ISIS has been securing massive numbers of foreign recruits the world over, including thousands of Westerners. The latest estimates are that roughly 550 of the westerners are women.
The Institute for Strategic Dialogue, that made the estimate, says they went as “wives, mothers, teachers and nurses” and are forbidden from actually carrying out any fighting of their own.
At the same time, they warn the women are operating as recruiters and propagandists, and are “potentially dangerous cheerleaders” who are every bit as dedicated to ISIS as the men.
The women aren’t operating in a vacuum, of course, and while officials try to put cute appellations on them like “cheerleaders,” and even ISIS favors more traditional roles for them, as the war continues to escalate it is likely they, like everyone else, will wind up in combat.