The Taliban has used female suicide bombers in the past. Years ago, a wanted commander known as Qari Zia Rahman established training camps to indoctrinate women and young girls to carry out the gruesome attacks.
At least a dozen females and another five males have been used in suicide attacks so far this month. The rate of which females are used in this tactic remain on pace to quadruple in 2017 compared to last year.
Despite a relative lull in the use of females in suicide bombings in 2016 compared to 2015, West Africa is currently seeing a significant uptick in the use of females so far in 2017.
Women and girls continue to be utilized by the Islamic State West Africa (formerly known as Boko Haram). At least 123 suicide bombings involving females have been recorded in data compiled by FDD’s Long War Journal.
As the jihadist group continues its rampage in northeastern Nigeria and into neighboring states, the Islamic State’s West African province continues to utilize women and girls as suicide bombers. The use of females makes it easier for the jihadist group to conduct these attacks.
The coordinated assaults are likely intended to show that the jihadist group is still able to mount such attacks, despite some claims to the contrary.
The group, formerly known as Boko Haram, has used at least 47 women as suicide bombers since June 2014.