JERUSALEM, ISRAEL – The phrase ‘cherchez la femme’ may be steeped in sexist thought but it is nevertheless true that females can be terrorists too.
I am old enough to remember when the ‘women’s liberation‘ movement took off in the 1970s. Women, primarily in the West but elsewhere I imagine, fought against patriarchal attitudes and for equal wages, access to birth control and being treated like the ordinary people they are. To say that our societies have changed – women are no longer confined to the bedroom and the kitchen – for the better is a no-brainer (even if the progress is uneven – look at Afghanistan under Taliban ‘2.0’).
When most of you think of terrorism I would imagine the first image to come to your mind when you picture a violent extremist is probably a man – and a bearded one at that. And, it is true that the male half of our species is disproportionately responsible for the vast majority of terrorist acts.
But that does not mean that females are absent.
On this day in 2004
A female suicide bomber detonated her device while being examined by police at the French Hill junction in Jerusalem. Two policemen were killed and 33 people were injured. The Palestinian Al-Aqsa Martyrs took responsibility for the attack: the terrorist – 18-year old Zainab Ali Issa Abu-Salem – hailed from the Askar refugee camp near Nablus. She wore a bag containing an explosive weighing 3-5 kg, to which nuts and bolts were attached to increase the damage.
Most of the time we succeed in thwarting terrorist attacks, but sometimes they succeed, as happened today.Israeli PM Ariel Sharon
‘Cherchez la femme’ was a stock phrase in detective pulp fiction. It applies to terrorism too.
Read More Today in Terrorism
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