According to intelligence reports from NISA, a new trend is emerging within the Al Shabaab militia group. The group has changed tactics and is now concentrating on the recruitment of women. Although it is not clear why they have resorted to recruiting women, it is assumed that they want to change their modus operandi.
With the changing face of terrorism, it is likely that they want to start conducting attacks using women and girls. Women are playing an increasingly significant role in terrorism. As men are progressively targeted by security personnel, using female operatives provides terrorist organizations with a different strategy which is against the expectation of most people.
It is common knowledge that terrorists’ main objective is normally to get media attention by the use of propaganda or attacks targeted at innocent civilians. Female attacks generate greater media attention than those conducted by men. This is especially relevant when media attention is one of the terrorists’ main objectives. Although women’s involvement in terrorist and extremist activities is not a recent development, their presence as frontline activists, propagandists, and recruiters is increasing around the globe.
In the past few months, Al Shabaab has been manipulating women by convincing them to join them in their camps as ‘jihadi brides.’ Most women whose husbands joined the terror group are easily convinced and end up joining the militia group unaware of what happens in the camps. Unfortunately, the end up being used for manual labour and as sex slaves as well.
Women are being discouraged from joining militia groups since there is no benefit in doing so.