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WOMEN, TERRORISM AND COUNTER-TERRORISM: Deconstructing Myt s, Discussing Re!"ities
[bell rings] Melanne Verveer: [0:04] this panel on "Women, Terrorism, and Counterterrorism." Terrorism threats and terrorist acts seem to be a constant in our lives anymore. From the places we've come to expect the terrible headlines, from Pakistan, Iraq, and others, to the places we never imagined, the Boston Marathon, the London Tube, the Madrid Train. The aftermath of 9/11 is ever with us. [0:36] Today, we examine the role of women in supporting terrorism and in preventing terrorism. What kind of role do women who engage in terrorist acts play? Why do they play them? What is their motivation? [0:52] In the realm of prevention, on the other hand, are we fully utilizing women as the deterrent that they can be? [1:02] We have a very distinguished panel with us to grapple with these and a range of other questions. I will leave the full introductions to our moderator. I do personally want to thank the panelists for coming here today, for taking time from your extremely pressing schedules. Some of you who've traveled from out of town, it's been that much more difficult for you. [1:27] Duke University professor of law Jayne Huckerby is an expert on international human rights, including women and conflict prevention, a subject dear to my heart. She edited "Gender, National Security, and Counter-Terrorism: Human Rights Perspectives." [1:47] Mia Bloom is an expert on women and terrorism and political violence. She is at the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies and Criminal Justice at the University of Massachusetts. I note that she has an MA in Arab studies from Georgetown. She did go on to get her Ph.D. as well at another institution. [2:11] Jane Holl Lute recently left government where she was the Deputy Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, one of the toughest jobs in government, charged with the prevention of terrorism and keeping our country secure. She was earlier an Assistant Secretary General of the UN, responsive for peace building where I first came to know her and to greatly respect her leadership. [2:40] Finally, we are so thrilled to have our colleague, Bruce Hoffman, the Director of Georgetown Center for Peace and Security Studies, on the panel. He is one of the most eminent experts in terrorism and insurgency, with long service in and out of government. [2:59] To moderate today's discussion and ask the probing questions, we are fortunate to have the nationally syndicated columnist, Ruth Markus. Ruth is a veteran reporter and editorial writer at the "Washington Post." She started there after her graduation from Harvard Law School, almost three decades ago.


Ruth Markus: [3:22] Thanks, [inaudible 0:03:23] . [laughter] Melanne: [3:22] But she is so young. You just always look youthful, Ruth. She as a reporter, has had an impressive career at the "Post," covering politics, the Justice Department, the Supreme Court, the White House, you name it. She has had a lengthy, distinguished career and continues in her current position. [3:45] She joined the editorial board in 2003, and two years later was offered her own column. Both in her columns and in her many media appearances, she brings her astute prospective on a range of timely issues, from foreign policy and politics, to the occasional commentaries on family life. She is wonderful to read and I hope all of you do so, regularly. She was nominated for a Pulitzer and I'm lucky to be able to count her as a friend. [4:21] That is our panel. We at the Georgetown Institute on Women, Peace and Security are thrilled to be able to partner with the McCain Institute for International Leadership. I want to thank Jane Mosbacher Morris for her close collaboration on today's program, and Cindy McCain, the co-founder of the Institute, a humanitarian in her own right and an international business entrepreneur and owner. [4:52] I want to welcome the executive director of the Institute, Ambassador Kurt Volker, here today. I have been able to work with the Institute in the past and they provide extraordinary leadership in this area and have brought much to today's program. You will hear from Mrs. McCain at the end of the program. [5:15] This afternoon, the discussion will also be available online. You can tell your friends who couldn't make it. If you are tweeting, the hashtag is #womenandct. The institute is located at GIWPS. [5:35] That is all from me. Now, Ruth, it is all yours and the panelists. Ruth: [5:39] Thanks very much. Welcome to this panel on "Women, Terrorism, and Counterterrorism. I think I can only claim to be an expert in one of those three and you can probably figure out which that is. [5:52] Melanne did such a terrific job of introducing everybody I'm going to do it in the most cursory way just to add a few more highlights because this is such a rich topic and such an esteemed panel that if I read everybody's bio in full, we'd say, "Thank you very much. Have a good evening." I really want to save time for my questions but even more important for your questions. [6:17] But I do have actually the benefit, thanks to Melanne, of a prop here to introduce our first panelist, Mia Bloom. This is her book, "Bombshell: The Many Faces of Women Terrorists." For those who can't see it this is possibly the best book cover I've ever seen. This is like Suicide Barbie with her blonde hair and her little itty bitty mini suicide vest strapped around her little itty bitty Barbie miniskirt. Really, all you need to know about


Mia Bloom is that she was cool enough to write a book called, "Bombshell," that has Barbie on the cover. [6:53] She's professor of security studies at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and she speaks, yes, nine languages. In addition to being back here at her alma mater and how cool is that? [7:09] The other reason I'm going to be really quick on the introductions is that I can only see with these horrible glasses on. [7:19] Jane Holl Lute is the president and chief executive officer of the Council on Cybersecurity. While she doesn't have this really cool book cover, she has the most impressive rÈsumÈ here. Most recently before her current gig ends as deputy secretary for the Department of Homeland Security but goes to Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations, service on the National Security Council staff under President George H. W. Bush and President Bill Clinton, and a career in the United States Army that includes the Gulf during Operation Desert Storm and all of that plus getting up, I just learned, at 3:00 in the morning to take a champion speed skater daughter to the rink. [8:13] Who says women can't do it all? [8:17] Bruce Hoffman, also known as our token guy, which makes him not only distinguished but extremely brave, has really one of the scariest and most impressive rÈsumÈs here because I could just read...Actually, if I read any one of these paragraphs that they gave me, it would be adequate to introduce you and convince everybody that you know what you're talking about. [8:43] Studying terrorism and insurgency for more than 30 years. Currently director of the Center for Security Studies, director of the security studies program and a tenured professor at Georgetown University's Edna A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, which was a three breath sentence in and of itself. Basically, if you want to know anything about counterintelligence, call Bruce, I think is the short version of that. [9:12] I love that we're on a two Jane, one Ruth panel because we're back to old fashioned names but I think I'll need to call you Jayne with a Y. My kids, one's named Emma and one's named Julia. The only reason I bring it up is those were such common names in their demographic. I personally refer to them as Emma L. and Julia L. I'm just going to call you Jayne with a Y when I call on you guys. [9:42] Jayne Huckerby is associate clinical professor of law and inaugural director of the Duke International Human Rights Clinic. Came from NYU and is having a grand old time with the students in Durham. [9:58] Let's get right to it and Bruce, you kind of knew I was going to ask you first because you're our token guy and so we want to give you some special shout outs here. Tell us how and why gender is relevant in the discussion of terrorism and counterterrorism.


[10:17] In particular, should we be thinking about it as a phenomenon on the supply side, of supplying terrorists, or should we be thinking of it as a phenomenon on the solution side? Is that a big enough question for you to start with? Bruce Hoffman: [10:34] It's certainly suitably challenging. Firstly, I have to say in my research on terrorism, I haven't made much of a distinction between men and women. To me, women have always been in the fabric of terrorism, just like they're in the fabric of all lifestyle. [10:48] If one wants to go back to the birth of modern terrorism, the Russian revolutionary group the Narodnaya Volya had many women. Vera Zasulich was one its main assassins. [11:00] Certainly in the 1940s, Jewish terrorist groups like the Stern Gang, or the Freedom Fighters for Israel, had Geula Cohen, who subsequently became a member of the Knesset. [11:10] Where you've seen the apotheosis, as it were...Women have been involved in terrorism throughout history. At the same time though, I have to say members of my gender have generally been largely exclusionary and that it's often unique terrorist groups, the more truly revolutionary ones, that have not only included women but in many cases, have had women as leaders. [11:32] In the 1960s, you have the advent of left-wing radical terrorism, where the Red Army Faction, more commonly known as the Baader-Meinhof Gang, although Ulrike Meinhof was not the leader. It was actually Gudrun Ensslin, but you had women in leadership positions, Inge Viett, for example. [11:53] You had the leader of the Japanese Red Army Faction. Fusako Shigenobu was also a woman, so it's not that uncommon. The Tupamaros, in Uruguay, had perhaps the highest proportion of female terrorists. [12:09] Weather Underground, in the United States. Bernardine Dohrn, Jane Alpert, Susan Stern were all very important members, Kathy Boudin and others. [12:18] What's interesting is in the '70s, you do get a weird kind of gender porn of some sort. Women generally, I've been told by people familiar with firearms, are better shots than men. They're much more patient, generally. They can control their emotions better. These are things that all of us know, not least those who've been happily married for nearly three decades. [12:42] There's that part of it, but there became, as I said, this kind of gender porn where women became pin-ups in a way. Leila Khaled, who was a very famous Palestinian terrorist, was quite attractive, was extremely articulate and intelligent, and was seen in this context of a femme fatale. [13:03] Then, of course, there's the famous book by Eileen MacDonald, titled "Shoot the Women First," which is reputedly what members of the crack West German elite


counterterrorist squad were taught, that if you go into a room, shoot the women first because they're the most likely to get you. [13:20] That derives from a famous incident when Petra Schelm, who was then a 19-year-old former hairdresser, and her boyfriend were stopped by the German police. They said, at a roadblock, "Throw down your weapons. Stick up your hands." [13:33] Her male companion immediately complied. Petra Schelm jumped out of the car with two guns blazing and then was cut down in a hail of gunfire. [13:41] More recently -- and then I'll stop this historical digression -- what has been interesting and significant is in groups like the Tamil Tigers, women assumed a much more dominant position as suicide terrorists. [13:54] In fact, when male pairs were sent on deep-cover missions, they found that one or the other sometimes would say to his companion, "We're away from our commander. We're living a nice life undercover. Let's defect." [14:12] What the leader, Prabhakaran, of the Tamil Tigers found is that if you send a woman, no man wants to look like a coward in front of the woman and, therefore, the teams would actually fulfill their mission. [14:21] More recently, we've had the phenomena now of jihadi female terrorists. It largely was tactical. It became so difficult, for instance, in Palestine and Israel, for male terrorists, who were heavily profiled, to get through that all the groups eventually turned to women. [14:39] We see now, even in conflicts in Iraq, certainly, in Afghanistan, amongst al-Qaeda, women increasingly being enlisted not just for support or logistics, but actually to carry out attacks. Ruth: [14:54] Maybe, Mia, this is a good place for you to pick up. How does the vision of women in Islam affect this robust history of I guess it's a sick form of gender equality in terrorism? Mia Bloom: [15:14] I don't think it necessarily conflicts with Islam. Part of it is that when you talk to women who subscribe to the jihadi ideology, they don't understand the position of women and what we would consider women as being second class. [15:29] They don't think that they're being mistreated. They don't think that the veil affords any negative stereotype. In fact, many of them will say that the veil has allowed them to do things that not being veiled has allowed. [15:42] The point that Bruce is making that's really unique now is we've seen the change both in the ideology within the jihadi circles, the discussion about what a woman's role is, in not the big jihad. [15:56] Not the main jihad, which is the struggle everyone goes through every day not to drink and eat pork, no matter how delicious it is, and to make sure you pray five times,


but the smaller of the two jihads, where...Whether a woman's obligation is general, individual, is it the same as a man's? [16:11] Once they change that, that opened the door to a lot of groups that had been saying, "It's no longer the secular groups. We also want to participate." [16:21] It's also, as Bruce mentioned, a question of "How do you infiltrate the target? How do you get to deliver that actual explosive device?" [16:30] Finally, it portends a shift in the nature of targeting. As many of the terrorist groups have gone from what we'd call "hard targets" to softer targets of civilians, they've been using an operative that blends more readily with the civilians around them. [16:46] Of course, the last thing, in terms of a comparative advantage, is as the IED is placed underneath traditional clothing, it gives the appearance of late-term pregnancy. Of course, that wouldn't be obvious on a man, but on a woman... [16:58] You have all these different ways in which it has been very instrumental and effective for the groups to use it, and they've adapted their ideology and their initial resistance accordingly. [17:10] In terms of the women's role, it's important that we really don't understand a woman's role in Islam because there have been a lot of stereotypes around what Islam says with regard to women. [17:26] Some of the work that Leila Ahmed has done in the Divinity School has really shown that things are a little bit more complicated or nuanced than we thought. Ruth: [17:36] Jayne, you were nodding, so I'm going to ask you to pick up and add to that. Jayne Huckerby: [17:41] To come back to your original question about "Why do we need to think about gender on the supply or the prevention side?" Definitely, not thinking about gender has led to some pretty big gaps in knowledge. [17:53] One is the role of women in terrorism. Another is the role of women in countering terrorism, so women as security actors. But also not thinking about gender has led to a pretty perverse outcome where many counter-terrorism measures end up undermining women's rights, or having a bad impact on women's advocacy at the local level, which is the last intention of what you would want in a good counter-terrorism measure to do. [18:18] [indecipherable 0:18:22] is I wanted to reflect upon briefly the importance of overcoming stereotypes in this conversation. While some governments have done some measures to engage women as counter-terrorism forces, there tends to be a presumption about women as being very peaceful, as being very motherly, as being the ones who are going to dissuade individuals from terrorism, or themselves not commit terrorist acts. I think we need to move beyond that and look at the wide range of roles that women can play, both in terrorism and terrorism prevention.


Ruth: [18:55] But when you said that some measures might end up harming women, what kinds of things are you thinking of? Jayne: [19:04] One word that I heard a lot, particularly from women's advocates on the ground who definitely oppose terrorism but are trying to think about how their work fits in this framework, it's the word "squeezing," that women feel squeezed between terrorism on the one hand, which can violate their rights, and counter-terrorism on the other hand, which may not always make their work easy. [19:26] I'll give a very concrete example here. It's around anti-terrorism financing laws. These are laws that are designed to restrict the flow of funding to terrorist groups. They're laws that by definition tend to favor giving money to charities that are very large, that have verifiable track records, that have a very public profile that matches their work and so forth. [19:51] Unfortunately women's rights groups don't always meet those criteria. They're small. A lot of women's rights groups have to work below the radar because of the local circumstances in their country. [20:02] These groups are talking to us and saying, we feel really frustrated that we can't get the resources to work on these very important counter-terrorism initiatives by virtue of the counter-terrorism laws themselves. So we're in this real double-bind where you have groups that want to work on these issues, but other parts of the ways in which we're approaching terrorism cut off their ability to do so effectively. Ruth: [20:24] Got it. Jane -- other Jane, Jane without the Y -- tell us a little bit, the piece that we've talked about, Jayne touched on it, is the role of women on the solutions side of terrorism and counter-terrorism. Jane Holl Lute: [20:43] I'm actually having all kinds of identity issues. I'm sitting up here in the middle with other Jayne on the panel, which is a first ever in my life, and there's another Jane here. I come from the middle of seven children, so I should really be quite at home. [20:55] It also feels a little unusual. I think what we will create here is an echo chamber -perhaps I'm speaking for myself, I doubt it -- everything I know about this subject I've learned from the man sitting to my left, and I suspect there's more of me in the room as well. It's a great pleasure to be up here. [21:16] Let me just say, Milan Riviera has been associated with issues of trying to understand and narrate the role of women and improving the opportunities for women throughout as long as I've known you, both personally and professionally, and whenever Milan calls, your response is, how can I help you? Then it will pay more dividends to you, I guarantee you. [21:41] I'm not sure, even listening to this conversation, while we have learned a lot, we haven't mastered a narrative about what we're talking about here. We still speak, and Bruce did it better than almost anyone -- with no notes, I might add -- anecdotally and


episodically and sort of in an observational way about prominent women here and here, here or there. [22:03] But let's face it, either on the terrorism side or on the prevention side, women aren't represented in their number in any dimension of the question. In any dimension of the question. Either as agents of terrorism, agents of prevention or response, leaders certainly. It's always quite striking to me how you see women who may occupy prominent positions in movements when those movements institutionalize. Nearly never do you see women translate from the positions in movements into institutionalized positions of leadership. [22:33] We don't know why not. We don't have very good theories about why societies broadly don't value their girl babies as much as boy babies, but we know at root that that gives rise to a differentiation of treatment that some may continue to call equal but different, and still many others call unequal. [22:52] So what do we know about preventing deadly conflict, about the role of women in presenting terrorism or other kinds of mass violence? Not a whole lot, but we do know that women approach the problem differently. They bring different assets to bear, and it creates a different shape of a solution space than when they are not involved. [23:13] Now, do we have the actuarial data that we have from millennia of men being involved in these answers? No, but maybe we can begin to unpack it both structurally and operationally. [23:25] Structurally, we know that when we invest, for example, in the adolescent girl and affect her choices and her understanding of her rights, and frankly even just her child-bearing decision, and that's delayed a few years, that societal indicators of wellbeing move decisively in positive directions. [23:45] Now, can we do anything with that when it comes to the underlying root causes of terrorism and violence, this toxic intersection of deprivation and discrimination that cause people to kill each other over their differences? We think the answer is yes, but we haven't systematically tried to do it. [24:02] There are a lot of ingredients out there -- an interesting set of questions touched on gently by my colleagues up here -- as so much of violent conflicts, so much of terrorism that we've seen has been done in the name of the monotheistic traditions, the three great ones. Question, why can't the monotheistic traditions control their fringes? Question, why do these same traditions have issues with 50 percent of their faithful populations? We don't have good answers. Ruth: [24:31] And on the women as solvers of terrorism side? Jane: [24:35] What we learned in peacekeeping, quite pragmatically, is that women bring a different orientation to a problem when you have numbers of women in peacekeeping, and what is that critical number? Some say it's a third, some say it's just one. Again, the hard data does not yet exist.


[24:54] Three of four things happen immediately that are different that you can tell. Number one, there is a different information environment that exists. Now, whether that's what the women who are in peacekeeping or other peace operations are creating, or it's the response reflex to the women there, it's hard to say. But there's no question that there's a greater information environment with higher fidelity. [25:20] Secondly, what you know is that missions have the operations and the acceptance of the mission is different where women are present. Whether it feels less threatening, where the women use different techniques, again, this sounds all anecdotal and impressionistic and experience-based, because it is. [25:41] The third thing is that women approach operations -- search and seizure operations -- other things like that, checkpoint operations, slightly differently, and you see less incidence of violence. That kind of information has begun to be accumulated. Why is that the case, though? Those questions are still out there. Ruth: [26:02] Jayne, I want to go back to -- Jayne with a Y -- just to add one more piece as we set the stage here, which is talk for just a minute -- and Mia, if you want to jump in here also -- about gender violence as a tool of terrorism as well, because I think that's one piece that is inevitably and importantly involved in this discussion that we haven't touched on yet. Jayne: [26:33] Yeah, definitely. I think when we look at gender in terrorism and counter-terrorism, we have to look at the role of women as terrorist, terrorist supporters, but also gender-based violations by terrorist groups against women, and to acknowledge that very starkly. Ruth: [26:49] By the way, is that an old phenomenon, in the way that Bruce gave us this sort of history of women as terrorists? Or is it a newly...It's not obviously a newly emerging phenomenon, but a newly prevalent phenomenon. Jayne: [27:04] Maybe more newly recognized. I think it has been happening for a prolonged period of time but is now recognized through a human rights framework as being violations. In many ways, the fact that women are victims are terrorism can be a very important entry point for understanding their role in preventing terrorism too. We're talking about what are some examples of how we're going to make a difference. [27:28] Well, women have been very strong on providing a counter-narrative to terrorism, for giving a voice for what the vision of terrorism holds for a community. I think in some ways the fact that women are often victims of terrorism gives them a legitimacy and gives them an authority to speak in that way that we should be thinking about. But that we also need to, again, move beyond thinking about women only as victims and think of them as agents and so forth as well. But definitely to recognize the idea that terrorist groups violate women's rights is something that's the lived reality of women all around the world, that women mobilize against that all the time. [28:09] They may not call that always counter-terrorism. They may call it conflict negotiation, mitigation, but they are constantly engaged in this battle of trying to ensure


their rights are not violated by either terrorists or governments who are trying to alleviate terrorism. Mia: [28:22] That provides an excellent segue. One of the things that the terrorists have been very effective at doing is providing an entre for women who actually have been victims. [28:31] In many of the societies in which there is an honor code or there is an expectation of virginity at marriage, when women are sexually abused and, for example, when I did my field research with the Tamils in the north and the east of Sri Lanka in the Tamil Hill territory, it was well-known that Tamil women were being sexually abused at checkpoints by the Sri Lankan military. The LTTE, which is the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, in no uncertain terms actually put up huge billboards letting the women know we will welcome you into the Tigers. We know that you're damaged goods by society's understanding of what a woman brings to a marriage, but you can come and join the Tigers. [29:12] It was a very effective mobilization tool. It also was something that was definitely true. You asked how counter-terrorism can exacerbate things. The Russian Duma passed a law, and they're still able to do this, that any woman in Russia who's veiled can be strip searched immediately. You can imagine that this is basically targeting a Chechen community, and it has radicalized Chechen and Dagestani women, and we've seen the results of this radicalization. [29:40] I think that it's important that we understand that it can be both the terrorist groups -- we've seen this in Iraq where Ansar al-Sunna, with the fact that American soldiers for the most part have been behaving themselves, at least towards Iraqi women, and not engaging in the kinds of sexual abuse that were apparent in say Vietnam and Cambodia. But what happened is Ansar al-Sunna took a few instances of sexual misconduct, let's say by Sergeant Stephen Green, and used this one 14-year-old girl, Naudia Abeer Al Janabi, who was stalked, gang raped, killed. Her family was killed and the house was burned down, and they tried to blame the Shia. This happened in Iraq. [30:25] They used these kinds of examples to mobilize people against American forces. But in the absence of there actually being any large numbers of sexual abuse, they started raping Iraqi women themselves. Then, again, having this entre for them as suicide bombers, which is one of the reasons why in '07 and '08, there was a huge spike of female Iraqi suicide bombers in Diyala Province, which is where it was happening. [30:50] It's important that we understand that there's almost this circuitous feeding loop between victimization and the transferability of the roles. I'm just going to end with one last point. One of the things that I'm starting to do now with my research is looking at it not just with regard to women's entre into terrorism, but also children. We're seeing increasing numbers of very young children getting involved in terrorism, many of whom are against their wills. They're being coerced. There's extortion. The parents are being coerced to hand over a child, across the globe. This is not just in one case, let's say in Pakistan where I'm doing my research now, but also in places wide and far in Sri Lanka, in Chechnya and others.


[31:34] It's important that we understand that we don't have this very black and white understanding of what role women play, or whether they're only going to make a positive contribution to conflict. We know that women can be as bloodthirsty as men. We've seen this, like in the Jean-Paul Akayesu case trial transcripts in which women participate in the Rwandan genocide in ways that were previously unheard of. [32:00] I think Jane's point is well taken. Women can play a positive role, and I very much encourage that, but we've seen women also play a largely negative role. There is this connection between victimization and then becoming a victimizer. Ruth: [32:17] I'm going to ask maybe one last question, those I reserve the right to ask another one, and then open it up to what I'm sure will be better and more interesting questions from the audience. [32:28] Bruce, I wanted to go back to the account you gave at the beginning of the history of women in terrorism, because it strikes me, at least from the ones that I know of, the Baader-Meinhof Gang, the Kathy Boudin, Bernardine Dohrn. It seems different from the women terrorists of today in the sense that these are women from upper middle class, privileged, educated backgrounds. [32:56] It feels like, but correct me if I'm wrong, and I'm sure I am, jump in. It feels like at least in the context of Islamic terrorism that we're talking about a different kind of women. The really interesting tension between the notion of the woman who can't drive, the woman who is not supposed to leave the home without a male escort, and the woman with burka and how convenient improvised explosive device or suicide bomb as agent of terrorism. I wonder if we're talking about really two different kinds of terrorists and whether you think that this, as others have suggested, is going to be an emerging form of terrorism. [33:50] Just to make it seem like this was just one last question I'm going to squeeze in a question for Jane, without the Y. At Homeland Security, was there talk about the issue of gender in terms of thinking about the capacity of women to be agents of terrorism here in the US, and/or is there a gender divide in the kinds of things that you worried about in part at Homeland Security and are thinking about really full time now in terms of cyber-terrorism, which I'm sure we think of a little bit as a male geeky nerds capable of getting into systems. But I bet there's some women geeky nerds capable of getting into systems too. [34:36] Bruce first, and then Jane. And then get ready for your questions. Bruce: [34:40] Both Jane without a Y and also me have raised a number of important points that you've picked up on, and I find this true with terrorism in general, is that there's very few hard and fast rules. There's so many different terrorist organizations throughout the world. It's existed for 2,000 years. It's probably unrealistic to think that we're going to come up with some common profile.


[34:59] Basically from what I've been hearing I almost think that the discussion has illuminated three different types of women terrorists. Those that use terrorism as a form of empowerment and equality. [35:10] We classify many of the left wing terrorists of the 1960s and '70s, perhaps even the FARC, but let's say radical Marxists, Leninists, Maoist groups where there's not really coercion, where there's not intimidation. I think there's a second element of coercion where, as Mia's described, for instance, The Tamil Tigers of the LTTE. One reason amongst others, but one of the reasons they developed the famous glass suicide capsule filled with cyanide was that women were being serially violated by Sri Lankan armed forces, and then it was better parish this way than to be humiliated in this manner. [35:47] You see a different derivation of that -- not in all cases, but in many of the Palestinian cases -- where women who are tricked are persuaded, just as Mia described, to regain some lost honor, perhaps for monetary benefit or more or less coerced into terrorism. We saw this in the PKK at the end of the 1990s where women's families were threatened if they didn't engage in it. [36:09] Then I think you have the third example where women themselves are intimidated in the sense that often in many places the best recruiting sergeants for terrorists isn't the terrorists themselves or even the media. Margaret Thatcher many years ago said publicity is the oxygen terrorists depend on. It's actually often the actions of undisciplined security forces who abuse women, and as a motive of revenge they go into the violence. [36:36] I think there's whole different categories. What always interested me more than Ireland, or an Ireland in general, is that both anecdotally and from interviews that I've done it seems that there's a very strong matrilineal streak. That, in other words, if ones grandfather or uncle, cousins on ones mother's side were Republicans, as it were, so I'm talking about the IRA, not so much the Lawless, there was a very strong sense that you would be. [37:02] This was because, in the stereotype, the women were running the house and had the dominant influence over the children. This played a positive role. It wasn't necessarily inequality, and that's the frustrating thing, because women might join because of some family lineage, but you've certainly saw no women in the senior ranks of the IRA. [37:19] In fact, when MairÈad Farrell wanted to go on the hunger strike in the early 1980s and be just like the lads who liked Bobby Sands, the IRA was frantic in ordering her not to because they feared this tremendous publicity collapse, that women starving. It's OK for the men to starve themselves. [37:37] But then interestingly enough, two of the leaders of the German Red Army Faction starved themselves as well, so it really depends on the group and it depends on the circumstances. Jane: [37:46] They did let three of them actually go on hunger strike but only for 10 days, and then they pulled them off. Because I managed to interview MairÈad's


cellmates, since she was killed by British SAS forces in Gibraltar. But it was very interesting that they get very irritated when you say, you were forced off the hunger strike. [38:05] But interestingly, although they weren't in the leadership, when you look at what's storming up now, you do have a number of female parliamentarians who are former IRA, so it is perhaps one of the only terrorist groups I can think of, other than maybe [indecipherable 0:38:23] , that has graduated the women into politics, into high level politics. Ruth: [38:25] Jane, our home-grown terrorists have not been women, of the modern era. Jayne: [38:32] I actually just want to make an observation to develop a point that Bruce made, which I think is very powerful. When we're looking at male terrorists or what motivates terrorist movements or initiatives or strikes, or even the lone terrorist, the conversation almost always begins with meaning. What meaning did this individual or does this group, what are they associating with? What higher order goals or values are they pursuing? [39:00] Somehow women are denied this equal connection to meaning, that it's somehow seen as somewhat less legitimate, so therefore, we find it somewhat remarkable that women would be equally motivated by the same meaning that draws her brothers or her uncles or her fathers or whatever into this. I think that's a largely unexplored...I haven't read many books, but I will. But unexplored, this equally motivating, and the power of meaning in your life. [39:27] Yes, I'm happily married with three kids and they give me a great deal of meaning in my life, but so does the fact that I was a solider, that I've spent a good part of my life as a public servant. It's a complex analysis, but one I think, again, we need to pursue. [39:43] You're asked about homeland security, and I can spend a minute on homegrown terrorism. Oddly enough with Janet Napolitano and Jane Lute, at the leadership gender didn't come up a lot. You would've thought that this would've been an issue that would've been first and foremost. Well gee, you're a person of gender. Don't you think about this all the time? Well, no, actually. [40:08] It was not a remarkable thing in the counter-terrorism agenda where it became very remarkable to us, and not because our awareness as a society has risen, but because our tolerance has dropped. That's where the movement that we've seen. In my faith, people have always been aware of women being abused, and children increasingly, but we've seen the trafficking. We became very engaged in elicit trafficking. [40:34] Some of you may know the Institute for Inclusive Security, Ambassador Swanee Hunt. I'm associated with her work. She's been looking at the trafficking question. She's been looking at women, peace, and security. She's been looking at the role of women in peace processes as well as here at Georgetown. There's plenty of work to go around, for goodness sake, we know that.


[40:53] But as we look at in Homeland Security, what we confronted a lot was the role of women in domestic law enforcement institutions, for example. Why aren't they represented in their number in society? And they're not, as when I was in the military, women represented about 10 or 11 percent of the Army in those days. It's gotten slightly better, not much. Similarly in law enforcement, the numbers stayed down in the low teens. [41:20] One of the theories is that we will see a greater sensitivity, or a greater understanding, of the perspective that women bring to these issues when they're in more leadership positions. We will see them in more leadership positions when we see them in greater numbers in lower ranks coming up through the system. [41:38] Briefly on the question of home-grown terrorism, we were vigilant for the terrorist, irrespective of gender. Ruth: [41:46] Did it ever come that you had a discussion about why we aren't seeing more girl terrorists at home, in the modern era? Obviously I know about the '70s. I watched them on TV. Jayne: [42:01] No, but what I will say is what was true was probably what's impressionistically held by most of us is that it was remarkable when there was a woman. The Moscow Theater Shooting that was notable for the women who were involved in that. There is just a higher shock element when people see it still. Jane: [42:24] There's one thing, and I apologize if it sounds as a corrective, but I think that this idea that there's this intersection between deprivation and a lack of education and poverty that leads to terrorism. I think that some of the work that Alan Krueger has done has shown that it's not a clear-cut if/then proposition because a lot of people who are at the top of the terrorist food chain, whether it's the 19 from the [indecipherable 0:42:53] or others, are disproportionally better educated, higher GNPs. [42:55] In fact, going to Moscow, the example that you gave, not only at the Dubravka in 2002, but in the Moscow subway attack in March 29th of 2010, there was a twin attack, two women. One was 16, married to a Jihadi, but the other one was 30, had a master's degree in computer science, and was the head of a technical school in her village. [43:17] There isn't this direct correlation between education...Some of the women are educated women, and I think when you're seeing less educated women than you would have had at the head of the left-wing terrorist groups in the '70s, it might be more of a reflection of a society in which fewer women attain higher levels of education. But we are seeing people who are educated people who are wealthy. I think the difference with the poverty might be the support. The community that is supporting them may actually be suffering from much of what you've just described. But the individuals who get involved, again, I think tend to reflect the kinds of individuals that always got involved in political movements, the people who could afford to do so. [43:59] Now, of course, this is going to vary significantly in Afghanistan. Chris Fair, who was actually a professor here, has written a piece actually with Dan Byman, another


professor at Georgetown, about the suicide bombers of Afghanistan not being particularly bright that they keep jumping and hugging each other when they're wearing the IEDs and, oops, boom, that's the end of those two. [44:19] The fact is you're not always going to be dealing with Dr. Evil with the cat on his lap. These are not all geniuses. But for the most part, when you are a terrorist leader, you want to send you best and your brightest because you want the mission to succeed. You want the smart person who's not going to talk about it, who's not going to reveal the mission secrecy, but also who's going to be able to get that bomb to deliver it to its target. That's why we see better educated people. Jayne: [44:48] I want to be clear. I absolutely agree. It's not the case simply that poor people will kill each other. Rich people will kill each other too. Smart people will kill each other, and less bright people will kill each other. That's not the case. But when we were at the Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict, what we wanted to understand was why to people come together in systematic campaigns of slaughter? [45:09] What we've discovered was it was the toxic intersection of deprivation and discrimination. People may riot, but they're not going to engage in systematic campaigns of slaughter unless they're led. So how do we understand that phenomenon of leadership intersecting with a relatively low bar of a grouping susceptible to being led to a fight? It doesn't take very much. [45:33] I absolutely agree. It's not simply the case that poverty equals conflicts. Rich people will kill each other too. But understanding what is it about that intersection [inaudible 0:45:46] kill each other, because we see it a lot and they don't, and we don't know why not. Mia: [45:50] Can I add one thing? Your question on how much gender is taken into account in government decision making. Part of the research that we did at NYU was interviewing on the record scores of government officials from the US government and from the UK government asking that exact question -- are you thinking about gender? Counter-terrorism, and if so, where? [46:11] The answer was no pretty much across the board, with some limited exceptions and compelling exceptions. The reason is for a long a time, when you think about counter-terrorism as being hard counter-terrorism, so much more about law enforcement and so forth, gender wasn't coming up in that equation. [46:32] With the move toward softer counter-terrorism, more engagement in rule of law, engagement in development, engagement in human rights, gender kind of came along with that a little bit. So you do see a pretty healthy conversation now happening in USAID, for example, about the role of gender as a cultural driver around extremism. You see it in the military, particularly prompted by some of the female engagement teams that we're creating in Afghanistan and Iraq.


[46:59] So, the conversation is a relatively recent one in that respect, and I think a big part of that has been the shift from the harder to the more holistic whole of government approaches to countering terrorism. Ruth: [47:10] Great. That was terrific, and I know the questions are only going to enhance the discussions. If somebody would like to start...Yes, madam. Do we have a microphone? Terrific. If you just identify yourself, that would be terrific. Audience Member: [47:28] Yes, my name's Cornell Wesson. I'd like to make three points in terms of formed insurgents. I think you could certainly look at the president of Brazil right now, in regard to why there aren't more women in security forces. They're not always pleasant places. I think you only need to look at where the women's boat first came to New Zealand. The chief of the Navy of the New Zealand Defense Force was found by their human rights commission to engage in sexual harassment on his ship years ago, and yet despite that has risen to be chief of their Navy. [48:04] I think without our own professional military education, I've gone all the way up through two years ago. I was at War College, out of 1,695 hours we had 1.5 hours of gender, and I recently took a two-week course at the Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies. I raised the absence of women at the table in the Colombian peace negotiations, which I would say 1,325, but certainly encourage, should we put it that way. [48:39] I was told by one of my classmates, a high-ranking military official, women not important. I think when you look at the five people representing the Colombian government, the pre-peace talk discussions actually included two women. I don't know where those two women disappeared to. [49:03] I think al these discussions, I think we need to dig a little deeper and not just say, oh, well, they're female engagement teams, aren't we progressing? Thank you. Ruth: [49:14] Comments? Jayne: [49:16] I think this validates one of the points I made is that when we often see women in movements it doesn't always translate institutionally. One of the things that we've been working on at the Institute for Inclusive Security is precisely increasing the numbers of women who are in peace processes and occupying significant positions -chief negotiator or chief legal council or advisor. And then having positions in the follow on government, whether they're transition government or not. [49:44] At some level, it comes down to counting noses. Do we see women present or not? I agree that this can be made much more meaningful with the numbers of women. As a career officer in the United States Army, I take a backseat to nobody in my admiration for that institution and for what it represents for this country. [50:07] Have there been issues in the Army? There have been issues in the Army. There have been issues in a lot of militaries as well. What we know is that the system will correct itself. It may not be as timely as people would like, and it may not be the measure of correction everybody would like to see in detail. But I believe that the system will


correct and improve, because I can tell you, in 1978, it was different than it is in either 2008 or today. [50:32] It has gotten better. Are we where we want it to be? Not in all cases. Ruth: [50:37] Bruce, you're a little jumping out of your chair. Bruce: [50:39] Hopefully things are changing. I can't speak about the military, although I would note that when I was in Iraq with a coalition provisional authority, the chief of intelligence for General Sanchez was General Barbara Fast, who seemed to know problems. [50:52] Certainly, in the intelligence community, over the past 20 years I think there's been -- perhaps not in the military, I don't know -- but certainly observationally and in terms of impact in the intelligence community, it's been enormous. [51:04] Jamie Misick, of course, was the Deputy Director of Intelligence at the CIA at the beginning of the past decade. Gina Bennett, for example, was the first government analyst anywhere in the United States in 1993 to identify Bin Laden as a prime mover and shaker and someone coming up the ladder. She's long time served in intelligence. [51:26] The securities studies program at Georgetown, I'm very proud to say is nearly 40 percent women, and more than that, over a third of our core faculty are women, 4 of the 11 core faculty members. [51:38] Ten years ago, I think, to find a securities studies program that had many women students but even women faculty, would have been unusual. Hopefully, we're leading the way in that respect. Ruth: [51:47] Excellent. Yes. Thanks. I promise next time going to the back of the room. Audience Member: [51:57] Hi, my name is Kitty Veras and I'm a student at the securities studies program. I have a question for Professor Bloom, in particular. Professor Hoffman was talking about different kinds of female terrorists. [52:12] I recently read in an article on foreign policy that there may be another trend, particularly in respect to the Black Widows, that they actually don't find a way to these organizations because they've lost someone, but because they are weak persons. [52:35] Their psychological profile is they are being weak and the way they've experienced their life has made them weak and susceptible to join these kinds of groups. I was wondering whether that was something that you've come across in your research. Mia: [53:02] I think you're referring to the Yulia Yuzik piece that came out. Ruth: [53:04] Yes. [crosstalk]


Mia: [53:06] I think that Yulia Yuzik is one of the better people working on the subject. You have a lot of people who have framed the Black Widows. If I may just for a second, I have a friend in the audience who's big on Twitter, can I just say these are Caucasian women from the Caucuses. [53:27] Why they're called Black Widows, and Samantha Lewthwaite was called the White Widow, is something that was bothering me. I wanted to put it in a blog. It was taken out of the blog by my boss, who is also my husband. I couldn't say no. [laughter] Mia: [53:41] There are about 15 people in the room who know what I'm talking about. I think part of the overarching, and Bruce is always correct, that there isn't a profile. We do tend to frame women as being influenced by men in their lives. In fact, even when I interviewed the leadership of the LTTE, and I said, "Why do you have so many women?" One of the things they said to me is, "The women are more easily...we can manipulate them more easily, and they're more expendable." [54:11] I thought, well, in the battle of Elephant Pass, your women units were able to route the army more effectively than your male units, so why is it that even the leaders of some of the organizations in which the women formed a very important part, are still considering them expendable and more easily able to manipulate them. I think that in general, with the Chechens in particular, we see a lot of women involved as part of family units. [54:39] That it's almost like the family business. You see sisters, and cousins, and mothers, and daughters, so you do see very often family units. So I don't know if that these are women are psychologically damaged any more so than men who participate in terrorism may also be able to recall with perfect clarity being eight years old and remembering their father being harassed at an Israeli check point. [55:06] When people say, [indecipherable 0:55:12] , that men are politically and ideologically motivated and the women are emotional, I actually say, "No, I don't think so." I think that all men and all women who are involved in these kinds of movements are probably combinations of ideological and politically motivated, but also there's some emotional connection as well. I think that the difference is, the way in which very often the media has framed it. [55:34] When it's a woman, we're always saying, "What happened? What went wrong?" Whereas when it's a man we don't focus on their background and they're doing the psychological autopsy as it's called. I think that we have to understand that the same things that motivate men motivate women, but that there might be additional things that motivate women that don't motivate men. [55:53] But, they're very clever at doing this online, wherein the same way that in the teams that Bruce described that no man wants to look weak in front of a woman, the jihadi groups have been using women with great panache online to get men involved. Because the women say, "Aren't you man enough? Are you going to hide behind the


women?" So it is of all the things that we've described today in terms of efficacy from a terrorist perspective, shaming men into participating more, has been at the top of the list. Jayne: [56:24] So, if I can ask a question to my colleagues then, what you make very clear is that it ought to be no surprise that we see women, well the question is then, why don't we see more? Mia: [56:36] We don't see that much terrorism, thank goodness. Terrorism itself is statistically insignificant. [crosstalk] Jane: [56:41], go ahead Bruce. Bruce: [56:44] No, because I think most terrorist groups are still male dominated. They'll use women for their ends, tactically, but they're still exclusionary when it comes to leadership. Jane: [56:59] I want to say more. I think we don't look for it, or recognize it when it actually is terrorism. So, sometimes, there's no tracking of the information. The UK government went through a whole review of their "Prevent" counter-terrorism program. One thing they recognized they hadn't been doing, is they simply haven't been tracking gender in their intervention programs. They had no record of it. [57:20] So the overarching assumption was it's going to be men. I think we have a real, apart from why aren't we seeing it, well we're also not looking for it at the same time. I think that matters in terms of what data we end up ultimately having at our disposal. Ruth: [57:32] Great. More questions? I see a hand way back over there. Audience Member: [57:42] Hi, my name is MJ. I'm a freshman in school foreign service. You've touched on how women in terrorism movements can be this kind of dark empowerment in a way. But then also, on the flip side, how female leaders in these terrorism units aren't really seen then as leaders of the country if that terrorist movement is a success. My question would be, threefold. One, can terrorism ever be seen as an equalizing force between men and women involved? [58:20] Secondly, about counter-terrorism. How would you incorporate women more into peace negotiations and the transition from counter-terrorism to actually creating a stable government? Jayne: [58:37] I can take the last piece of that. One of the things that the Institute for Inclusive Security has been looking at, is exactly this question. What are the pathways to increase the number of women who involved in peace processes in meaningful positions? We are seeing across the board, a slight increase in women at the functionary level, in note taking and things like that. What about in the decisive, policy making roles? There are three or four pathways.


[59:03] One pathway, that is pretty high fidelity, is the key decision maker. If he, usually he, not always, makes a decision to include women in particular functional areas, whether it's democratic institutions or security sector reform, or other kinds of enfranchisement, so the key decision maker is a pathway. Legislation is a pathway. Rwanda has made progress in increasing the numbers of women in representative positions in part because of legislation. [59:34] 1325 calls for the implementation of meaningful national action plans which are designed for countries on terms that they value to create processes to increase the numbers of women both in peace negotiation as well as in governance structures. So there's more than one path to increasing the numbers of women present in meaningful positions. Ruth: [59:57] Jane, you looked at the question in the Arab Spring and their inclusion in constitutions, so this is a wonderful opportunity talk about that. Jane: [60:05] Yeah, sure. If I can also build on that. I think definitely we have to take lessons from peacekeeping and try and apply them to how we think about encouraging women's roles in countering terrorism. I think they're also different. We have to be sort of mindful of some of the different challenges that pertain for promoting women's role, and involving women's advocacy and women's rights defenders in countering terrorism. [60:27] For me, a key question alongside the promotion of women as well, is to actually ask women on the ground what role they want to be having in these initiatives. Some women's rights groups will say, call it counter-terrorism, we're on board, let's do it. Others will want to have a bit of a distance between them and a counter-terrorism agenda or government. Primarily it's a safety issue. [60:47] Calling their work counter-terrorism will create backlash, it will endanger them, it will makes women's rights be even more associated with a Western and particularly an American, UK, and potentially Australian agenda. I think being led by groups on the ground is a big one. I think another lesson to learn from the peacekeeping context to apply to a counter-terrorism context, is be careful about only engaging with gatekeepers in the women's rights communities. [61:14] Very often the kinds of people that are drawn upon to do counter-terrorism work in the women's rights community may not be the grassroots groups that monitor actually in these communities, again living these realities. I think being mindful about that broader engagement, but again being very careful not to equate peacekeeping with countering terrorism. [61:33] The big struggle right now that we're having at the UN is actually trying to figure out, what is our dividing line between peace-building, human rights promotion, and countering violent extremism? There has to be a bit of a difference here, and if we lump them all together we're going to get a lot of conceptual and practical confusion on the ground.


[61:50] I would say the same lesson is applied, so Ruth was referring to the fact that I worked with the UN on trying to promote gender equality and constitutions, post-Arab Spring. Some big lessons on that were again being led locally, being led there. There are very strong women's rights advocates on the ground. [62:08] They may speak about women's rights in a language different to how we speak about women's rights, but we need to be mindful of what role can we play to facilitate effective engagement, rather than potentially undermine their work and create backlash? Which is not an outcome that anyone can be OK with, at the end of the day. Ruth: [62:26] Yes? While you're waiting for the microphone, I really want to say, I do a reasonable amount of moderating, and I do a reasonable amount of moderating on college campuses. [62:38] I am always finding the frustrations that there's only guys in the room raising their hands. I sometimes stop and say, "OK, I need a question from a woman," and I just sit there until one brave woman raises her hand. What a nice thing it is that I'm actually looking for a man to raise his hand! Audience Member: [62:59] Hi, my name is Megan. I'm a research assistant at the United States Institute of Peace, with the Center for Gender and Peace building, and a graduate student at George Mason. [63:07] I'm currently doing some research for the institute, looking at the intersection with security forces and civil society groups, and what the partnerships between those two can do in counter-violent extremism. I'm wondering if any of you can speak to that? Specifically, maybe in the Nigerian context, with Boko Haram, or looking for some sort of engagement in Libya or in other areas of this. Jane: [63:35] I can't speak about Nigeria or Libya, but one of the things that we have addressed is, what about in this country? Does the potential for violent extremists exist? Yes, of course. What's the role of the federal government in addressing that? [63:51] The president has made it a priority, and a priority that we look at all forms of domestic violent extremism. How do we identify it, and strengthen the hand of law enforcement? That's one piece of the puzzle, strengthening the hand of law enforcement to be able to recognize, and intervene, and prevent violent events from breaking out. There's a whole agenda associated with strengthening the hand of law enforcement, that's important to keep in mind. [64:15] But the other part of the agenda, at least for us in Homeland Security, was breaking down barriers that can isolate communities. [64:21] Here, we did find the role of women to be very important in these communities. As you know, the immigration service was in Homeland Security. Very often we had exposure to, and information on, and engagement with, domestic, newly immigrant communities in this country.


[64:40] Working with all echelons of government, from the state and local level as well, across law enforcement and the other social services that can be offered in this country, how do we break down barriers that can isolate these communities? Because very often, what we find is the generation either born here, or very young coming here, growing up, feels in a netherworld. They're neither of the old community, nor do they feel fully of the new community. There is enormous pressure that results. [65:08] We had this analysis in common with our British colleagues, who found...It's a very different set of circumstances, but a similar phenomenon. How can government, at all levels, play a constructive role in breaking down those isolating barriers? There are no straight lines here, and again, evidence is really only anecdotal, but it is a two-part agenda. Jayne: [65:30] I think the important thing to understand is, if you're going to be addressing any kind of women's roles within [indecipherable 1:05:41] in a place like Libya, or within Nigeria, it's very important to do so within an Islamic frame. I think it's very important that women's involvement in countering violent extremism does not necessarily equate to westernization, or to secularization, because then right away you're failing. [65:53] If you can't speak to people in a language, and I'm not talking about the actual language, but with frames of reference to which they can relate. Because this is a way in which [indecipherable 1:06:07] is not seen as a foreign interloper, or as the hand of the United States or the United Kingdom. [66:11] This is where, again, there has been a lot of work done on Islamic feminism to understand being feminist, having equal rights, but not necessarily dressing a certain way, or not necessarily looking a certain way. [66:27] I think it's important that if you are looking...With Boko Haram, I think part of the problem is I don't see women's influence in Boko Haram in the same way that we see it in Dagestan, Chechnya. In the same way in which we see it in Palestine, and the same way we see it in other places, where part of the women's role is how they raise the children. [66:45] Boko Haram seems to be drawing from very different kinds of trajectory than some of these other groups, and it might be that Boko Haram's terrorism and association with Al Qaeda, being that it's relatively new, has much more to do with local and regional conflicts, and now they've just attached themselves to a larger organization to get their bona fides. [67:06] I think that some of the work that Professor Boyman has done with external support, foreign support for terrorism, and these linkages, it's really important to understand that, at least from my understanding, I think these local groups affiliate with Al Qaeda probably when they're at their weakest, and not when they're at their strongest. [67:29] That might be one of the indicators of weakness, it might be also the time when they start recruiting women. It isn't necessarily a sign of their strength, but perhaps a sign


that either they're not mobilizing men and they need to tap 50 percent of the population, or they need to guilt men into participating. It might be some of these things, more a sign of weakness than strength. [67:51] That actually may provide us an opportunity for some of the messaging. But if we do messaging, the messaging that we shouldn't do, I remember years ago being with Bruce in a room in Arlington, and they brought in these Hollywood guys to create counter-violent extremism messages for Iraq. These were these very glossy TV ads, that I think they had taken from a Hollywood action film, with the slow-motion capture of the explosion. [68:20] The problem was, at the time, very few people in Iraq had working televisions and electricity, but also not one of the people in these films were actually Iraqi. I think they used a bunch of Latin Americans or Hispanics to play the Arabs, and they spent millions. If you're going to do messaging, do messaging that fits within the culture that you're trying to address. Mia: [68:45] I think that USAP has really taken the right approach on a number of these issues, which is to say that you need to incorporate gender in the CVE agenda. [68:57] Even making that point very strongly is very important. That you need to promote women's involvement, and again in ways that are locally sensitive, I would add to that. Driven by guidance from local advocates, as to what is safe and what's effective for them. [69:10] Also, a recommendation that USAP has been making that I would strongly echo is again to recognize there may be some spaces that you don't securitize, that you have to maintain a space in civil society for civil society engagement that doesn't need to be called counter-terrorism, doesn't need to be called CVE or counter-narrative, that may have an upstream effect on countering bad extremism. [69:29] I think it will, but just to be mindful that we need to keep some spaces also free from that engagement too, and to let them do that work in that way. Ruth: [69:39] Bruce, did you have anything that you wanted to add? Yes. Audience Member: [69:46] My name is [indecipherable 1:09:52] . I'm a master student in the Global Human Development Program in the School of [indecipherable 1:09:56] Service. I'm from Nigeria, and I was born in Kano. The first time I experienced religious or not religious [indecipherable 1:10:03] and not terrorism in that hard sense, was in Kano where I was born. [70:07] That was in 1991, and as little as I was then, I saw women, mothers, hiding men that were killing people around. I don't know if that's terrorism, but what I saw were women being active participants by hiding those people that would kill other women's children.


[70:28] I don't know if you'd call them terrorists, but that was 1991 in Kano, Nigeria, women already doing that. I just wanted to put that in there, considering what you said about the role of women and the type of terrorism in Kano, Nigeria. Thank you. Jane: [70:46] This issue actually has related to that report. I saw a number of people shaking their heads yes, that the support role for women in sustaining violent groups has been ever-present for quite a really long time. [71:01] It's very difficult to reconcile that broad social fabric of support for groups and movements like this. We haven't even discussed gangs here, but the role of women in gangs in sustaining the work and the activities of gangs is also well-known to a number of folks, particularly in law enforcement. [71:23] Yet, we continue to be surprised, or we don't know, that a terrorist, part of what makes a terrorist event a terrorist event is the shock value. We're surprised it happened, the where and the when of it, but we may not know. [71:36] As a distinguished Arab leader said to me, the women always know. The women always know, and we don't have systematic ways of tapping into what they know, nor have we created structures and institutional relationships, either officially or through civil society, where much of the civil society institutions reflect the same cultural values and role relationships. [72:03] Whether you see it in the churches or some of the civic groups or the market leadership, et cetera. Ruth: [72:08] The women always know what? Jane: [72:10] That an event is happening, or going to happen. Ruth: [72:16] They get the rumblings? Jane: [72:18] Rumblings, or they know, or they're moving people, or they're hiding them, or they're involved, or they're feeding them, or they're moving them. Bruce: [72:28] I interviewed many female terrorists in Northern Ireland, and they were defined as householders in that they would go in and hold a family at bay. The men came in with either a rocket propelled grenade or a sniper rifle. [72:41] They weren't firing the bullets themselves, but they played an absolutely pivotal role in gaining entry to the house, where some strange men knocking on the door might not gain entry, but women did. They do play, I think, an enormous role. Ruth: [72:53] Banging the lids to let them know when the security forces were coming. Bruce: [72:55] That's exactly right. Ruth: [72:58] Yes.


Audience Member: [73:00] My name's [indecipherable 1:13:04] . I'm a CVE practitioner. In most of these discussions, it seems like the role of women we're talking about, whether in terrorism but also in counter-terrorism or CVE, reflect the dynamics of gender roles in those communities. [73:18] For the most part, if you're talking about a male-dominated society, you have the groups which come out of it, the terrorist groups, the regional, the local ones tend to also have male-dominant structures in terms of leadership. [73:32] The roles that you see women play are also not going against the trend. They seem to be following the societal norms for these localized groups. Are there examples where that is not the case, where a particular group has gone completely against their own cultural norms, and a group has come out, or you're seeing a leadership role of women in a place where you've never seen women leadership before? [73:59] Everything we have talked about in any of the examples, or every single one of the examples, there's no deviation from, again, your local, regular gender norms, whether Libya or Nigeria or Afghanistan or Pakistan or Sri Lanka, any of those. [74:15] Support roles, you know what? Women play support roles in those societies. We talked about information, same thing. In the society, information moves through women anyway. Again, these are not deviances, but are there deviances? Jane: [74:31] The only one I could think of when you asked me that is I was thinking that you have the current leadership of the Basque movement is a woman. It's not window dressed [foreign words] . You pronounce these things better than I do. Bruce: [74:47] Basque, I leave it to you. Ruth: [74:49] Current leader of the Basque movement. Jane: [74:50] The current leader of the Basque movement, [indecipherable 1:14:56] , close enough, that would be different. In terms of the CVE, the problem is, if you have women who are operating within a culture being counter-culture, then they are particularly at risk, not just as being women, [laughs] but of being contrary to the culture. [75:10] The worry would be that they would be very easily targeted. So even with the Daughters of Iraq, which was, I think, a wonderful innovation that the United States Army, first with female soldiers and then with Iraqi women, understood that frisking of women at checkpoints was really a lose-lose proposition. [75:32] I can't, off the top off my head, think of women that voluntarily would put themselves in harm's way by being not just CVE but CVE against the culture. I'm thinking of, there's a woman in Canada who, within the gay community, I think it's not about counterterrorism, but you do have increasing roles for gay communities within the Arab world that are counterculture, and very often are countering violent extremism.


[76:02] Some of that violence has nothing to do with terrorism but is directed against their communities. I can't think of this woman in particular in Canada who's very vocal, but that's the only one I could honestly think of. Ruth: [76:14] How about the terrorists themselves? Jane: [76:16] If they're counterculture? Ruth: [76:17] Yeah. Jane: [76:20] Some of the people, what you have is the work that's been done by John Oregon about people who leave terrorist organizations. They leave for a variety of reasons. The biggest reason is that there's a huge disconnect, and they're very disappointed between what they thought involvement would be like and what involvement really was like. [76:38] There, they are pushing up against, but they're leaving, but you've stumped me, [indecipherable 1:16:47] . [laughter] Mia: [76:47] I think one thing I would add, we've been talking a lot about men and women. I would also make sure that we try and think more broadly about gender and think about masculinity in particular here, and apply that same lens when asking these questions. [77:00] I was trying hard to think about your question, I'm like, counter which culture, which gender norms, and why aren't we asking about men as well? I think we need to, when we talk about women and terrorism and CT and CVE, adopt a broader framework and think about stereotypes and so forth that are attached to masculinity as well as femininity. Ruth: [77:19] Great. Milan gets the final question. Audience Member: [77:24] What do we know about the efficacy of FETs in Afghanistan, Female Engagement Teams, where I think it was the Lioness program in Iraq, in terms of, predicated on what you said about information passing through the women, or the women always know. [77:42] How effective, and that's a very limited experience, and I don't know how much work, if any, has gone into it, but what do we know about its effectiveness? Jane: [77:51] Wrong lute. [laughter] Audience Member: [77:55] Maybe you could ask General Lute when you see him next. Ruth: [77:59] I will. Bruce, do you have anything?


Bruce: [78:00] I don't know either, actually. Jayne: [78:04] Originally, when the FET model, the Female Engagement Team, these are all female teams that are attached to units with varying functions, like sometimes to engage with women in the community, as an intelligence function, as a safety function, performing search and seizure and so forth. [78:23] When they originally were put in place, I think they were very much touted as the model going forward. I think now there is a degree of reflection on that within the government as to how effective they are. [78:37] In particular, whether there are concerned for local women of safety. You still have a military personnel in your home in Afghanistan. Is it actually safe for local women to have that form of engagement? Is it safe for service officers to? [78:50] I think it was originally thought to be a solution. I think now there's a concern that maybe there were some...this idea that gender gets taken care of if you have an all-female team is not the right assumption to make. [79:05] It pulls gender into this one unit rather than being a system-wide approach. Secondly, is it really something that's benefiting local women? A lot of women were expressing concern about this relationship that they're meant to be having. [79:19] I think also there were some concerns, from what we heard, about whether being on a FET was affecting a subsequent promotion within the military. I know it was a big concern about whether there was an issue of, you were doing less valuable work in this role. That's based upon [indecipherable 1:19:39] we heard. Audience Member: [79:38] What about the CT information, the Intel? Jayne: [indecipherable 1:19:47] [79:43] , the challenge that we found is that the framing of FETs changed over the time to be presented as less of an intelligence-gathering function, so there wasn't, at least with interviewers, a reflection on what the intelligence value of them was. [80:00] It was meant to be a different engagement. Jane: [80:01] Milan, I can draw on my experience when I was a Peacekeeper for the United Nations. We had three different areas where we attempted to be much more explicit about increasing the numbers of women. [80:14] Number one, informed policing. One of the dramatic changes in UN Peacekeeping over the last 10 years has been the rebalancing of a peacekeeping mission towards greater involvement of law enforcement as opposed to military. [80:27] It changes the complexion of a mission, and at least two cases, one in Liberia where the Indian government provided the first ever all-female police unit, it was really quite striking. They had a different effect than their male counterparts.


[80:41] Secondly, we use women in Darfur as part of every team. This was the United Nations. We wanted information. It wasn't about an intelligence-gathering mission, but there was no question that they were able to have conversations that would not have otherwise been possible, whether it was at a political level, a humanitarian level, or a development level as well. [81:05] The third example was in UN Peacekeeping missions themselves. Some of you may remember, [laughs] we had an awful experience with sexual exploitation and abuse by UN Peacekeepers. I was given the responsibility to implement a program to move away from that, both structurally and operationally. [81:25] We had a multi-part agenda engaging with member states to the point where we were prepared to say, if you're not willing to abide by these standards, we are willing to do without your services and peacekeeping. [81:37] It was very hard messages from the top, but what it also involved was putting women in each of the peacekeeping missions as part of the sexual exploitation, good conduct and discipline units. Women didn't have to lead each of those units, but women had to be present in them, because if you don't see someone who sort of looks like you, the obvious criticism is, "Let me get this straight, you've got an all-male good conduct and discipline unit, and it's men who are doing the abuse." [82:06] You have to undertake some commonsense initiatives to break down the barriers that otherwise exist. Ruth: [82:14] Thank you very much for a terrific panel. I learned a lot. For terrific questions from the audience. Thank you all for participating and coming. [applause] Cindy McCain: [82:27] Thank you very much. For those of you who didn't see earlier, I'm Cindy McCain, the other half of the McCain Institute here. [82:35] I first of all would like to thank our panelists. I found this absolutely fascinating. Thank you so much for taking your time and sharing your expertise with us, on what I believe is one of the most important issues facing us, in my opinion. Thank you so much. Thank you to all of you in the audience that chose to spend time here with us today. [82:57] One thing I would like to say, and what brings me here, is I saw first-hand, with my own eyes, the Rwandan genocide. It was from that point on that I realized that women really had to play a role, and for good or for bad, that they had to get active in some way or another. Because although they certainly weren't participating in that, what was really happening was devastating, as you know. [83:25] The common thread that I saw, that I know all of you have seen, is that women are basically in charge of family survival. That is the bottom line, the common thread with every woman on this planet. The fact that there is no narrative yet, it makes perfect sense to me, because it's to be written yet, and there's a great deal of work to be done.


[83:46] Nevertheless, women are, in my opinion, agents of change. For good or for bad, they are the agents for change around the world. They will make change, and they will be the folks that make change for the better, in my opinion, as well. [84:02] Bottom line, education plays a large part of this. I'm not telling you anything that you don't already know. Most importantly, as we speak to and about Africa, and Rwanda, Congo, Liberia, some other places, gender violence is at its highest peak ever, right now. [84:22] Up until most recently, the UN troops were participating, I know you know, in Congo. I am grateful to say that I think that's changing now, from what I just saw recently, and what's appearing to take place in Goma. It's a long way to go, but it's hard for women to look towards the troops for help if they're the ones doing the perpetrating. [84:48] With this comes, of course, child soldiers, and what we do with child soldiers, and how we treat this as things go on. Because unless we, as a country, as a world, do something about this, we're going to lose a generation of children in Africa, in my opinion again. [85:07] Most importantly, the things that we have seen in Rwanda, women being elected, although it was mandated, they are indeed being elected. [85:16] In places like Liberia, where yes, women I'm certain were participating in the bad side of terrorism and in the good side of counter-terrorism, but finally said, "We have had enough, we're done. Guys, take it elsewhere. We're going to run the place." It makes me so proud to go see what's taking place in Liberia, and other countries as well. [85:39] Thank you for being a part of this. Students, particularly, continue the work. What you're doing is most important, because you are the future that all of us will not have, but we will take from you. Thank you so much for being here, and thank you for participating, and allowing the McCain Institute to be here as well, with Georgetown. Thank you. [applause]

Transcription by CastingWords