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European Report: ISIS Wives Should be Seen as Threats

European Report: ISIS Wives Should be Seen as Threats

Friday, 13 September, 2019 - 05:45
Belgian women Tatiana Wielandt and Bouchra Abouallal, each 26, who joined ISIS in Syria are pictured in Ain Issa, Syria March 10, 2019. REUTERS/Issam Abdallah

A European report issued in Brussels has revealed information on the wives of ISIS militants who have returned from areas that the terrorist group had control over before its collapse.

The study, issued by the Slovakia-based non-governmental group GLOBSEC, said those returning from areas such as ISIS' former "caliphate" should be regarded not as "brides" but as militants capable of active roles in future attacks.

The report warned that there are continuous attempts to convince girls and women in Europe to join ISIS.

It referred to a recent case when a man in France radicalized two Belgian teens and tried to enlist them and convince them to go to Syria.

The study, which looked at data from 326 European militants captured, deported or killed since 2015, found that though women and girls were a tiny minority of so-called "foreign terrorist fighters", many still represented a significant threat.

Out of the 43 female suspects in the study, there were cases of attack planners, active female recruiters, propagandists and what effectively could be called a logistical officer who had sheltered fighters, it said.

It noted an attempt by a female cell to bomb Paris' Notre Dame cathedral three years ago and recent efforts by imprisoned European female ISIS members to launch crowd-funding campaigns.

"It becomes clear that the 40+ women included in the dataset are not mere 'brides', as the role they play in terrorist networks is more sophisticated and demanding," the report said.

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