Male Islamic State militants are notorious for asserting their dominance over women living in the caliphate. But at least one female recruiter has stood up to would-be jihadis who talk online about committing terrorist attacks and then never carry them out.
On Sunday, a woman by the name of Umm Isa al-Amrikiah posting on a channel in the Telegram messenger app called out male Islamic State sympathizers as hypocrites and urged them to “get off their couches” and kill Westerners.
“Get off your couches and do something instead of spending 24/7 on social media,” she wrote, according to SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors terrorist activity online.
Although estimates for the number of Westerners who have joined the Islamic State vary, more than 4,500 foreign fighters are believed to have joined the extremist group in recent years, and at least 550 of them are women. Many of the women who join the group are between the ages of 16 and 24, and traveled to Syria to join men who encouraged them in chat rooms. Men are also often radicalized online, and in November, Telegram shut down more than 75 channels believed to be affiliated with the Islamic State.
Although little is known about Umm Isa al-Amrikiah, she claims to be American and has previously been identified as a point of contact for women interested in traveling to Syria to join the Islamic State.
But apparently it’s not only women she is interested in encouraging. Her Sunday post mocked men who claim they want to kill unbelievers but never do and disparaged them as lesser than their brothers in the battlefields who are “out in the cold dark night facing the enemies.”
“You cry out on social media, ‘I want sharia,’ ‘I want to make hijrah,’ yet you are doing nothing about it,” she wrote. “You are not a man, just a male.”
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