According to new reports based on some research, at least 50 British ISIS women who joined the Islamic State in Syria are urging Muslim women “back home” in the UK to carry out terror attacks on behalf of the militant organization.
The research, carried out by the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR) at King’s College London, found that a group of between 30 to 50 British Muslim women who have been radicalized are currently based in the north of Syria, and pose a real threat to British homeland security.
Melanie Smith, research fellow at the ICSR and the person in charge of the first known database of female foreign fighters, told reporters, “British women tend to incite [attacks], they say to people that can’t move to the Islamic State: ‘Why not carry out something at home?’ That’s a common message: if you can’t leave your family behind or afford to move to Syria then carry out something.”
At least as far as the information on the databases goes, the portrayal of women as simply providing support and children for male fighters is becoming increasingly outdated, as Smith explained.
“I don’t think anyone talks about women returning as a risk. While they might not have the same military training, you can see women online being frustrated about the fact they can’t fight and they suggest to each other that they could do something else. Women historically have been used in suicide bombings and singular operations.”
The ISCR interestingly, and not surprisingly, observed a spike in social media activity following the Paris shootings recently, with researchers identifying a significant number of UK women praising the attacks.
One British woman even took to her Twitter account to praise the Charlie Hebdo killings, tweeting, “May Allah help them kill as many kafirs they can #parisshooting.”
According to British Prime Minister David Cameron, who spoke on CBS’s Face the Nation, Britain is currently facing a “very severe threat,” adding that an attack was “highly likely.”
Cameron accepted that the fight against ISIS is a long and complex one.
“I think the reason some people are concerned about this strategy is that perhaps we haven’t said enough about how long it is going to take to work. It is going to take a very long time to deal with this.”
On top of that, the UK government, along with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, will be welcoming foreign ministers from around 20 countries to Lancaster House in London on Thursday for a day of talks on how to best combat the threat of ISIS.