“No one suspects women, ”a former radical once told me, describing how she once hid explosives in a stroller she intended to get out of a target’s home. As it turns out, her potential victim ran away before she could complete her mission, but she wanted me to understand something that Capitol Security officials may not have understood until January 6. : the hand shaking the cradle can also detonate a bomb.
Speaking of yet another far-right plot to attack the Capitol in the works, intelligence experts can no longer underestimate the deadly power of women. A Council on Foreign Relations study found that radicalized American women are also likely to have the same success rates as men, although they are much less arrested and convicted.
Take Riley Williams, the 22-year-old who bragged about stealing the laptop of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, but was released shortly after her arrest. A recently released video, discovered by Bellingcat, debunks her mother’s claim that Williams was just caught in the chaos of the day and had no intention of doing any harm. In the clip, the self-proclaimed white nationalist, sporting various Nazi symbols, including one worn by the gunman from Christchurch, New Zealand, salutes Heil Hitler. Bathed in a negative blue filter that turns her eyes white, there’s something really scary about Williams, but she isn’t unique. Female extremism is the new normal. Now that 33 women have been arrested in connection with the Capitol uprising – more than in any other domestic terrorist attack – it is time to reckon with an untold history of radical female violence.
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