Are Female Terrorists a Growing Phenomenon?

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  3
Wordcount:  655 Words
Date:  2022-05-09

Since the menace of extremist violence took root in America and across the globe, radical actions that harm civilians have always been attributed to male perpetrators. However, this is rapidly changing as the last decade has witnessed violence perpetrated by women. This is a worrying trend because the forces in charge of ensuring the security of the unarmed civilians have been caught unaware. The number of fatalities in the United States continues to rise due to the increased frequency of mass shootings. The targeting of large gatherings of civilians by the shooters has made it impossible to predict the probability of occurrence of violence in public forums. With women joining this group of extremists, the challenge to curb mass shooting continues to grow. This paper will discuss the use of female terrorists, the effect it has on the security process, and how best to counter it.

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The idea of using females to perpetrate a senseless loss of lives through bombings and mass shootings is utterly shocking. The fact that women can take up arms and wreak havoc on civilians as was the case in San Bernardino is surprising (Augenstein, 2015). This is a new trend that should have the security bodies alarmed. A new reality has dawned upon us. Violence perpetrated by women has shown that every member of the society is prone to manipulation by the extremists. The San Bernardino shooting should serve as a precursor of how devious the terrorists have become. It is astounding that extremist influence has reached to levels that females are involved in such violent acts, yet experts have classified it as predatory behavior prevalent in men.

Motivations for female terrorists are different from those of men. Females are mostly motivated by personal events whereas religious forces motivate men to undertake terrorism activities. The extremists appeal to the personal side of the females. Apparently, women engage in terror activities to supposedly raise their social status, overcome hopelessness, mistreatment, and disregard by others (Augenstein, 2015). They also believe in the promise of martyrdom. In males, extremists influence their participation by appealing to their nationalistic side and religious fanaticism. By directly threatening safety of their families, extremists can easily manipulate women to take up arms against civilians.

The use of female terrorists provides a tactical advantage to the masterminds behind the killings. Security forces do not consider females as suspicious, and thus, there is a tendency to lessen searches when a female is involved. This misplaced preconception allows female perpetrators to access large gatherings easily, hence targeting a high number of casualties. The perception that females cannot carry out such vile crimes has enabled extremists to exploit the gaps in existing security measures. Female terrorists also have the advantage of surprise attacks as terror is least expected of a woman.

The devastating effects of female militancy can be countered by acknowledging that females can cause harm in the same capacity as males do (Augenstein, 2015). As such, the security forces should stop being in denial and address the deception carried out by female terrorists on security systems. Frequent and rigorous searches carried out on male suspects should be equally used on females. Monitoring of female suspects should be conducted as is the case with male suspects. This helps in ensuring that recruitment of more females is curbed.

It is clear that there is the need for the security forces to pay attention to this new trend. The society and police should acknowledge that female perpetrators can be as brutal as their male counterparts. The security system should not treat suspects lightly on the bias of their gender. There is also need to empower females in our societies to minimize the influence of extremists on their decision-making. The loss of lives due to female terrorists has notably increased; hence, the public should also exercise social alertness.


Augenstein, Seth. (2015). San Bernardino: Are female shooters a growing phenomenon? Retrieved from

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Are Female Terrorists a Growing Phenomenon?. (2022, May 09). Retrieved from

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