Recent events, including the rise of the Islamic State and its overt recruitment of Western women, have once again brought the issue of women participating in terrorist organizations to the forefront. Yet much remains to be understood about why women join terrorist organizations and why groups choose to incorporate them into their structures and operations. Women in Modern Terrorism, which draws from a unique dataset compiled over a decade, tackles these questions and analyzes women's inclusion in terrorist organizations since the beginning of modern terrorism, covering both religious and ethno-nationalist terrorism and conflict.
The text opens with a discussion of the definition of terrorism before examining key issues, such as how and why women join terrorist groups, what women's inclusion in terrorist organizations reveals about the nature and longevity of both the groups and the conflicts, the future of women's role in terrorist organizations and attacks (particularly given the rise of new terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq), and the types of attacks women perpetrate and how they compare across groups. By looking at case studies, including Hizballah, Chechnya, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, Al Shaabab, and more, this text shows that women's inclusion in various terrorist organizations is largely a pragmatic choice by the group. It also highlights the cross-pollination of ideas between differently motivated groups. All these issues, along with the role of the media and the Internet in radicalization and recruitment processes, are explored to provide an exhaustive account of the many roles for women in terrorist groups today.
Jessica Davis is an Ottawa-based writer and researcher who has worked in government for more than fifteen years in various departments, including the Department of National Defence, the Department of Foreign Affairs, and the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada.
Introduction: Women in Modern Terrorism Defining Terrorism Data Collection and Methodology Studying Women in Terrorism Chapter 1: Organizational Decision Making Women's Roles in Terrorist Organizations Understanding the Integration of Women Using Structural and Group Factors Predicting Women's Involvement in Conflict Chapter 2: Gender and the Radicalization Process(es) The Process(es) of Radicalization Gendered Radicalization? Women as Lone Actors Conclusions About Women's Radicalization Processes Chapter 3: Lebanese Hizballah and Palestinian Terrorist Groups Hizballah's Lack of Women Operatives Women as Terrorists in Palestinian Terrorist Groups Trends in Women's Participation in Palestinian Terrorist Activities Women: Participants in Political Violence in Lebanon and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Chapter 4: Women in Ethno-nationalist Conflict Women in the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam Women in the PKK Chapter 5: Women in Global Jihad: From Al Qaeda to Chechnya Women in Al Qaeda Core The Russia - Chechnya Conflict and Chechen Black Widows Comparing Al Qaeda Core with Chechen Terrorist Groups Chapter 6: Evolving Global Jihad: Boko Haram and Al Shabaab Boko Haram's Bombers: Women and Girls Al Shabaab's Inclusion of Women in Modern Terrorism Comparing Boko Haram and Al Shabaab's Use of Women in Modern Terrorism Chapter 7: Women's role in the Conflict in Iraq and Syria Female Suicide Bombers in Iraq Women in ISIL The Draw of Fundamentalist Religion in the Recruitment of Women Women in the (continually) evolving Jihad Conclusion: Trends in Female Terrorism Women's Involvement in Modern Terrorism Women as Lone Actors Women's other roles in terrorism Addressing Women in Terrorism through Counter-Terrorism Initiatives Annex: Women in Terrorism Incident Dataset Al Shabaab / Somalia Al Qaeda Al Qaeda in Iraq Boko Haram / Islamic State West Africa Chechen Groups ISIL LTTE PKK Palestinian (Unknown group) Palestinian - Al Aqsa Martyr's Brigade Palestinian - Palestinian Islamic Jihad Palestinian - Fatah Palestinian - Hamas Syrian Socialist Nationalist Party TTP Unaffiliated Events (By Country) Canada Iraq Israel Lebanon United Kingdom United States of America Bibliography About the Author Index