The group formerly known as al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQII), now calling itself the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), formed two female battalions in the northern Syrian city of Raqqah, according to a report by an Israeli counterterrorism analyst in Sunday’s Middle Eastern news media.
The two battalions of women jihadists are considered an important part of ISIL’s efforts to identify males who may attempt to disguise themselves in women’s burqas in order to sneak past ISIL’s own checkpoints.
The two female battalions were dubbed Al-Khansaa and Umm al-Rayan after ISIL leaders set standards and preconditions for females to be eligible for membership, such as being unmarried and complying with the age requirement which is 18-to-25-years-old.
The Islamists said that each woman will receive a monthly salary of about $200 (US), and the female jihadists must only work with the ISIL and not other al-Qaeda affiliates or radical Muslim groups.
The battalions’ patrol streets and set up check points to search female passersby or uncover males posing as females.
Opposition leader Ibrahim Moslem, who is a native of Raqqah, told the news media that the ISIL learned that many who oppose the Islamists are dressing in burqas to pass unharmed at checkpoints.
According to Seth Rossman, a former police special operations officer, creating these battalions of female radical Muslims was the best way for the ISIL to prevent men from compromising security checkpoints. The Muslim men are forbidden to physically search Muslim women, but with the female jihadists they can detect imposters.
The ISIL is one of two rebel groups which U.S. security officials say are the most extreme Sunni factions seeking to overthrow Syria’s dictator Bashar al-Assad, who is what’s called an Alawite, a branch of Shiite Islam.
Syria isn’t the only Muslim nation whose terrorist groups are recruiting women, an Examiner news story reported that al-Qaeda continues to increase the role of women in its terrorist activities in Iraq.
They know that they are using unethical means to recruit women, in addition to their using the widows of their former members and their female relatives, but they see the goal worth violations of Islamic law, according to the Examiner story.