A 51-year-old Iraqi woman has been arrested for her role in a ring of terrorists who use rape as a way of "persuading" young women to become suicide bombers. Samira Ahmed Hassim, known as "the Mother of Believers," confessed on a video released Tuesday by Iraqi police to having participated in the Ansar al-Sunnah terrorist network.
Hassim explained to the Associated Press in a prison interview a week after her arrest that dozens of young women were sent to her after they had been captured and raped by the men. She would then try to persuade them to become suicide terrorists as the only means of reclaiming their honor, and as a way to escape the stigma and shame they would otherwise face in Islamic society.
The Mother of Believers, also the mother of four daughters and two sons, intimated that she, too, had been pressured into her role in working with the Ansar al-Sunnah terrorist group. However, she gave no details, other than saying that she worked with them for a year-and-a-half.
According to Iraqi military spokesman Maj.-Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi, Hassim was highly successful in her job: She persuaded more than 80 young women to become suicide bombers, and "confessed to recruiting 28 female suicide bombers who carried out terrorist operations in different areas."
Since it is much easier for women to hide explosive belts or vests under their voluminous robes than men, terrorists have begun to look for ways to recruit the fairer gender to "the cause."
Al Qaeda Uses Rape to Recruit Men As Well
Not only women are being raped as a means of coercing them into becoming suicide bombers – men are being sexually attacked as well.
According to a report published Wednesday by the British newspaper The Sun, Algerian terrorist Abu Bacir El Assimi said, "The sexual act on young recruits aged between 16 and 19 was a means to urge them to commit suicide operations." The report went on to explain that the "intense social stigma" attached to homosexual relations and the "fear of more gay sex attacks leaves Muslims prepared to die."
Another media outlet, the Algeria-based Ennahar Online, reported that a 22-year-old terrorist suspect killed in an attempted bombing at an Algerian security installation last month was discovered to have been raped. An autopsy of the suspect's body confirmed the sexual attack, showing signs of tissue tears.
The young terrorist was allegedly "a candidate to execute a suicide operation in the region of Boumerdes," reported Ennahar, which added that typical Al Qaeda techniques include suicide attacks and that the group had been linked to an insurgency in the country.
The crimes of rape and homosexual relations both merit the death penalty under Islamic Sharia law.