The jihadi sisterhood: meet the new breed of Islamist fanatics

‘Does the pin make me go ?’ Like most 16-year-old British schoolgirls, Safaa Boular was adept at using emojis. She wanted to ask her online mentor if, when she detonated a bomb belt, she could be sure of killing both herself and her target. Safaa was a fast learner and, before too long, was planning to involve her older sister and her mother in an attack on the British Museum, among other targets. So when she was found guilty this week at the Old Bailey, it confirmed the latest British jihad innovation: our first all-female terror cell.

For those who have been involved in profiling terrorists (a job I used to do) it has all become a little more complicated. We’re used to hearing about naive girls being groomed by jihadists and going off to join them abroad in the role of the supportive, nurturing wife. It’s a story that has captured the imagination of novelists and filmmakers. The reality, however, is often far more brutal…

The number of women deployed as suicide bombers in Iraq has raised questions about whether the Islamic State has dropped its prohibition on women in combat. Prior to the announcement of its ‘caliphate’, only a handful of women had been convicted in Britain for Islamist terrorism — and most of those were helping family members. By 2015, female arrests for terrorism had doubled and the Bethnal Green schoolgirls who left for Syria were part of an unprecedented influx of women and girls travelling to the warzone. Today, women account for one in six terrorism arrests and one in five referrals to the UK government counter-radicalisation programme, known as Prevent.

Read The Full Article At The Spectator