The New Republic
U.S. Counterterrorism’s Big Blindspot: Women
The United States doesn't think of women as active participants in terrorist groups. It also doesn't think of women as potential counterterrorist allies.
By Jamille Bigio and Rebecca Turkington
When the Trump administration, in late February, decided to block Hoda Muthana’s return to the United States, many saw it as an unfair and questionably legal denial of citizenship: Muthana, who traveled to Syria in 2014 to join the Islamic State, was born in the United States and previously possessed a U.S. passport. But in the midst of the furor over the particulars of the case, the announcement also signaled a growing recognition that women in violent extremist movements are not merely naïve “jihadi brides.” It’s one of a string of incidents in recent months that suggest the U.S. may finally be ready to address a longstanding blindspot when it comes to gender...