TEL AVIV — Lost in much of the news media coverage surrounding the deadly Navy SEAL raid in Yemen last Sunday is that the details of the operation spotlight the issue of female terrorists inside that country, extremists who could potentially abuse the U.S. refugee program.
Numerous articles the past two weeks have sought to frame President Donald Trump’s temporary halt on refugees while the government revamps its flawed security screening process as an action that disproportionately harms female refugees, as if only males could be potential jihadists.
“Children, women account for most Syrian refugees to US,” reads a Boston Globe article.
The newspaper relates:
President Trump’s indefinite ban on the entry of refugees fleeing war-torn Syria will primarily affect children and women.
Nearly three quarters of the Syrian refugees who were settled in the United States last year were either children or women, federal data show.
The popular Elle magazine featured a piece titled, “8 Women Respond to Trump’s Immigration Ban.”
The Council on Foreign Relations lamented the “disproportionate impact” Trump’s executive order “will have on women.”
“How Trump’s executive order harms women refugees,” was the title of the CFR post.
Missing from the debate about the refugee program’s impact on women are reports that female fighters aided al-Qaida militants during last Sunday’s raid in Yemen, one of seven countries singled out in Trump’s temporary refugee halt.
According to those reports, the daring mission sought to gather intelligence on al-Qaida groups in Yemen and detain local tribal leaders purportedly collaborating with the global terrorist group.
Instead, as the New York Times reported, “a massive firefight ensued, claiming the life of an American sailor and at least one Yemeni child.”
The Times reported U.S. commandoes were surprised when women joined the gun battle:
With the crucial element of surprise lost, the Americans and Emiratis found themselves in a gun battle with Qaeda fighters who took up positions in other houses, a clinic, a school and a mosque, often using women and children as cover, American military officials said in interviews this week.
The commandos were taken aback when some of the women grabbed weapons and started firing, multiplying the militant firepower beyond what they had expected.
ABC News, citing a source familiar with the raid, provided more details on the female fighters:
According to the source, it was clear that the AQAP fighters in the compound knew the Americans were coming and engaged them with heavy weapons.
On Monday, Davis said there were women among the AQAP fighters who “ran to pre-established positions as though they had trained to be ready and trained to be combatants and engaged with us.”
An intense firefight at close quarters killed Chief Special Warfare Officer William “Ryan” Owens, 36, of Peoria, Illinois, and left three other SEALs wounded.
Western intelligence agencies have reportedly been increasingly concerned about female terrorists.
Tashfeen Malik, together with her husband, Syed Farook, carried out the 2015 San Bernardino terrorist massacre in which 14 people were killed and 22 others were seriously injured. Malik, a Pakistani who had lived in Saudi Arabia, was admitted under the controversial “fiancé” visa program when she was engaged to Farook, a U.S. citizen.
Female terrorist Hayat Boumeddiene is still on the run in association with a series of terrorist attacks in January 2015 that killed 17 across the Île-de-France region, with particular emphasis on Paris. Boumeddiene’s husband, Amedy Coulibaly, was one of the slain gunmen. CNN reported Boumeddiene, who likely fled to Syria, is thought to have been the more radical of the duo.
Following the Paris attacks, Jayne Huckerby, director of the International Human Rights Clinic at the Duke University School of Law, warned in the New York Times that “the West’s inability to appreciate the role that women play in terror should come under the highest scrutiny.”
Take the role of women in the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS or ISIL. While the group oppresses many women, many also flock to its ranks. Roughly 10 percent of its Western recruits are female, often lured by their peers through social media and instant messaging. The percentage is much higher in France: An estimated 63 of the 350 French nationals believed to be with the group are women, or just under 20 percent.
Even the Center for American Progress, the George Soros-funded progressive think tank founded by John Podesta, chairman of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and former counselor to the Obama White House, reported on the gaping holes in counter terror strategy when it comes to screening for female terrorists.
“The Unaddressed Threat of Female Suicide Bombers” was the title of a January 5, 2012 CAP piece.
The CAP reported:
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.
Trump’s executive order halts visas for 90 days for “immigrants and non-immigrants” from Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, Iran and Iraq. The order further suspended the entry of all refugees for 120 days, indefinitely blocked Syrian refugees from entering and lowered the ceiling to 50,000 for refugees allowed to enter the U.S. during Fiscal Year 2017.
On Friday, a federal judge issued a temporary nationwide restraining order on Trump’s executive action on refugees, with the White House vowing to fight back legally “at the earliest possible time.”
“At the earliest possible time, the Department of Justice intends to file an emergency stay of this order and defend the executive order of the President, which we believe is lawful and appropriate,” the White House said in a statement.
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow