The Changing Role of Women in the Islamic State
Once women worked behind the scenes, having babies to be raised as the next generation of jihadis. Now they work as full-fledged terrorists.
Middle East : While the Islamic State has historically put women down and currently faces women warriors fight against them, it appears that the terror group is now looking to use women in more visible ways, such as allowing women important roles in strategic attacks, particularly in Europe.
This marks a change in strategy for the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), not just gender-wise, but also generally speaking. In the past, ISIS focused its attention on increasing the territory of its “caliphate,” but now it seems to be focusing on global terrorist attacks.
One such recent attack in Paris occurred on September 4 in front of the famous Notre Dame Cathedral. Fortunately, the parked car filled with everyday explosives did not detonate. What made this foiled attack particularly interesting was the fact that all those involved were women — four women.
This is especially unnerving because we tend to think of women as less capable of acts of terrorism, even though a few have been involved in the past. But now, female-only terrorist cells are popping up. Even more recently, an attack involving three women occurred in Kenya. We now realize that just about anyone can be seduced by ISIS, even the half of the population that we tend to regard as more nurturing and peaceful, i.e. women.
And, of course, we must assume that ISIS knows this. Using women is particularly advantageous for the Islamic State because it works against our biases. Since we are less likely to view women as potential terrorists, it makes it easier for them to be successful in their missions.
As Miami Herald columnist Frida Ghitis writes, “The more police focus on those fitting the typical terrorist profile, males, the easier it is for women to escape detection. And if their attacks succeed, the mere fact that women carried them out somehow amplifies the attack’s propaganda value.”
ISIS has been recruiting women for a couple of years, but it is only recently that women have begun to act as full participants in the actual attacks. Before, women were primarily “drawn — or recruited — into vital support roles through effective social-media campaigns that promise devout jihadist husbands, a home in a true Islamic state and the opportunity to devote their lives to their religion and their God.”
Now that ISIS has evolved (devolved?) to use women as terrorists, we know that ISIS can make big changes in its strategy, something we should definitely keep in mind. We should not underestimate it ability to change. After all, the members of ISIS are nothing if not passionate and fanatical,providing much fuel to their inner fire.
Now, we too must evolve to combat this dangerous organization, no longer discounting women as potential terrorists.
Source : The Clarion Project