In Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s remarks at the launch of the Global Counterterrorism Forum in September 2011, she expressed the need to deepen our understanding of the process of radicalization and terrorist recruitment in order to undermine the appeal of extremism.
She’s absolutely right, but there’s still a gaping hole in the U.S. National Counterterrorism Strategy of 2011’s approach toward countering radicalization: the fact that terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda and the Taliban continue to exploit uniquely female motivations as a tool to recruit female suicide bombers to attack U.S. soldiers and international aid workers.
As the number of female suicide terrorists rises, it becomes increasingly important to acknowledge and address this threat to American lives and interests. Doing so would result in a more comprehensive counterterrorism strategy.
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