ISIS reportedly has tasked nearly a dozen members of its brutal all-female police force, the Al-Khansaa Brigade, with launching attacks on religious sites in Europe, particularly those sites that are Christian in nature.
The Daily Mail cited the president of the Centre for Strategy, Military and Security Studies in Syria, Fahad Al-Masri, who said the normally burqa-clad women will pose as tourists for their new mission.
“Women are not as difficult as men to sneak into countries and there are many European women in the Al-Khansaa Brigade, like French and British, which makes it easier for them to get in undetected,” he said, the Daily Mail reported. “We don’t think the women will be wearing a hijab or burqa, so they do not stand out. They will be normal like everybody, as if they are tourists.”
Al-Masri was a spokesman for the Free Syrian Army rebel group prior to heading up the military think tank. He said he’s been watching the progression of ISIS for some time and believes one of its next moves will be to launch a direct assault on European religious sites to spark conflict with Christians.
“The next operations for ISIS in Europe will be against Christians … in the Middle East,” he said, the news outlet reported. “It’s mainly been Sunni against Shiite Muslims, but now ISIS wants to create a conflict between Christians and Muslims. That means ISIS will try and attack Christian symbols in Europe, like the Vatican for example.”
Al-Masri said ISIS also will send the female terror fighters to Arab countries like Kuwait, the UAE, Jordan and Turkey.
Other intelligence officials scoffed at Al-Masri’s claims, however.
“These women would have the same difficulties as anyone else trying to launch at attack,” said Raffaello Pantucci, from the counter-terrorism RUSI, the Daily Mail reported. “Who would you send? You would have to send someone you know had not been noticed by security services before, because you know women as well as men are traveling so they’re watching out for both. You would have to sneak past a very high level of security and in some countries that might be doable but if you try and get into a country like the U.K., it would be incredibly difficult.”
He also raised the fact that most ISIS members are chauvinistic.
“Why would such a chauvinist society send women back to carry out attacks? There is no evidence of them ever using women before,” he said, “so there’s not reason for them to start now.”