A disturbing 25 percent of the foreigners who joined ISIS in Iraq and Syria were women and children, according to a report delivered this week to the United Nations Security Council. The findings were from a study of ISIS foreigners by the UK-based International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR).
Key points from the report include:
- 41,490 international citizens from 80 countries became affiliated with IS in Iraq and Syria
- Up to 4,761 (13%) of these were recorded to be women, and 4,640 (12%) of these minors
Eastern Asia saw the highest proportion of recorded IS-affiliated women and minors at up to 70%, followed by Eastern Europe (44%); Western Europe (42%); the Americas, Australia and New Zealand (36%); Central Asia (30%); South-Eastern Asia (35%); Southern Asia (27%); Middle East and North Africa (MENA, 8%); and sub-Saharan Africa (<1%)
- The number of recorded infants born inside the IS’ ‘caliphate’ to international parents – at least 730 – has also led to an underestimation of minors that must now be accounted for as foreign returnees.
- ICSR recorded up to 7,366 persons have now returned to their home countries (20%), or appear to be in repatriation processes to do so.
Women and minors affiliated with and inspired by IS have already demonstrated their prominence as security threats, with numerous foiled and successful attacks plotted and carried out globally.
ICSR also came up with a series of proposals for how to deal with this group, as you can see in this video: