'First Lady of Qaeda's' arrest highlights rising role of women in terror
Fri, Jul 2 04:30 PM
Washington, July 2 (ANI): The arrest of the 'First Lady of Al Qaeda,' Heila al-Qusayyer, has rung the alarm bells for the Saudi authorities, who have continued to turn a blind eye to women's participation in the terror outfits, till the recent discovery about her was disclosed.
"Al Qaeda has had problems recruiting more men, and women seem more willing to participate." ABC News quoted Dr. Mustafa Alani, an expert in terrorism and security studies at the Gulf Research Center, as saying. According to the report, Saudi Arabia believes that her capture signals a need to rethink counter-terrorism strategy and pay more attention to the activities and recruitment of female operatives. Qusayyer's arrest is an indication how al Qaeda's new strategy has moved women up the jihadi ranks. Earlier, women were kept on the sidelines, unless their husband had become a martyr and then they wanted to martyr themselves in a suicide operation.
However, the scenario is gradually changing. "They're adapting. They're nimble, they're quick, and sometimes they're quite sloppy." Theodore Karasik, Director of Research and Development at the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis (INEGMA) in Dubai said while describing the rise of jihadi women in Al Qaeda. Al Qusayyer used divorce and remarriage to get close to the men in Al Qaeda she wanted to emulate.
One of those men is Saeed Al-Shehri, a former Guantanamo detainee who is now deputy leader of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Qusayyer helped his wife, Wafa' Al-Shehri, enter Yemeni territory and recruit 'young girls' -wives and sisters of jihadis who would join them in serving Al Qaeda in Yemen, the report said. She was arrested on charges of running a cell of 60 militants, and recruiting young women to its ranks. She also raised money as the mainfundraiser for Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and used Islamic charities as a front to take donations of cash and jewelry that then went to funding jihad, or holy war, it added. (ANI)