Women ‘inciting men to help IS’

Published: Wednesday 28th January 2015 by The News Editor

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British women are inciting men to carry out terrorist acts for Islamic State (IS) and must not be treated as victims, experts have said.

An investigation into why Western women are joining IS (also known as Isis or Isil) found they felt empowered and believed they were building a better world.

But while the women cannot be classed as foreign fighters, they are playing a “very relevant role” in fuelling the violence wreaked by the terror group, the Institute for Strategic Dialogue found.

Senior researcher Erin Marie Saltman told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We should not just see the women as a passive character within this terrorist organisation.”

“They feel strongly that this is actually utopia building, they feel compassionate that Muslims are being attacked around the world, they actually feel they are being part of a humanitarian case,” she added.

“But, actually for women this is empowering. A lot of these women are very young, many have never travelled by themselves.

“There is a romanticisation about finding a male jihadist soldier.”

Researchers focused on the activities of a small group of women from Western countries, including Britain, who have migrated to so-called IS territories.

Ms Saltman added: “Women are not being used as terrorist fighters and cannot be considered foreign fighters as such.

“However, they equally inciting others to commit terrorist acts, both in the so-called Islamic State territory as well as inciting those that cannot go over there to carry out acts of terror at home.

“So, they are very relevant in propagating the idea of violence as a means to an end for this jihadist goal.”

Published: Wednesday 28th January 2015 by The News Editor

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