MOSCOW, August 23 (RIA Novosti) - French police have launched an investigation into the case of two teen girls, aged 15 and 17, who presumably, tried to join a Syrian terrorist group, RFI reports.
According to Samuel Laurent, a Paris-based international security consultant, such an incident is not remote. “Obviously this is proof of how appealing caliphate ideology is for French and European citizens,” he claimed.
The girls met each other through social networks. They were caught by a governmental web security program, designed to detect individuals who plan to join jihadi movements in countries abroad.
The idea of female extremism can be shocking for many people. Some experts consider women as victims and instruments in a man’s game, seeing no evident benefits or rational reasons for them to participate. Such a position is based on the assumption that women are essentially more fragile and peaceful then men; there is no advantage to their military involvement and, therefore, coercion seems to be the most likely reason for them to participate in terrorist activities.
However, several studies have shown women have their own incentives for joining radical movements. According to research published in the European Scientific Journal, most women are not forced in terrorism, but volunteer freely. Motivated by such factors as poverty in refugee camps, high risk of rape and constant persecution, they consider fighting as their only chance to survive, Foreign Affairs reports.
According to the sociologist Robert Derry, female terrorists feel “themselves useful by participating in terrorist acts”. Thus, they fight to protect traditional values of their societies and the national identity of their countries.
What is troubling is that jihadist ideology is becoming more and more attractive to European citizens. More than 1,500 Europeans have taken part in Syria’s war, 343 of them being French nationals, RFI reports.
The two French girls are neither the first teenagers nor the first females arrested on suspicion of radical involvement. As adolescents’ psyches are more impressionable, radical indoctrination can quickly take over their minds, resulting in a growing number of radicalized youth.
To prevent the spread of extremist ideology, especially among youth, the French government is planning to block websites containing jihadi messages and develop new penal measures for those who plan to join radical groups, the AP informs.