ICCT’s Key Publications on Women in Terrorism

The role of women in terrorism and violent extremism has increasingly received more attention from scholars. What is the impact of women in far-right movements? How did IS recruit and appeal to Western women? And which roles have women had within IS? Check out our key publications on these topics and more:

1️⃣ What is the impact of women in contemporary far-right movements? In this Perspective, Eviane Leidig explores female far-right social media influencers using gendered narratives in recruitment and radicalisation for a sense of belonging in the far-right.

2️⃣ What is the potential threat of the “Islamic State’s” women? This Policy Brief by Jessica Davis explores the variety of roles that women have played in the “Islamic State”, how conflating women in the oft-used “women and children” of the Islamic State downplays the agency of women, and how gendered media reporting can introduce bias into counter-terrorism practitioner’s assessment of the threat.

3️⃣ What roles have women had in the “Islamic State”? And what is the efficacy of independent female activism to facilitate the group’s physical recovery? In this Policy Brief, Gina Vale explores how IS’s post-territorial phase has brought autonomy and ideological authority to individual hard-line detainees. 

4️⃣ IS’s proven ability to appeal to Western women to support jihadist activities and travel to the self-proclaimed caliphate has sparked debate on why women support politically-motivated violent movements. This Policy Brief by Kiriloi M. Ingram offers nuanced insight into how IS recruits Western women by analysing IS propaganda appeals to female audiences

5️⃣ Is Dabiq’s propaganda aimed at Western women based on more than romance and sex? In this Perspective, Kiriloi M. Ingram argues that a more nuanced understanding of IS’s appeal to women, in particular of the five categories of female archetypes into which IS tends to group women, would allow for more effective counter-strategies.  

6️⃣ How can Maria Giulia Sergio’s case provide insights into the relevance of foreign recruitment networks operating within Italy and the prevalence of individual pathways of radicalisation over group mechanisms? In this Perspective, Francesco Marone explores how the case of Italy’s foreign fighters travelling to Iraq and Syria presents noteworthy particularities that distinguish it, in part, from other European countries.

7️⃣ What motivated young Western women travelling abroad to join IS? And what roles did they play upon arrival? With this Background Note, Edwin Bakker and Seran de Leede provide some preliminary answers to the female foreign fighter phenomenon.

8️⃣ What was the immediate impact of Shamima Begum’s citizenship revocation? And what are the steps she can take to appeal the order to revoke her British citizenship?  In this Perspective, Rumyana van Ark explores the likelihood of a successful appeal and why Shamima Begum has been prevented from returning where many others have not.