in all black when she was seen holding a small package, yelling “Allahu Akbar” and threatening to blow herself up. Then Bobokulova pulled the head of 4-year-old girl from the package and began waving it around.
“I hate democracy! I’m a terrorist!” she yelled before being tackled by police, according to TV Rain.
The whole incident lasted about 15 minutes, Rain TV reports, adding that despite her threat, no explosives were recovered.
Earlier in the day, a fire had torn through the apartment of the girl’s family. When first responders arrived, they reportedly found the girl’s headless body.
Bobokulova had worked for the little girl’s family for three years, with no complaints about her from the parents. Russian newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets reported that the mother indicated the girl had a serious developmental disability, and that the parents were preparing to take her to Germany for surgery.
Authorities have scheduled a psychiatric evaluation for the woman, to determine whether she understood the gravity of her actions. One law enforcement source suggested to the agency that the nanny might be under the influence of psychoactive drugs.
In response to the incident, Russia’s child protection ombudsman called for parents to get psychiatric evaluations for nannies before hiring them.
Russian federal migration service spokeswoman Olga Kirillova told Interfax that Bobokulova was working as a nanny illegally, without a worker’s permit, though she had registered with a migration office and was in the country legally.
Sources told Interfax that they are looking into whether Monday’s events might have been precipitated by Bobokulova’s trip home to Uzbekistan around Jan. 1. Russian special forces are collaborating with their Uzbek counterparts to piece together details of her travels, the agency reports.
Meanwhile, Moscow’s head Imam issued a statement asking people not to link the brutal murder with Islam. “We’re talking about an absolutely inadequate person, so it’s completely incorrect to associate these actions with Muslims and Islam just based on her dress or some kind of slogans,” Ildar Alyatdinov said.
At least 12 percent of Russia’s population is Muslim and Uzbek immigrants make up a large percentage of migrant labor in the country.