Terror with a Female Face
“In terms of self-identification, Muslim women who moved to the so-called caliphate call themselves muhajirat, indicating discontent with their previous social environment in the West, their desire to move to a place of ideal perfection (the caliphate) and their religious motivation for seeking that change. Notwithstanding how adolescents understand ISIS’ ideology, the concepts of caliphate and the role of women in it, ISIS also uses naive and easily manipulated teenage girls to play a role in the territory under its control, inducing them to embrace a cause that they often do not clearly understand.
With the above-mentioned limitations in mind, none of the labels noted earlier apply generally to all the Western female migrants. Proper labeling will depend on their evident motivations, roles and activities in ISIS-controlled territory. Although it is hard to quantify the extent of alienation of female migrants in their respective countries of residence, there is sufficient concern about this trend to necessitate learning what motivates women from the West to move to a war-torn area and join a notorious terrorist group...”
Excerpt from Anita Peresin, “Terror with a Female Face,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 6, No. 4, 2015: 30-35.
Dr. Anita Peresin is a senior advisor in the Office of the National Security Council of the Republic of Croatia. She has held many positions in the Croatian security sector, including those responsible for counterterrorism and NATO. As a Marshall Center visiting scholar, her research focus is female jihadists, and she graduated from the Program on Terrorism and Security Studies.
This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.