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Bombshell: The Many Faces of Women Terrorists

Authored by: Mia Bloom

Categories: Violent Conflict
Sub-Categories: Violent Conflict, Violent Extremism
Country: Chechnya, Colombia, Germany, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Palestine, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States
Region: East Asia and the Pacific, Europe and Eurasia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa, North America, Sub-Saharan Africa
Year: 2011
Citation: Bloom, Mia. Bombshell: The Many Faces of Female Terrorists. London: Hurst Publishers, 2011.

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Executive Summary

The ultimate stealth weapon, female terrorists kill on average four times more people than their male counterparts. But why are more women drawn to terrorism than ever before? Do women volunteer to be terrorists, or are they coerced? Does women’s participation in terrorism have any positive impact on their place in society? In Bombshell, Mia Bloom seeks to understand what motivates women and to redress the gap in our understanding of women’s roles by interviewing women previously involved in terrorist groups. Bloom provides a unique and rare first-hand glimpse into the psychology, culture and social networks of women who become terrorists. Bombshell takes an in-depth look at women involved in terrorism in Chechnya, Colombia, Germany, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Palestine, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Turkey, the UK, and the USA. Drawing on primary research and secondary literature, Bloom examines the increasing role of women in terrorism, and considers what it means for the societies from which they come.