Counter-Terrorism: Terrorist Ops Run By Women


March 3, 2006: Women are coming to play a bigger role in some radical secular Baathist insurgent groups. It's believed that women have even taken the lead in organizing a few insurgent cells. While the most effective use of women by the terrorists would be to facilitate communications among the increasingly isolated insurgent cells, and to collect intelligence, it appears that more women are being recruited for suicide operations. As has happened elsewhere (Israel and Chechnya), the women are often relatives of men who have been killed by the enely ( conducting suicide attacks or otherwise). Sometimes the women are willing to carry out a suicide attack because of this, but often the women are coerced. A widow does not have a lot of options in Iraq, or the Middle East in general.

Normally, al Qaeda subscribes to religious customs that severely limit the activities and opportunities for women. But in this case, women are simply the most talented people available. Iraqi women are more likely to get a college education than anywhere else in the Middle East, and families often put their talented women to good use. Saddam Hussein used several female scientists and engineers to develop weapons of mass destruction, and critical military systems. Most of these women are still around, and unemployed because of their previous service for Saddam. Many of these women believe in the idea of the Sunni Arab minority ruling Iraq, and are willing to use their talents, and risk their lives, to make that happen.




Help Keep Us From Drying Up

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling.

Each month we count on your contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage.
Subscribe   Contribute   Close