Why western women are now the Islamists’ target of choice

Why western women are now the Islamists’ target of choice, by Gavin Mortimer.

There has been an unprecedented development this year in the Islamists’ war on the West. For the first time their foot soldiers are singling out women to kill. Women have been the victims of terrorism before, murdered by paramilitary organisations such as ETA, the Ulster Volunteer Force and the IRA, because of their uniform or their beliefs, or simply because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time, but never solely because of their sex.

In the era when Islamic terror groups hijacked aircraft it was rare that women were harmed. When a Trans World Airlines jet was hijacked in 1985, for example, the terrorists released all the women and children, including the Americans. When a similar fate befell an Air France airliner at the same airport in Algiers nine years later, the Islamists handed out veils to the female passengers but executed only male hostages.

But this year Islamists are specifically targeting women. When Salman Abedi detonated his suicide bomb at the Ariana Grande concert in May, killing seventeen females (and five males), he did so knowing it would be full of teenage girls and young women. In July, two German women were fatally stabbed by an Egyptian man at the Red Sea resort of Hurghada. This attack bore similarities to Saturday’s outrage in the Finnish city of Turku, where an 18-year-old Moroccan allegedly stabbed eight women, two of whom died. Two days earlier, the only fatality in an Islamist attack at Cambrils was a 61-year-old woman.

hat-tip Stephen Neil