A growing number of Australian women are joining Islamist jihadists fighting international coalition forces in Syria and Iraq.
As many as 40 have taken part in terrorism or supported the terrorist group, BBC News reported Thursday, citing Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.
Bishop told parliament that more Auatralian women have been traveling to Syria and Iraq to join their militant husbands or marry extremist fighters.
Experts are worried about the impact of returnees — and on those who support them — on domestic security, the report said.
Dozens of Australian nationals are thought to be fighting alongside the radical Islamists in Syria and Iraq.
On Wednesday, Bishop said that women account for nearly one-fifth of all foreign fighters there.
She said that it “defied logic” that women would join the terror group.
“If the killings and executions aren’t enough, [the extremist group] has published instructions on the treatment of sexual slaves which includes raping and beating women,” ABC News quoted her as saying.
“Even children are not immune with instructions encouraging sexual assault on girls who have not yet reached puberty.”
Bishop called for family and friends to reach out to vulnerable young people to prevent them from being radicalized.
– Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org