In Bitter Irony, Jihadi Women Serve as Useful Propaganda

Palestinian female militants of the Islamic Jihad hold their weapons during a rally marking the 26th anniversary of the movement’s foundation in Gaza City, Nov. 1, 2013 (AP photo by Hatem Moussa).
Palestinian female militants of the Islamic Jihad hold their weapons during a rally marking the 26th anniversary of the movement’s foundation in Gaza City, Nov. 1, 2013 (AP photo by Hatem Moussa).

When French officials announced they were searching for a woman as an accomplice in the attacks on a Jewish grocery store in Paris in which four hostages were killed, many in the West shook their heads. How was it possible that a woman, one born and raised in the West, would become a jihadi, a fighter committed to an extremist ideology that is hostile to women? Hayat Boumedienne, it turns out, is only one of a surprisingly large number of Western women who have been joining Islamist groups in recent years. The exact figures are not known, but researchers have […]

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