Sun | Aug 19, 2018

US women willing to be jihad fighters

Published:Sunday | April 5, 2015 | 12:01 AM


Two women accused in New York City's latest home-grown terrorism case may be part of what some experts say is an evolving threat - a greater willingness by women to shed blood in the name of militant Islamic jihad.

The pair allegedly wanted to "make history" on their own by building a bomb and attacking a domestic target. Just a day after the New York pair was arrested, a Philadelphia woman was accused of expressing her willingness to die as a martyr for the Islamic State group.

While past cases often involved women answering the call by the Islamic State group on social media to join the cause as nurses or wives, "the idea that they want to fight is more a noticeable new trend", said Karen Greenberg, director of Fordham Law School's Center on National Security.

The sometimes boastful and profane language one of the New York women was quoted as using in the criminal complaint "Why can't we be some real bad b-s?" - bolstered the idea that the defendants were not candidates for non-military roles in a self-proclaimed caliphate.

The two US citizens "were determined to play an essentially military role, so that's different," said Jessica Stern, who was on the National Security Council staff during the Clinton administration and lectures on terrorism at Harvard University.