UK female jihadis said recruiting for Islamic State

Illustrative photo of the Niqab (Photo credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90)

Illustrative photo of the Niqab (Photo credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90)

Western women in Syria may play a more active role in inciting terror attacks than previously thought, report says

(SOURCE)  A cadre of British women fighting with jihadi groups in Syria actively recruited supporters in the West to join their cause and even encouraged terror attacks abroad, Britain’s The Guardian reported Saturday.

Researchers at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR) at King’s College London monitored the social media accounts of some 30 women with British citizenship who are fighting with Islamist terror groups in Syria and Iraq, such as the Islamic State, also known as IS and ISIS.

The probe found that a number of the women acted as recruiters for extremist organizations, urged further terror attacks abroad and openly praised the deadly shootings earlier this month at the Paris offices of the Charlie Hebdo magazine and at a kosher supermarket outside the city.

According to Melanie Smith, research fellow at the ICSR, the inquiry shed light on the extent of the threat that female jihadists pose to the West — women that hitherto were believed to be uninvolved in military matters and confined to traditional female roles such as cooking food, raising children and housekeeping.

“British women tend to incite [attacks], they say to people that can’t move to the Islamic State: ‘Why not carry out something at home?’ That’s a common message: if you can’t leave your family behind or afford to move to Syria then carry out something,” Smith told the Guardian.

“I don’t think anyone talks about women returning as a risk. While they might not have the same military training, you can see women online being frustrated about the fact they can’t fight and they suggest to each other that they could do something else. Women historically have been used in suicide bombings and singular operations,” she added.

The database contains the names of 70 women, the youngest a 15-year-old French girl, who are actively fighting with terrorist organizations in Syria and Iraq.

Multiple media reports and documents paint a picture of widespread discrimination by the Islamic State against women, who are largely excised from public life by the terror group.

Jihadists force females to wear the niqab, or a full-body robe, and curtail their freedom of movement and their right to education.

At least eight women have been stoned to death for alleged adultery in IS-controlled areas in northern Syria, while at least 10 women in Mosul have been killed for speaking out against the group, activists say.

In August, IS detained and beheaded a female dentist in Deir el-Zour who had continued to treat patients of both sexes, the UN said.

The Islamic State’s exploitation of women and children for warfare and other purposes was documented in a November report by the UN entitled “Rule of Terror: Living under ISIS in Syria.”

According to the dispatch, the jihadi group has “instrumentalized and abused [women and] children on a systematic scale,” using them in combat roles, as spies, guards, cooks, medics and even suicide bombers.