UK Government to Grapple With Threat Posed by Female Suicide Bombers

A new military unit will be dispatched in the coming weeks to war-torn Somalia, where terrorist group Al-Shabaab has continued a campaign of suicide bombings against civilian and US-backed government targets, killing nine in a June attack.

UK Defence Secretary, Gavin Williamson, has announced the formation of a specialist military task force, allegedly aimed at helping to combat the use of female suicide bombers by Jihadist groups.

Reportedly, the mission will also focus on neighbouring Kenya and Ethiopia, and may later branch out across the continent as far as Nigeria in the West, which is plagued by its own Islamist insurgency, Boko Haram, who are held responsible for the now infamous 2015 mass kidnapping of hundreds of school girls.

Reportedly, the unit will consist of a small contingent of British army personnel — including female officers — who will oversee the process of mentoring native forces on how to deal sensitively with child and female fighters that have been drawn into extremist Islamist groups, some as suicide bombers, in the hope that they can be coaxed out. Reportedly, British forces have long participated in training missions in Africa that seek to highlight the nuanced connection between gender issues and security.

However, some have long voiced concern that focusing such training specifically on gender risks overlooking root causes of terrorist violence, such as extreme interpretations of religious scripture or socio-economic woes.

“These are problems that cannot be dealt with by this specialist army unit, it will require a multi-agency approach that includes the private sector investing in building a stronger economy and infrastructure in these states or like the case of Nigeria in the poorer north-eastern states where Boko Haram is the most active,” Dr David Lowe, an expert of and consultant on terrorism, told Sputnik.

Reports that Jihadist groups are resorting to the use of female suicide bombers have become increasingly prevalent, suggesting that the tactic may now be a mainstay of the terrorist attack strategy.

In May, three female suicide attackers killed nine people in Niger’s south-eastern city of Diffa, they were believed to have been affiliated with Nigerian terrorist group, Boko Haram. There were also numerous reports of Daesh deploying suicide vest-wearing females in an effort to deter the liberation of Raqqa, Syria, in late 2017.

Source: Sputnik News