We have seen a surge in the recruitment of women into the ISIS in the past couple of days. Teenagers from Britain have gone missing which has led to a major outcry and India too had a close shave when two girls who accompanied four youth from Hyderabad tried to join the dreaded outfit.
This brings us to the focus of the Al-Zawra, the exclusive women's wing of the ISIS which is also known as the finishing school for lady jihadis.
Upon arrival to the ISIS camp in Syria or Iraq, it is the members of the Al-Zawra which welcomes the women recruits and the first thing they are handed out is not a jihad training manual, but a cook book.
ISIS wants women to improve culinary skills
The recruitment of women especially from the West is aimed at keeping the Western fighters in the ISIS camps happy. The women are trained and then married off to the male fighters so that they feel they are part of a family.
It is more of a psychological advantage that the ISIS has decided to provide for its men. They want them to feel at home and what better than having a wife who receives you at home with a well cooked meal. Based on the demands by several ISIS fighters, the Al-Zawra team published a cooking book.
On arrival the woman is asked what she would like to do. In the case of the Hyderabad girls the Indian Intelligence Agencies had learnt that they were accompanying their friends so that they could care and cook for them.
Several American and British women who joined the ISIS too suggested that they wanted to support the men in this hard fought battle. The Al-Zawra then suggests that they get married to one of the fighters and look after them. They are told that they need to learn how to cook, sew and also provide basic first aid.
Pancakes are a big hit
Among the scores of Western fighters pancakes have been the most preferred meal. This is why the Al-Zawra begins its cooking book with a pancake recipe. It has provided a step by step guide on how to make pan cakes and even tells the women that the men would be happy and also fight better if they are given a good meal back home.
According to the recipe in the cook book, to make a pan cake, you would need one egg, four tablespoons of sugar, one tablespoon of oil, 4 tablespoons of salt, one cup of milk and flour each. The book also gives out detailed information on how to prepare the perfect pancake.
Killing is also an option
However the ISIS does not insist that the women who join them have to restrict themselves to only household chores or getting married. If women are interested in strapping themselves up with a bomb and blowing themselves up, there are training manuals for this as well.
This again is handled by the Al-Zawra which has an exclusive training wing in combat for women. The women are taught the basics of the Sharia law and why it should be implemented. They are then accorded intense training both in exploding the bombs and also using guns.
There have also been instances where women have been used as spies. However the ISIS has a completely different approach in the war it is waging. It proposes to set up a government and looks to go much beyond the ambit of a terrorist group.