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ISIS has a new VIP in the Middle East, and she's been traveling the caliphate like a royal, and nobody knows who she is. A woman has been quickly climbing the ranks of ISIS, traveling from city to city within ISIS's territory. While nobody knows who exactly she is, there are a few things that are known about her. It's believed that she left Canada in November to join the ranks of ISIS. Since then she's traveled all around visiting many of the key cities in Syria and Iraq, something many ISIS fighters haven't done. It's surprising for many analysts to see a woman moving around so quickly and taking an active role, since most of the women that join ISIS become wives or play minor roles.

She has been keeping people up to date on her travels via Twitter, where she calls herself "Lama Sharif al-Shammari" or "L.A." Others have a better name for her "Toronto Jane" as the Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium (TRAC) call her. TRAC is a global research firm that focuses political violence and terrorism, they are based in Florida. They have been tracking L.A. and they are surprised to see how quickly she's been moving around the territory. Veryan Khan who works with TRAC said, "What is really surprising is that in a very short period of time, L.A. appears to have taken an extremely active role with ISIS."

So, what is a woman doing with ISIS traveling all over and taking a prominent role? Ryan Mauro, a national security analyst for the Clarion Project, thinks he may know: propaganda. He said,"Islamic State wants to redefine feminism by characterizing Western society as oppressive towards women. They choose to highlight women to show that their ideology treats women fairly as equals in jihad."

By parading L.A. around as an active an important member they could attract more women to the cause, Mauro said, "These men are interested in having ‘wives’ come to the so-called caliphate to live with them." Using L.A. could draw more women in and get these men the wives they desire.

 

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