Thursday, November 03, 2011

Pg. 99: Mia Bloom's "Bombshell: Women and Terrorism"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: Bombshell: Women and Terrorism by Mia Bloom.

About the book, from the publisher:
Between 1985 and 2008, female suicide bombers committed more than 230 attacks—about a quarter of all such acts. Women have become the ideal stealth weapon for terrorist groups. They are less likely to be suspected or searched and as a result have been used to strike at the heart of coalition troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. This alarming tactic has been highly effective, garnering extra media attention and helping to recruit more numbers to the terrorists' cause. Yet, as Mia Bloom explains in Bombshell: Women and Terrorism, female involvement in terrorism is not confined to suicide bombing and not limited to the Middle East.

From Northern Ireland to Sri Lanka, women have been engaged in all manner of terrorist activities, from generating propaganda to blowing up targets. What drives women to participate in terrorist activities? Bloom—a scholar of both international studies and women's studies—blends scrupulous research with psychological insight to unearth affecting stories from women who were formerly terrorists. She moves beyond gender stereotypes to examine the conditions that really influence female violence, arguing that while women terrorists can be just as bloodthirsty as their male counterparts, their motivations tend to be more intricate and multilayered. Through compelling case studies she demonstrates that though some of these women volunteer as martyrs, many more have been coerced by physical threats or other means of social control.

As evidenced by the March 2011 release of Al Qaeda's magazine Al Shamikha, dubbed the jihadi Cosmo, it is clear that women are the future of even the most conservative terrorist organizations. Bombshell is a groundbreaking book that reveals the inner workings of a shocking, unfamiliar world.
Learn more about Bombshell at the University of Pennsylvania Press website.

Mia Bloom is Associate Professor of International Studies and Women’s Studies at Penn State. She is a leading expert on suicide terrorism and is the author of Dying to Kill: The Allure of Suicide Terror (2005). In addition to her research on terrorism, Bloom conducts research on ethnic conflict, the strategic use of rape in war, and child soldiers.

The Page 99 Test: Bombshell.

--Marshal Zeringue