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to family and domestic chores by the terrorist organisation, it must be noted that this view is now completely outdated,” French prosecutor Francois Molins told reporters after the four were arrested.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