Only one person could have written this book. Thankfully, she did.
The first Muslim woman and the first American Muslim to join the U.S. government Counter-Terrorism Center, Farhana Qazi, a Pakistani-American counterterrorism expert and policy analyst, has traveled the globe interviewing Muslim women extremists, speaking with would-be suicide bombers and jihadists and their families.
Their stories, and her understanding of them, fill the pages of Invisible Martyrs: Inside the Secret World of Female Islamic Radicals, an extraordinary analysis of female Islamist terrorists and the forces that drive them to extremism – not only in the Muslim world, but in the West as well. Often lyrically written and deeply personal, Qazi gives us a narrative that manages to be at once damning and compassionate, rich with insights that are as frightening as they are hopeful.
And understanding the threat of women terrorists has never been more critical. Not only are more women joining jihadist groups, thanks in large part to internet recruiters and the outreach of ISIS operatives, but women, Qazi reports, can be even more destructive than men. Not only are they less conspicuous, thanks in part to burqas and other body-coverings, but “on average,” she writes, women have “killed four times more people than male operatives.”