In the last year or so, the issue of the “Islamic State” (IS) and its foreign fighters has been at the center of interest in Europe. Several ministries, GO´s and NGO´s are working on issues of encountering recruitment, radicalization, and involvement of young people. The image of those endangered is mostly young men. Yet, some studies have shown, that there are women joining IS, who are actively involved in spreading IS propaganda, recruiting young people and also fighting on the side of IS. Some experts estimate that up to 10 percent of the foreign fighters among IS are women. Women are thus not only victims of IS but also perpetrators. Early 2014 IS established female brigades among which are Al-Khansaa and Umm al-Rayan brigades. Who are these women? Which religious, ideological, political and personal motivations stand behind their involvement with IS? Which similarity can be drawn to women joining other radical groups? Are there differences, between those women joining IS from Western countries and those from Arab or Islamic countries? Which strategies are needed to counter radicalization among women?
What are the reasons for their involvement in IS?