There has been great unrest in the regions of Somalia, particularly with the rise of Al Qaeda suicide bombers and groups like al Shabab. Females did not play a very important role in these groups: they are mainly brought in as brides for the Shabab fighters. However, many young women from the West who were Somali expatriates or the children of expatriates are being exposed to Shabab propaganda. This has in turn led these young women to leave their homes and families to join groups like al Shabab.
A great example is that of a former Toronto resident Fadumo Jama, who has been running a safehouse in Somalia for Islamist militants and suicide bombers. The Canadian woman is known as “Mama Shabab” and accommodates American and European recruits weeks before they carry out their suicide bombing missions.
Another example is Asli Nur, a university student studying International Relations in Toronto who quit her studies in the beginning of 2001 to move to Somalia in order to teach English to Shabab members. She has suffered a miscarriage, has been abandoned by her husband (also a Shabab member) while her friends and family in Canada have been unable to contact her or figure out her whereabouts.
This trend is unlikely to go away unless we step in and dismiss the propaganda.
‘Mama Shabab’: Former Toronto Resident Called Den Mother to Young Somali Militants
Toronto Star (Canada) (07/12/12) Shephard, Michelle