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Podcast: The women of the Islamic State

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Women make up 10 to 15 percent of foreigners that have traveled to the so-called Islamic State. And these women play a critical role in building the state.

Audrey Alexander, a researcher at George Washington University, tracks the movements and behaviors of women who relocate to the Islamic State.

On this week’s Shortwave podcast, Alexander describes the critical role these women play in helping other western Muslim women prepare for the journey to Iraq and Syria. She also describes the culture of widowhood and martyrdom underlying the group.

“We see these women tweeting, saying, ‘I’m raising the next generation of lions. These are my cubs,'” says Alexander. “It’s not passive. It’s very proactive.”

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