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The growing role of women in terrorism
[1 Edition]
Boston Globe - Boston, Mass.
Subjects: National security; Intelligence gathering; Terrorism; Women
Author: Broadwell, Paula
Date: Dec 12, 2006
Start Page: A.17
Section: Op-Ed
Abstract (Document Summary)

In the Gaza case, the 70-year old Palestinian, Fatma Najar, apparently worked for Hamas to carry food, water, and ammunition to the resistance at the front line. Affected by the ubiquitous stress of military occupation and loss of family members, she blew herself up to kill several Israeli soldiers during an Israeli incursion into the Gaza Strip. After Najar's martyrdom, another woman in Gaza, age 65, stated there are "at least 20 of us who want to put on the [suicide] belt ... Now is the time [for] women. Now the old women have found a use for themselves."

Female suicide terrorism is not new. One-third of the members of the Sri Lankan Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are women who, in addition to suicide bomb missions, have duties on the battlefield, in the kitchen, and in medical camps. The Chechen Black Widows female suicide bombers led 12 suicide attacks that killed 330 people in two years. An Iraqi woman linked to Al Qaeda in Iraq attempted suicide at a hotel wedding reception in Jordan, and other reports of Zarqawi-linked perpetrators have surfaced in Baghdad and Fallujah. In the Palestinian territories, the groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad witnessed a surge in female bombers during the intifadahs. Syrian nationalists and Kurdish separatists operate in this way, and women in Uzbekistan, Turkey, Lebanon, and Egypt have also joined the terror ranks.

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