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Report: ISIS using Women to Serve as Frontline Suicide Bombers in Drastic U-turn

ISIS using more women to evade security measures and spearhead a wave of attacks across Europe and the Islamic world as it loses territory in the Middle East

ISIS. Wikimedia

November 13, 2016: Female members of ISIS previously were only confined to supporting roles and were kept away from the battlefield but now, they are using more women to evade security measures and spearhead a wave of attacks across Europe and the Islamic world as it loses territory in the Middle East, according to a media report.

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It said researchers have described it as a “drastic U-turn” on deploying female recruits as a new tactic that becomes a challenge for the security organisations which already have difficulty penetrating extremist networks and identifying them.

“Since August, a series of plots involving women have been uncovered by security authorities in Europe and north Africa,” the report said and also mentioned a plot in Paris in September involving four women aged 19-39.

“If at first it appeared that women were confined to family and domestic chores by the terrorist organisation, it must be noted that this view is now completely outdated,” French prosecutor Francois Molins told reporters after the four were arrested.

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The report also mentioned strings of other plots around the world, which involve women playing the lead roles that did not receive enough attention.

For instance, “ISIS was in August reported to have deployed at least one female suicide bomber in Libya, while last month 10 alleged female attackers were arrested in Morocco.”

Abdelhak Khiame, who leads Morocco’s Central Bureau of Judicial Investigations, said the women, believed to have been planning a series of suicide attacks, “got in touch with (ISIS) elements via the internet and were brainwashed into committing destructive acts targeting… Tourist sites in particular”.

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“This is the first time we have found a terrorist cell that was entirely composed of women. Terrorists are focusing (recruitment) efforts on minors who are female. That is very worrying for all of us. It’s an alarm bell,” Khiame added.

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Facebook, Twitter Urged to Do More to Police Hate on Sites

Twitter to soon release Snapchat like feature. VOA
Twitter starts the initiative #BloodMatters. VOA

Tech giants Facebook, Twitter and Google are taking steps to police terrorists and hate groups on their sites, but more work needs to be done, the Simon Wiesenthal Center said Tuesday.

The organization released its annual digital terrorism and hate report card and gave a B-plus to Facebook, a B-minus to Twitter and a C-plus to Google.

Facebook spokeswoman Christine Chen said the company had no comment on the report. Representatives for Google and Twitter did not immediately return emails seeking comment.

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Facebook one of the most popular apps in US. Pixabay
Facebook one of the most popular apps in US. Pixabay

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Wiesenthal Center’s associate dean, said Facebook in particular built “a recognition that bad folks might try to use their platform” as its business model. “There is plenty of material they haven’t dealt with to our satisfaction, but overall, especially in terms of hate, there’s zero tolerance,” Cooper said at a New York City news conference.

Rick Eaton, a senior researcher at the Wiesenthal Center, said hateful and violent posts on Instagram, which is part of Facebook, are quickly removed, but not before they can be widely shared.

He pointed to Instagram posts threatening terror attacks at the upcoming World Cup in Moscow. Another post promoted suicide attacks with the message, “You only die once. Why not make it martyrdom.”

Cooper said Twitter used to merit an F rating before it started cracking down on Islamic State tweets in 2016. He said the move came after testimony before a congressional committee revealed that “ISIS was delivering 200,000 tweets a day.”

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This photo shows Facebook launched on an iPhone, in North Andover, Mass., June 19, 2017. VOA

Cooper and Eaton said that as the big tech companies have gotten more aggressive in shutting down accounts that promote terrorism, racism and anti-Semitism, promoters of terrorism and hate have migrated to other sites such as, a Facebook lookalike that’s based in Russia.

There also are “alt-tech” sites like GoyFundMe, an alternative to GoFundMe, and BitChute, an alternative to Google-owned YouTube, Cooper said.

“If there’s an existing company that will give them a platform without looking too much at the content, they’ll use it,” he said. “But if not, they are attracted to those platforms that have basically no rules.”

The Los Angeles-based Wiesenthal Center is dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism, hate, and terrorism. (VOA)