As Shown By The British Security Service Mi5 And The French

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As shown by the British security service MI5 and the French government’s estimations of the current threat level of international terrorism, respectively defined as SEVERE in the United Kingdom (Security Service MI5, 2016) and HIGH in France (French Government, n.d.), terrorism is considered to be among the most significant security threat nowadays. Understanding what encourages the development of terrorism and being able to develop effective counterterrorism strategies is therefore a central goal to many governments and policy makers today. As a result, an entire field of study has emerged dedicated to analyzing and researching the evolution of terrorism. Bruce Hoffman (2006:40) defines terrorism as “the deliberate creation and…show more content…
and Inès M. representing the first female jihadist commando fully active in France are, among many other, reflective of the often unheard of, but not new, global phenomenon of female terrorism. These women, the minds behind the organization of the terrorist attempt that took place last September 2016, have been arrested after the discovery by French police forces of a car full with gas cylinders near Paris (France Info, 2016). Female political violence tends, in counterterrorism policies, to be vastly underestimated, and when acknowledged, to be presented as exceptional and abnormal (Laster and Erez, 2015). When looking back at history, one can notice that, from the “black widows” in Chechnya to Daesh’s ‘fan girls’ on twitter (Huey and Witmer, 2016) among many others, women have often played significant roles in supporting violent extremism, either in logistical support or active participation in violence. Robert Pape (2006:208) elaborated a database on all suicide attacks in the world between 1980 and 2003 and found out that fifteen percent of terrorists whose gender could be identified were women. Similarly, Christopher Harmon (cited in Nacos, 2005:436) argued in his research that more than thirty percent of international terrorists nowadays are women and that female members are essential and central to the development of extremist movements. These numbers from Pape and Nacos’ studies underline the actual relevance of women’s involvement in

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