Radical Islamists and the Women Who Love Them

GettyImages-500008558 malik
Getty Images

The San Bernardino terror attack has focused new attention on the female partners of radical Islamists.

Beyond the mainstream media’s conscious efforts to victimize these jihadist murderers by potentially blaming their victims for provoking them, it is important to examine the psychology and pathology that binds the women and the jihadi men with whom they collaborate.

Syed Rizwan Farook was named early on by police as a possible suspect. The shock came when his fellow jihadist was revealed to be his wife, Tashfeen Malik, who may have helped radicalize him. Malik is among a growing list of women who seek spouses like Farook as a consequence of their own broken backgrounds.

The following are a just a few profiles of the women who were partners to and accomplices of Islamic terrorists:

Age: 27
Affiliation: Islamic State

Description: Partner of Amedy Coulibaly, one of the slain Islamist gunmen who slaughtered a female police officer and four hostages in a Kosher bakery in Paris in January 2015. The attack is believed to have been part of a set of coordinated attacks by the Islamic State. She is now suspected to be in Syria. Media reports speculated that Boumeddiene is “the more radical of the two.”

Samantha Lewthwaite (“White Widow”)
Age: 31
Affiliation: Al-Shabaab

Description: Lewthawaite is the white, British widow of the London 7/7 bomber Jermaine Lindsay. She is also allegedly the terror mastermind behind the the murder of 400 people, including the slaughter of 148 people at a university in northern Kenya.

Sally Jones (Umm Hussain al-Britani)
Age: 47
Affiliation: Islamic State

Description: Jones is a former British female punk rocker who became the wife and widower of British-Pakistani hacker and ISIS recruit Junaid Hussain (Abu Hussain al-Britani), 21. He was killed in a targeted U.S. drone strike along with two of his bodyguards in a Raqqa, Syria petrol station on August 24, 2015.

Update: Jones recently vowed to carry out a suicide bombing after the Islamic State told her she needs to remarry.

Age: Unknown
Affiliation: Islamic State

Description: ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s ex-wife. The couple divorced over six years ago. She was recently released in a prisoner swap with al-Qaeda’s Syrian wing in the Lebanese border town of Arsal, where she and 12 other Islamists were exchanged for 16 captured soldiers from the Al-Qaeda affiliated Nusra Front. Al-Dulaimi reportedly plans to move to Turkey.

Age: 27
Affiliation: Islamic State

Description: Malik and her husband Syed Farook, 28, went on a shooting massacre on Wednesday in San Bernardino killing 14 people and injuring 21. It has been revealed by several media outlets that Farook, who was born in Pakistan, allegedly pledged allegiance to Islamic State “caliph” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi during the attacks.

New information has emerged suggesting Malik and Farook had ties to al Qaeda and the Islamic State. A newly-revealed money trail could provide essential clues to the alleged connection between the two young, radicalized lovers and the terrorist organization.

Malik was from Pakistan and had spent a significant amount of time in Saudi Arabia. She was in American on a K-1 (fiancée) visa. 

A study by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue and the International Center for the Study of Radicalization at King’s College in London, Till Martyrdom Do Us Part, points to “significant diversity within the profiles of women radicalized and migrating to ISIS territory.” The study concluded that it is “impossible to create a broad profile of females at risk of radicalization based on age, location, ethnicity, family relations or religious background.”

World-renowned relationship coach and cognitive behavioral therapist Dr. Pat Allen spoke with Breitbart News about the San Bernardino shooting, and summed up the common link between Malik and the other women listed above.

Women who are not cherished by their fathers become pain addicts,” he said. “To them love is painful. And pain indicates love. It’s a negative message.”

Allen said these women seek any “father-figure system” that resembles their own upbringing.” That includes “men, governments or religions” that mirror what they’ve experienced in their family or home environment.

In the case of Hayat Boumedienne, reports revealed that she and her father had a turbulent relationship. Friends of Hayat described her as having “little confidence,” and crying often, according to the UK Independent. Hayat had revealed in an interview with the Telegraph that she was “placed in care at the age of 12, because I did not accept the speed with which my father remarried after the death of my mother. I changed carers numerous times because I was beaten often.”

She and her father reconciled last year after he had picked her up from an airport in France on her return from pilgrimage in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Hayat had reportedly turned to Islam because it “calmed” her after enduring a difficult childhood.

After the San Bernardino massacre, some on the left attempted to blame the terrorist shooting on postpartum depression. CNN’s Erin Burnett suggested it was postpartum psychosis that could have prompted Malik to carry out the killing spree and abandon her child. However, scientific and statistical evidence suggests that women with postpartum depression do not target others. Rather, they will either harm themselves or their offspring.

According to transactional analyst Clarissa Goldemberg, it is possible that Malik’s now-orphaned child could become indoctrinated and carry out similar acts in the future. A “soft-tissue injury” in a dangerous prenatal environment “could lead in the longterm Malik’s daughter to attract a similar partner as her father and engage in similar behavior.”

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz and on Facebook.


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