ISIS Recruits Brides to Solve Middle East ‘Marriage Crisis’

Authored by: Katarina Montgomery

Categories: Violent Conflict
Sub-Categories: Countering Violent Extremism, National Security Forces and Armed Groups, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), Violent Extremism
Country: Iraq, Syria
Region: Middle East and North Africa
Year: 2015
Citation: Montgomery, Katarina. "ISIS Recruits Brides to Solve Middle East ‘Marriage Crisis'." Syria Deeply. May 8, 2015.

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Executive Summary

Women recruited by the Islamic State – so-called “jihadi brides” – often think they will be helping with front-line duties. They are, in fact, being used to solve the fighters’ “marriage crisis” and are largely confined to domestic chores such as cooking, cleaning and childrearing, according to a leading academic. ISIS recruiters paint a utopian view of what a woman’s life will be like with the group, says Mia Bloom, professor of security studies at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, who has extensively studied the organization’s recruitment techniques. Bloom feels Arab and Western governments need to make more of an effort to paint an accurate picture of what life for ISIS women is like to counteract the Islamists’ effective social media marketing.