Wednesday, April 3, 2019

The Roles Of Women In Terrorism

The Roles Of Wo hands In terrorist actThe involvement of women in terrorist organisations is by no means new, however their procedure therein has smorgasbordd markedly oer late years. Up until the late twentieth century, women in terrorist organisations were largely depute tasks removed from the front lines of political violence they come throughed only when to support their young-begetting(prenominal) counterparts, through gathering intelligence, providing healthc ar, and charge maintaining safe ho exercises for more-active terrorists. Since then, and though women continue to work unwrap those functions, the image of fe manhoodnish terrorists has evolved into something more active, perhaps tougher, more fanatical, more loyal, than antecedently seen.1Indeed, while formerly confined to more auxiliary roles, fe antheral person members of ferocious ultra radicals today engage immediately in attacks, including suicide bombings, seduceing far-flung disbelief and he ightened media interest.After looking at terrorisms definitional problems, this paper impart read three different categories of involvement by women in terrorism women as terrorists actu all(prenominal)y joining im head organisations and dribbleing out attacks women as enablers their role in motivating, inspiring, or encouraging potential terrorists and women as pr planeters epitome of their involvement in counterterrorism. In so doing, it will focus on women and terrorism, as opposed to the overlapping concept of women and war. Both concepts of women engaging in terrorism and of womens roles in wars argon vast and nuanced, and a single paper fecal matter non do twain justice. For this reason, the former al whizz will be examined here.Both terrorism and grammatical sex activity in conflict form been studied and written some extensively. The credit of rape as a weapon of war has led to a timely re-evaluation of gender in war,2and oft has been written on the strun g-out of terrorism, pointly since September 2001, when terrorism entered into mainstream media and non-academic literature, even out in those countries not directly affected by it. Yet, terrorism through the prism of gender has only recently gained ground in academic and media discourse, partly overdue to the hiking of the pistillate suicide bomber.3This study will consult literature in general on political violence, but besides on the role of women in golf club, drawing out observations on the involve of women on terrorism, as wellspring as on how womens unique position in society john be harnessed for counterterrorism purposes. In addition, the paper will briefly signalise on what the implications be for gender equality. Indeed, does the advent of female terrorists mirror the build up of women in society? This paper will fork out a broad over visualize of the womens roles in terrorism, with more-detailed comments on their potential for de-radicalising active and pot ential terrorists.Women as Participants in TerrorismAlthough terrorism is atomic number 53 of the around widely used linguistic process in some(prenominal) international relations and the intelligence ope limit media, the word leave outs a clear, universal definition. Those who try to characterise it a lot harbour underlying biases (rendering their definitions questionable), or, in the crusade of some governments and the media, they may seek to label as legion(predicate) events as possible with a provocative term to demonise a particular group or to create headlines. Terrorism has a dislogistic implication and those associated with it are therefore degraded politically and lovingly.4Most would agree, however, that business concern is intrinsic to any successful terrorism. As political scientist Martha Crenshaw explains, terrorism is a mode by which an agent tends to produce terror in order to levy his/her domination.5Many other definitions of terrorism exist, includin g Walter Laqueurs assertion that the meaning of terrorism has been ever-changing throughout history,6and Brian Michael Jenkins description of the phenomenon as the use or threatened use of force to bring about political change.7For the purposes of this work, Jenkins definition shall suffice, but with the changer that, in the case of millennialist or some fundamentalist groups, political change privation not be the final end.8Examples of women send offting terrorist acts abound. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) arrive at been affirmd as amongst the source terrorist groups to employ women as attackers, with over nonpareil-third of their rank and file composed of females, who, in addition to suicide bomb missions, have duties on the battlefield, in the kitchen, and in medical camps.9LTTEs Black Tigresses, are not alone. The Chechen Black Widows, a brigade of female suicide bombers, political machineried out a dozen suicide bombings over two years, murdering 330 pe ople.10Similarly, Wafa Idris, the first female suicide bomber, was a twenty-eight-year-old working for the Palestinian Red Crescent when she was deployed on a suicide mission to Jerusalem in 2002. Her bomb killed one soulfulness (in addition to herself), and injured 114.11While the death toll was low, Idris bombing, carried out for the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, dishd as an excellent recruitment tool, particularly among women. Indeed, the group subsequently established squads of unforced female suicide bombers squads rattling named for Idris.12Similarly, during the intifadas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas twain witnessed a surge in female bombers Syrian nationalists and Kurdish separatists mould in this way, and women in Uzbekistan, Turkey, Lebanon, and Egypt have also joined the terror ranks.13 muliebrity the perfect terrorist?Women exert back excellent terrorists. Traditionally societys inherently nurturing and non- boisterous caregivers, females tend to attract less( prenominal) attention from security services and are less attached to be searched, questioned, and interrogated in the way that males are particularly in Islamic societies, which carry particular heathen sensitivities regarding the role of women.14Testament to this, earlier this month a suicide bomber in Somalia disguised himself as a woman, complete with a veil and a females shoes, before detonating explosives in a crowded Mogadishu hotel.15And even when women are under suspicion, the capacity may not exist to interrogate them after the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, airport security services struggled to recruit enough female staff to carry out searches of women. One of the overriding attractions of victimization females for baseless ends is, therefore, the slim fortune of their attracting suspicion additionally, even if that suspicion is there, the capacity may not exist to stop them. In part because violence against women (and children) is deemed by society to be more abhorrent (due to their supposed greater vulnerability), terrorism carried out by women is also more shocking, as will be discussed later in the paper. Ironically, it is the very(prenominal) weakness that makes women the most invokeing/effective victims (in that they provoke wider insurance reporting for the group behind the attack) that appears to make women terrorisms best instigators.Following the 2002 Moscow field of operations hostage crisis, which involved female as well as male hostage-takers, one commentator posited that, for a woman to commit terrorism, she must be more fanatical than a male terrorist, and is therefore more wonderful than her male colleagues For feminine engagement in activities that are so classically male bespeaks a far greater zeal. This is hard to verify, but that his analysis of women and terrorism goes on to note that female Islamists must be specially zealous, presumption that the reward of virgins awaiting the suicide bomber in he aven holds no appeal for them certainly looks plausible.16It could then be said that the greater solicitude elicited by the female extremist adds to her effectiveness as a terrorist.Terrorist groups manipulate and capitalise on the stereotypes of women to suit their crimson goals. Suicide bombings in themselves, while still abhorrent, are more and more commonplace almost weekly, news consumers see coverage of bombings in graphic detail. Terrorists have thus seek out ways to renew the impact of their violence (to which many, particularly in areas not directly impacted by attacks, have become partly desensitised), and the use of women as bombers is symptomatic of this. With most terrorism hinging on the promotion it attracts, groups exercise into the shock value of using women as human bombs this elicits the double-shock of two the brutality of the act itself and the notion of someones daughter/mother/sister/married woman as the instigator. Summing up the importance of the o xygen publicity affords terrorist organisations,17Front de Libration Nationale (FLN) leader Ramdane Abane asks rhetorically, Is it preferable for our cause to kill ten enemies in an oued dry riverbed of Telergma when no one will talk of it, or a single man in Algiers which will be noted the neighboring day by the Ameri bathroom press?18Not only do female terrorists elicit more coverage, boosting both the fear a given attack elicits and the chip of potential recruits reached, the type of coverage received is also different from that given to their male colleagues. Coverage of acts committed by women provides more detail about possible motivations of the several(prenominal), while actions committed by men are explained more often in terms of the groups motivation.19(My emphasis.) Indeed, female terrorists also increase the likelihood that the social conditions, discrimination, and hardships experienced by a given group will be featured in the news media,20representing a signifi ho uset motivator for particular organisations to use women over men.While suicide terrorism exemplifies vividly the impact female terrorists can have, other roles for women in political violence should not be overlooked. In terms of their roles away from the front lines of terrorism, women in extremist organisations were in the past often confined to less-active duties, such(prenominal) as healthcare provision, intelligence gathering, and even maintenance of safe houses for more-active terrorists. Some still do play these roles, and recent studies of terrorism and the internet have unearthed evidence of women now also playing the role of assimilator, translating for their male counterparts and interpreting spiritual texts. In addition, females can boost depleted numbers of combatants, be it by joining the ranks themselves or by providing jihad wombs.21They also contribute by using their maiden names to open bank accounts (to avoid attracting the attention of antiterrorism agencies) , and even raising money for terror groups through charity functions.22Does all this make a woman the perfect terrorist? While women hold many proportional advantages over men eliciting less suspicion, holding greater shock value, and even remaining engaged in terrorism longer than do men on average23 some factors make women less attractive. In the impudence of stereotypes of women as non-violent wives, sisters, mothers, and daughters, it surprises many to learn that female terrorists are viewed by some as more deadly, in that some security forces deem them less apparent to hesitate when carrying out a violent mission. One scholar further posits that women terrorists are possessors of a greater capacity for suffering.24Reasons for this resoluteness can only be speculated about, but the small variations amongst genders in why individuals engage in terrorism could be relevant as will be discussed, vengeance is a particularly strong motivator among female extremists and may serve also to sustain a womans interest, and involvement, in a given cause. Counterterrorism recruits in INTERPOL accordingly even follow a shoot-the-women-first policy.25 other(a) factors can discourage the use of women by terrorists groups some members may view women as a threat to group cohesion (many groups lean hard on male bonding to sustain the dynamic needed to commit violence for a given cause), and certain societies frown upon the use of women in combat roles. However, the overwhelming importance of publicity to terrorism seems to outweigh such concerns regarding female terrorists women extremists occupy more column inches than do their male counterparts. And, with all terrorism, coverage confers the impression of power something all terrorist groups seek to wield.What motivates women terroristsA recent study of what motivates suicide terrorists found that there was little variation between genders in this regard both men and women tend to engage in terrorism for similar reas ons. However, a few most-valuable differences in motivation were noted, including, among women, vengeance. Having lost a loved one at the hands of a particular groups perceived enemy, a mother, wife, or sister may be more inclined to join that group, and actively engage in terrorism.26Wafa Idris matte up personally aggrieved by the horrors she witnessed at the Palestinian Red Crescent, by her brothers imprisonment, and at being displaced from Ramallah by Israel. But analysts also cite personal sadnesses she endured, uncorrelated to her cause, as motivation for her actions After marriage, Idris had a late miscarriage. The doctors said she could have no more children. Her husbands response was to divorce her and marry again.27Seldom does one see this type of analysis where male bombers are concerned that attacks instigated by females are analysed in greater depth, speaks to the fascination they seem to hold over the media and potential extremists alike.Terrorist recruiters targetin g women play into their need to feel involved, which is similar to male-terrorist recruitment, but the reasons for that lack of involvement in society differ. For example, in Central Asia, the Kyrgyz, largely non-violent, terrorist group Hizb-ut-Tabhir (HT), is pursuing the restoration of an Islamic caliphate in the region through allegedly peaceful political means. A recent International Crisis Group describe on HT examines why, in a country where women enjoy a sacrilegious society and relative equality, they are moved to support HT a ride which appears to marginalise them. The report finds that since Kyrgyzstan, post-independence, lacks a coherent national identity, an Islamic one encounters that void. Islams traditional representatives often do not make any appeal to women, whereas HT does, offering both social services and religious education to women. The HT marker of Islam emphasises Islamic sisterhood, and, in conservative areas, where women and girls have few social ou tlets, gender-segregated HT meetings let in women to mix with other women and reap the benefits of such interactions.28The type of marginalisation that, in various air jacketern societies, fuelled womens liberation movements, is replaced in other, less-free societies (where rights are fiercely withheld), by the appeal of extremism. Rather than agitation for gender equality, which is notoriously elusive in some societies, a minority of women turn to other causes, which give them a sense of belonging and the opportunity to be involved in the types of groups previously unavailable to them.From these examples particularly that of HT in Kyrgyzstan it is clear that marginalisation by society at large makes individuals more vulnerable to the appeal of extremism. In the case of women specifically, it could be extrapolated that the very marginalisation they experience as a turn out of gender inequality, is played on by terrorists to bring them into sphere of extremism, increasingly as active participants. As will be discussed, terrorism can seem like a more alluring pursuit to women in those societies where their rights, gender and other, are curtailed perhaps even suicide can seem appealing. But we must note that gender serves as little incentive in itself to commit violence, and neither sex seems moved to carry out terrorist attacks based on gender alone. What should be taken away from these observations is that outlets need be given to empower women in those societies where extremism is most likely to fill the empowerment vacuum. In essence, marginalisation based on gender is something of a force multiplier where fertile ground for extremism already exists.Women as Enablers of TerrorismIn number, women are not equal to men, constituting more than half of the realness population, and in their traditional roles as mothers, wives, sisters, and girlfriends females may impact every facial expression of terrorist activity. It is in this that they have been cit ed as motivation for other terrorists to engage in violence, as well as as reason to disengage, which will be elaborated later on. Women terrorists also appear to reach a wider auditory modality where terrorist recruitment is concerned the cults of personality female terrorists attract can serve to inspire would-be extremists and build support for a given cause. In their non-violent roles, also, women in specific communities actively recruit terroristsIn Syria, similar to the tactics of HT in Kyrgyzstan, sisterhood organisations proselytise extreme religious doctrine while, in Pakistan, the mujahidaat are women who engage in collective non-violent endeavors geared towards recruiting and supporting violent extremist groups. In 2008, 1,000 women in Lebanon marched to show their support for Hezbollah and, in Gaza, women gathered to form a human barrier between Israeli forces and militants hiding in a mosque in 2006.29These examples of women enabling terrorism and facilitating warfare can be ascribed to the types of discontent that motivate all terrorists, but, for women in societies where their rights are oppressed on the grounds of gender, something further can be inferred gender equality in other aspects of life would remove a work of discontent that contributes to terrorism.The cult of personality that the female terrorist seems to attract is also important in the recruitment and inspiration of other terrorists. Indeed, women seem more likely to receive such attention than men, thus further prolonging media interest something on which terrorist groups thrive. Leila Khaled, a Palestinian hijacker with the Popular Front for the Liberation of promised land (PFLP), drew much public attention for the very fact of her gender.30 cured just twenty-one years, Khaleds involvement in the 1969 hijacking of a passenger flight received wide coverage, in a way very appealing to terrorist recruiters Her sexuality was always emphasised She is the pin-up of armed struggle like her hero, Che Guevara, Khaled had the glamour as well as the belief.31Her role morphed into one of a cultural icon, foreshadowing that of Wafa Idris, who also seemed to fascinate commentators The Arab press canonised Idris. One Egyptian newspaper compared her to the Mona Lisa, registering her dreamy eyes and the mysterious smile on her lips. Others cited Joan of Arc, or the Virgin Mary.32Khaled and Idris attracted an entirely different type of media coverage than do their male counterparts. Very rarely if ever do male suicide bombers make headlines based on their physical attractiveness. But the media coverage paid dividends for their respective organisations. Following her death, Idris attracted copycats more women suicide bombers materialised in the western hemisphere BankOne female suicide bomber, a 21-year-old English-literature student named Darin Aisheh, detonated explosives in her car at a military checkpoint in February, wounding three policemen. Andaleeb Takafka, 2 0, killed herself and sestet others, and injured 104 people in April, using explosive tied to her waist. Ayat Akhras, 18, blew herself up outside a Jerusalem bus stop a month earlier.33In terms of traditional (or non-suicide) terrorism, female role models have also had a place in history. Ulrike Meinhof of the Red Army Faction, active in Germany in the 1970s, famously directed her groups campaign, which, unlike most other terrorist organisations, actually cited womens liberation as a strand of its goals. For many years the most famous female terrorist, Meinhof has been credited with inspiring German terrorism,34and has been the subject of many books and a handful of films. Indeed, in 1981 ten of the fourteen most-wanted terrorists in West Germany were female.35Bernadette Devlin, a vocal supporter of the Irish Republicanism, became the youngest female Member of the British Parliament (in a high-profile effort to champion Irish independence) and drew much attention, both for the fac t of her age and her gender. Like Meinhof, she inspired much interest, even gaining the nickname Fidel Castro in a miniskirt. A biopic about her is in production.36As well as female suicide bombers spurring imitators, and other female terrorists becoming figureheads for their causes, the actions of women not actually active in terrorism, but sooner in encouraging terrorists, can have devastating consequences. Among extremists, suicide bombers are lauded as heroes, in a way deeply disturbing to the take for majority. As such, some families, mothers in particular, aspire to have their sons sacrificed as martyrs Families of martyrs are honoured as family members of someone who gave his life to the cause. Many speak of their sons, husbands, or brothers commitment, dedication, and the preen felt by society.37Indeed, the glamorisation of martyrdom appears to be perpetuated by the families, spouses, and partners, which speaks to both womens role in radicalising moderates and their potent ial for de-radicalising the extreme. Just as military traditions can span generations within families, with son after father, after grandfather, enlisting in the armed forces, traditions of extremism can also perpetuate.While men are naturally equally, and perhaps more, guilty of this sort of encouragement (in terms of issuance crook to terrorism) that women are being singled out in counterterrorism for their potential to de-radicalise their husbands, brothers, and sons speaks to the importance of their role in radicalisation. As does the example of Bernadette Devlin, whose experience can perhaps be cited as evidence of the role of families (mothers specifically) in actually enabling their children in the pursuit of extremism her daughter, Risn McAliskey, was arrested in Germany in connection with an anger bombing of a British Army barracks there.38This speaks to the role of mothers in influencing offspring towards terrorism, and exemplifies what it is that newer counterterroris m programmes seek to prevent. (The roles of women in de-radicalisation and prevention will be examined in the next section of the paper.)Returning to the example of suicide martyrs, male bombers and their families often cite the promise of seventy-two virgin brides awaiting them in heaven upon completing their missions as part of their motivation.39An attack carried out by al-Qassam in 1994 demonstrates the encouragement families provide to some terrorists The bombers family and the sponsoring organization celebrate his martyrdom with festivities, as if it were a marriage. Often, the mother will ululate in joy over the watch that Allah has bestowed upon her family.40Indeed, in different ways, potential terrorists are encouraged by extremist groups and by those in their social network to engage in terrorism, but the differences between the two genders in these respects merit examination. With women holding so much potential in terms of counterterrorism, the exact nature of their ro le in enabling terrorism should also be better understood.Women as Preventers of TerrorismWhile women are cited as motivation to enter into violent extremism, much evidence exists of their roles in facilitating disengagement from terrorism and in otherwise thwarting terrorist activity.41In removing their children from cultures of extremism or preventing their falling prey to extremism in the first place, by becoming intelligence officers, and even as spouses involved in the rehabilitation of extremists, women make very effective counterterrorists. Counterterrorism programmes worldwide are author to focus more on softer measures than the military- and police-centred approaches increasingly seen in the aftermath of 11 September 2001, favouring instead de-radicalisation through education and dialogue, as well as increases in aid and poverty-alleviation policies. In these newer de-radicalisation programmes, terrorists and other violent extremists are rehabilitated in various ways, oft en including education in the true peaceful meanings of religious texts, and are usually given a more solid understructure in social networks removed from their previous extremist affiliations. In this section, examples of existent terrorism-prevention and terrorist-rehabilitation programmes with women at their centres are examined.Given that the group dynamic afforded by terrorist organisations for individual members often replaces that persons family, strengthened family and relationship ties can help facilitate a persons disengagement from a particular cause, i.e., to provide them with a non-violent, appealing alternate(a) to terrorism. Indeed, Bjrgo and others highlight the importance of avoiding a social vacuum, when a terrorist repents, and women can play a fundamental role in this.42In his study of what moves right field extremists to de-radicalise, he asserts that gaining and upholding family commitments, including getting a girlfriend (or boyfriend), are among the stron gest motives for leaving a cause behind.43As such, programmes exist to facilitate not just purpose employment, but entering into marriage, all as part of the rehabilitation of violent extremists.44A Maroc initiative that focuses on women, recruiting them as messengers to present the moderate mainstream Islam as a counterweight to fundamentalist ideology, has met with some success. Spearheaded by the Moroccan King, the initiative seeks to feminize the face of Islam, in order to provide an novice alternative to the extremist, often misrepresented brand of Islam terrorist groups employ.45In Saudi Arabia, a counterterrorism scheme called the Saudi Counselling Programme, has been the most successful and expansive of its kind, and Christopher Boucek posits that this is due in part to its being rooted in respect for cultural and religious traditions.46It could be extrapolated from this that women, as central figures in every culture, could hold the key to developing societal answers to a given societys terrorism problem, or at least to grounding each initiative in the fascinate culture. A spate of new programmes centred on mothers preventing the radicalisation of their children supports thi

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