Jihadi housewives

Islamic State group targets Western women for recruitment

Smoke rises behind an Islamic State flag in Saadiya in Diyala province. REUTERS/Stringer

A coordinated social media campaign is being waged by ISIS in order to attract Western women to the Islamic State, and a small but growing number of women have been volunteering themselves. Of the 4,500 foreigners to join the Islamic State group by early this year, 550 were women from Western countries, and experts say the numbers are increasing. What’s the appeal? “The Caliphate offers adventure, belonging and sisterhood, romance, spiritual fulfillment and a tangible role in idealistic utopia-building. Very few youth sub-cultures or movements can claim to offer so much,” testified the founder of the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) in London, Sasha Havlicek, before congress in July. Within three months of arrival, women who join the Islamic State are expected to marry a fighter and start producing children. Women are not allowed to fight, but women savvy with social media may become part of recruitment and propaganda themselves. Women who traveled to the Islamic State were tracked in a year long study by the ISD, and within that year 30 percent of the women became widows. Within three months, widows are expected to marry again.

Read the full story at The Christian Science Monitor.

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