Office of Law Enforcement
Federal Air Marshal Service
- 91 pages
- For Official Use Only
- Law Enforcement Sensitive
- October 2006
- Terrorist organizations use females because:
- Like most suicide operations, it’s usually simple to plan and low costing.
- In some parts of the world, females have low social status and therefore are considered more expendable.
- Females tend to be more emotional and therefore easier to indoctrinate.
- Since bombers will most likely perish in the attack, there is little fear of them divulging information to security forces.
- Tamil “Black Tigers” carry cyanide pills just in case.
- Most are deliberately uninvolved in the planning in case of capture.
- The media coverage is extensive, especially if the attacker is female.
- Terrorists attempt to embarrass a powerful enemy and show the world that things are desperate that women are now fighting.
- Most importantly, females have the element of surprise!!
- Stealthier attack (tend to draw less attention); in fact on several occasions many female bombers spoke English & wore western clothing & makeup during the attack.
- Sensitivities in searching women (especially in conservative societies).
- Female stereotype (e.g. perceived as nonviolent, feminine, or motherly).
- Women increase the number of combatants to a groups’ depleted manpower.
- There is greater publicity for female bombers (attracts recruits).
- The psychological fear factor of the target (expect anyone can be a bomber).