Posted on December 7, 2015

Islamic State Attracts Increasing Number of Women to Help Carry out Jihadi Agenda

Kellan Howell, Washington Times, December 5, 2015

Ten of the 71 recruits for the Islamic State arrested in the U.S. since 2014 have been women, according to a report that indicates the roles of women in the militant group’s ranks is increasing.

Since March 2014, authorities have charged 71 people with Islamic State-related activities. This year alone, 56 of them were arrested–a record number of terrorism-related arrests for any year since 9/11, according to the report from George Washington University’s Program on Extremism.


Researchers identified 300 American and/or U.S.-based Islamic State sympathizers who use social media to radicalize recruits. Women operated about one-third of those accounts, according to the report.

“A handful of studies have attempted to identify the reasons why ISIS’s ideology attracts a growing number of Western women. While some of these motivations are identical to that of their male counterparts (i.e. the search for a personal identity and the desire to build a strict Islamic society), others are specific to women,” the report says.

The role of women in the Islamic State varies, according to the report, “from propaganda disseminators and recruiters to those as the ‘wife of jihadist husband’ and ‘mother to the next generation.’”