'Jihad Jamie' and the 'black widows': Why women turn to terrorism
Statistically, women are far less violent than men. But the case of Jihad Jane's alleged conspirator, Jamie Paulin-Ramirez, and the resurgence of the black widows in Chechnya suggest that when it comes to terrorism, men and women have much in common.
Courtesy of Christine Mott/AP
Jamie Paulin-Ramirez last week became the second American woman to be arraigned on terrorism charges in connection with the attempted assassination of a Swedish cartoonist, following alleged co-conspirator, Colleen LaRose, also known as "Jihad Jane."
Meanwhile, the recent terror bombings in Russia suggest the resurrection of the "black widows" – female suicide bombers that sprang up a decade ago to strike back at the Kremlin's during its war against Chechnya.
In the US, where women commit fewer than 10 percent of murders, the reality of female terrorists can still shock – and even more so when they come from within American borders. But the case of Jihad Jane here and the resurgence of the black widows in Russia in many ways points to the universality of the terrorist message to certain people, be they men or women, poor or middle class, young or middle aged.