The attack in San Bernardino, California highlights a parallel set of implications involving the female terrorist. As more and more stories emerge about Tashfeen Malik (age 27) and her husband Syed Farook (age 28), it appears Malik had a key role in their radicalization, had pledged allegiance to ISIS, and was instrumental in the preparation and execution of this heinous crime.
For anyone surprised that a woman would take such a role in the abject horror that a terrorist-style mass murder brings, understand that the presence of women in a terror group is neither a new phenomenon nor limited to any one type of group or role. While terrorism, much like other forms of asymmetric warfare, is a male-dominated calling, history is full of examples of women who been drawn to terrorism—albeit for different reasons than why men are drawn to it.
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