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Terror in Turkey: how common are women terrorists?



Six people are dead after a terror attack in Istanbul, with a woman believed to be the perpetrator

A Sunday afternoon explosion has left 81 wounded in a popular pedestrian thoroughfare in Istanbul.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan described the attack as “vile” and said “the smell of terror” was in the air.

Erdogan is travelling to Indonesia for the G20 summit but spoke to the media a short time before his departure.

“We detected that a woman played a role. The work continues.”

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, TURKISH PRESIDENT

Women in conflict are not a new phenomenon, but some researchers believe there are a lack of case studies on the topic.

Meanwhile, others argue it is a surprise when there is a new iteration of terror attacks with women behind them.

In fact, a 2021 study published in Perspectives on Terrorism, found discounting women’s involvement in extreme-right groups is an “analytic blind spot”.

“Women’s participation has been under-studied or ignored due to assumptions about women’s desire to participate in a particular group/movement and the organisation’s willingness to include women,” the paper notes.

In some cases, there is a distinction between active agency and coercion in terrorist activities. For example, in the case of women’s recruitment into ISIS.

In fact, women and minors accounted for up to 25 per cent of all recorded foreign ISIS affiliates in theatre, and around one-in-five (21%) of returnees.

Why do women become terrorists?

One study surrounding women’s participation in terrorism uncovered the factors, which drove women to ISIS.

“The group were less ideational and more emotional, such as feelings of acceptance, empowerment and the development of interpersonal bonds,” researchers found.

However, it went on to learn “once inside, some women do challenge jihadi gender norms, such as the prohibition of women to work and commit violent jihad.”

In most cases, women tend to prefer working within roles, which uphold gender norms than openly oppose the rules entirely.

The rationale behind men and women joining terrorist organisations is quite different. However, Professor Beverley Milton-Edwards from Queen’s University Belfast, said women are still making choices.

“It’s just that the frame of choice that they’re making is not what we as a society expect them to make because we believe that these groups are only offering opportunities that bind women, that enslave women, and exploit them.”


However, Professor Milton-Edwards believes some women still find their involvement in terrorist regimes as “a form of empowerment, liberation, and an opportunity to live in a society with a belief system that they subscribe”.

Costa is a news producer at ticker NEWS. He has previously worked as a regional journalist at the Southern Highlands Express newspaper. He also has several years' experience in the fire and emergency services sector, where he has worked with researchers, policymakers and local communities. He has also worked at the Seven Network during their Olympic Games coverage and in the ABC Melbourne newsroom. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts (Professional), with expertise in journalism, politics and international relations. His other interests include colonial legacies in the Pacific, counter-terrorism, aviation and travel.

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TikTok CEO testifies as U.S. considers nationwide ban



FBI says TikTok threatens U.S. national security

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew testified in Washington D.C. on Thursday.

The hours-long fiery hearing on Capitol Hill was incredibly tense as Chew was grilled by both Republicans and Democrats.

With bipartisan support, both parties are pushing for a nationwide ban on the app which the FBI has said threatens the national security of the United States.

TikTok says it has 150 million America users – almost half the country.

The CEO gave testimony to try and reassure lawmakers and Americans that TikTok is not an agent of the Chinese Communist Party, but critics aren’t convinced.

Chew was bombarded with questions from representatives from both sides of the aisle about the company’s ties to the CCP, security, data storage, well-being, and mental health. 

Many lawmakers are growing increasingly frustrated with the lack of answers from the company.

Congress is now weighing a nationwide ban on the popular social media platform amid concerns that it is used to harvest Americans’ information and harm children online.

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Protests continue across France over pension reforms



Protestors blocked a terminal at an airport and sat on train tracks

The ongoing nationwide protests in France over plans by the government to raise the retirement age by two years saw another day of disruption – events which President Emmanuel Macron has recently compared to the storming of the U.S. Capitol by Donald Trump supporters two years ago.

Protestors blocked a terminal at Paris’s Charles De Gaulle airport.

Protesters also sat on train tracks, and reportedly triggered a brief fire in the yard of a police station in once city.

Protests have been mostly peaceful, but tear gas has been used against them on occasions.

The plan is to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64.

For comparison, the U.S. is slowly raising its retirement age to 67 and the UK plans to go to 68.

Polls have long shown that a majority of voters in France oppose the move.

Macron earlier in the week said he was standing firm on the law and that it would come into effect by the end of the year.

The government says the change is needed to keep pension budgets from running a deficit – failure would create an annual deficit of about $14 billion by 2030.

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Prosecutors allege Donald Trump misled people on potential arrest



The move prompted Republicans in Congress to interfere with the course of justice

Manhattan prosecutors say Donald Trump has misled people to expect he would be arrested, prompting Republicans in Congress to interfere with the course of justice.

A probe is currently under way into his alleged hush-money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels.

On Saturday, the former President said he would be arrested on Tuesday.

This saw three Republicans launching an offensive against the District Attorney, who is a Democrat.

They accused him of abusing authority, while also seeking communications, documents and testimony.

A grand jury hearing evidence in the Stormy Daniels case is yet to issue an arrest warrant for Trump.

The attorney’s office has since sent the committee chairmen a letter.

It says the lawmakers’ accusations “only came after Donald Trump created a false expectation he would be arrested”.

It also confirms the attorney’s office is “investigating allegations that Donald Trump engaged in violations of New York State penal law.”

If indicted, Trump would be the first U.S. President to face criminal charges.

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