A recently released report has found that there is a growing number of Western women becoming radicalized by terrorist organization Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or ISIS.
This is just one of the findings presented by the George Washington University Program on Extremism’s report entitled “ISIS in America.” According to the said report, there have been 71 individuals charged with ISIS-related activities since March 2014. And of the 71, 10 are female. Moreover, some of these women did not get radicalized by themselves. For one of them, radicalization happened soon after marriage.
That is the story behind the radicalization of newly married Jaelyn Delshaun Young. She was 19 and had just married 22-year old Muhammad Oda Dakhlalla. Young was daughter of a Vicksburg, Mississippi police officer who was majoring on chemistry at the Mississippi State University. After marrying Dakhlalla, the couple made plans to travel to Syria to join ISIS as a secret honeymoon. The couple was later arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at a small regional airport in Mississippi just as they were about to make the said journey. Young and her husband had since been charged with “attempting and conspiring to provide material support and resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization.”
Meanwhile, there are other American girls who are known to have ISIS links but are yet to be charged. These include three teenage girls who reside in the Denver suburbs ages 15, 16 and 17. They reportedly have communicated with ISIS supporters online, posted ISIS propaganda and even expressed their desire to travel to Syria. These teenagers had later on tried to travel to Syria but were detained at the Frankfurt International Airport when the German authorities were tipped by the FBI.
The role women occupy inside ISIS is said to be varied. Some of them become propaganda spreaders while others become recruiters. Meanwhile, there are also women who have become a part of the extremist organization since their husband has become a jihadi, also inherently making them “mother to the next generation.”