Woman on trial in Russia says Allah ordered her to behead child

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Nanny Accused of Beheading 4-Year-Old Girl Appears in Court

A woman suspected of beheading a child in her care before brandishing the severed head outside a Moscow metro station said on Wednesday Allah had ordered her to commit the crime.

Police on Monday wrestled to the ground Gulchekhra Bobokulova, a 38-year-old divorced mother of three from the Muslim-majority ex-Soviet state of Uzbekistan, after she wandered around a Moscow street holding the infant's severed head in the air and shouting Islamist slogans.

Eyewitnesses said at the time they believed she was carrying out a terrorist act, but since her detention, Russian investigators have raised the possibility she might be suffering from mental illness.

Investigators said she had been working as a nanny for a Moscow family and that she had murdered and beheaded one of the children in her care before setting fire to the family flat and fleeing.

See photos of Bobokulova appearing in court:

10 PHOTOS
Nanny who brandished a child's severed head appears in court, Gulchekhra Bobokulova, Moscow
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Woman on trial in Russia says Allah ordered her to behead child
TOPSHOT - Gyulchekhra Bobokulova, a nanny suspected of killing a young girl in her care, reacts inside a defendants' cage during a hearing at a court in Moscow, on March 2, 2016. AFP PHOTO / VASILY MAXIMOV / AFP / VASILY MAXIMOV (Photo credit should read VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Gulchekhra Bobokulova from Uzbekistan appears in a court room in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, March 2, 2016. The 38 year old nanny is accused of killing a 4-year-old girl and then waving the child's severed head outside a Moscow subway station. A Moscow court on Wednesday sanctioned her arrest for two months. (AP Photo)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA. MARCH 2, 2016. Uzbekistan's citizen, babysitter Gyulchekhra Bobokulova (R), suspected of murdering a 4-year-old girl, seen ahead of a hearing into the request of her arrest at Moscow's Presnensky District Court. Early on February 29, 2016, a decapitated body of a 4-year-old girl was discovered as firefighters were battling a blaze in an apartment block in Narodnogo Opolcheniya Street. Babysitter Gyulchekhra Bobokulova has been detained near Oktyabrskoye Pole Metro Station on suspicion of murdering the child. Sergei Fadeichev/TASS (Photo by Sergei Fadeichev\TASS via Getty Images)
In this frame grab made from the APTN footage, Gulchekhra Bobokulova from Uzbekistan appears in a court room in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, March 2, 2016. The 38 year old nanny is accused of killing a 4-year-old girl and then waving the child's severed head outside a Moscow subway station. A Moscow court on Wednesday sanctioned her arrest for two months. (Vladimir Kondrashov/APTN via AP)
Gyulchekhra Bobokulova, a nanny suspected of killing a young girl in her care, reacts inside a defendants' cage during a hearing at a court in Moscow, on March 2, 2016. AFP PHOTO / VASILY MAXIMOV / AFP / VASILY MAXIMOV (Photo credit should read VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA. MARCH 2, 2016. Uzbekistan's citizen, babysitter Gyulchekhra Bobokulova, suspected of murdering a 4-year-old girl, seen ahead of a hearing into the request of her arrest at Moscow's Presnensky District Court. Early on February 29, 2016, a decapitated body of a 4-year-old girl was discovered as firefighters were battling a blaze in an apartment block in Narodnogo Opolcheniya Street. Babysitter Gyulchekhra Bobokulova has been detained near Oktyabrskoye Pole Metro Station on suspicion of murdering the child. Sergei Fadeichev/TASS (Photo by Sergei Fadeichev\TASS via Getty Images)
Gyulchekhra Bobokulova, a nanny suspected of killing a young girl in her care, looks out from a defendants' cage during a hearing at a court in Moscow, on March 2, 2016. AFP PHOTO / VASILY MAXIMOV / AFP / VASILY MAXIMOV (Photo credit should read VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Gyulchekhra Bobokulova, a nanny suspected of killing a young girl in her care, reacts inside a defendants' cage during a hearing at a court in Moscow, on March 2, 2016. AFP PHOTO / VASILY MAXIMOV / AFP / VASILY MAXIMOV (Photo credit should read VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images)
*ALTERNATIVE CROP* Gyulchekhra Bobokulova, a nanny suspected of killing a young girl in her care, looks on as she sits inside a defendants' cage during a hearing at a court in Moscow, on March 2, 2016. AFP PHOTO / VASILY MAXIMOV / AFP / VASILY MAXIMOV (Photo credit should read VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Gyulchekhra Bobokulova, a nanny suspected of killing a young girl in her care, sits inside a defendants' cage during a hearing at a court in Moscow, on March 2, 2016. AFP PHOTO / VASILY MAXIMOV / AFP / VASILY MAXIMOV (Photo credit should read VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images)
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State television channels did not report the incident, a move that drew accusations of censorship from some opposition activists but which the Kremlin endorsed, saying it would have been wrong to broadcast such "horrific images".

Bobokulova told reporters on her way into the courtroom on Wednesday that Allah had ordered her to do what she did but that she had repented and agreed with her arrest.

Sat in the metal cage reserved for defendants in Russian courts, Bobokulova waved and said:

"I am Allah's messenger. Hello everyone."

Her head was uncovered and she appeared relaxed, occasionally yawning, in contrast to Monday when she had been dressed in black and wearing a hijab.

MILITANT ISLAMIST THREAT

Government officials have issued frequent warnings about the danger that Islamic State militants pose to Russia, especially in the light of Russia's military intervention in Syria in support of President Bashar al-Assad.

Investigators have opened a criminal case against Bobokulova, saying they formally suspect her of murder. They have not mentioned suspecting her of any terrorism-related offence.

The court agreed to detain her for two months while the investigation continued after hearing that she presented an "exceptional risk to public safety".

See more from the crime scene:

8 PHOTOS
Nanny arrested for waving severed head in Moscow
See Gallery
Woman on trial in Russia says Allah ordered her to behead child
MOSCOW, RUSSIA. FEBRUARY 29, 2016. Windows of an apartment in Narodnogo Opolcheniya Street set on fire by a woman suspected of killing a 4-year-old child. Artyom Geodakyan/TASS (Photo by Artyom Geodakyan\TASS via Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA. FEBRUARY 29, 2016. A woman walks past a residential building in Narodnogo Opolcheniya Street where a woman suspected of killing a 4-year-old child set an apartment on fire. Artyom Geodakyan/TASS (Photo by Artyom Geodakyan\TASS via Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA. FEBRUARY 29, 2016. Police officers seen by a residential building in Narodnogo Opolcheniya Street where a woman suspected of killing a 4-year-old child set an apartment on fire. Artyom Geodakyan/TASS (Photo by Artyom Geodakyan\TASS via Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA. FEBRUARY 29, 2016. Members of the Russian Interior Ministry's engineer combat group at Oktyabrskoye Pole Station on the Tagansko-Krasnopresnenskaya Line of the Moscow Metro where a woman suspected of killing a 4-year-old child was detained. Artyom Geodakyan/TASS (Photo by Artyom Geodakyan\TASS via Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA. FEBRUARY 29, 2016. Police officers seen near Oktyabrskoye Pole Station on the Tagansko-Krasnopresnenskaya Line of the Moscow Metro where a woman suspected of killing a 4-year-old child was detained. Artyom Geodakyan/TASS (Photo by Artyom Geodakyan\TASS via Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA. FEBRUARY 29, 2016. Employees of the Russian Investigative Committee near an entrance to Oktyabrskoye Pole Station on the Tagansko-Krasnopresnenskaya Line of the Moscow Metro where a woman suspected of killing a 4-year-old child was detained. Artyom Geodakyan/TASS (Photo by Artyom Geodakyan\TASS via Getty Images)
Russian police officers secure the area near a subway station in Moscow on Monday, Feb. 29, 2016. Russian news agencies report that police have arrested a woman who was waving the severed head of a small child outside a Moscow subway station. The Investigative Committee released a statement saying a woman was arrested Monday on suspicion of killing a child aged 3 or 4 in an apartment near the metro station in northwestern Moscow and then setting the apartment on fire. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA. FEBRUARY 29, 2016. A police officer seen near Oktyabrskoye Pole Station on the Tagansko-Krasnopresnenskaya Line of the Moscow Metro where a woman suspected of killing a 4-year-old child was detained. Artyom Geodakyan/TASS (Photo by Artyom Geodakyan\TASS via Getty Images)
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Investigators have said she will undergo psychiatric testing.

An investigator said that to date no one else had been identified who was involved in the crime. The judge spoke of possible accomplices still being at large and hiding from the police, without giving details.

Some rights activists have warned of a possible backlash in Russia against migrant workers from Central Asian countries such as Uzbekistan who have in the past been targeted for beatings by far-right groups.

A Communist Party website campaigning for tighter migration rules displayed a picture on Wednesday of a black-clad woman wearing a burka holding a severed head inside a red circle with a line through it to indicate such individuals should be banned.

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