The Pakistani Taliban, known as the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), launched a special magazine targeting wannabe women jihadists on Tuesday, 8 August. The magazine aims to recruit women to "join the ranks of mujahedeen" in the fight to establish a Shariah state.
TTP is widely recognised as the most dangerous Islamist group in Pakistan and currently struggling to expand its presence. The Islamist militant group has lost territory in recent years and is keen on propaganda measures via various media platforms.
The 45-page inaugural issue of the Sunnat-i-Khaula, or the way of Kaula, carried an opening editorial aimed at convincing its target readership to join the jihadist struggle. Kaula was a popular 7th-century female poetess who was seen close to Mohammed, considered a prophet in Islam.
"We want to provoke women of Islam to come forward and join the ranks of mujahedeen. Organise secret gatherings at home and invite like-minded jihadi sisters. Distribute literature reflecting on the obligation of jihad, arrange physical training classes for sisters. Learn how to operate simple weapons. Learn the use of grenades," read the editorial.
News about the digitally published magazine was widely circulated in social media platforms by the extremist group. This also marks a new beginning for the Islamist group as the magazine clearly targets educated women, a group often despised by the extremist organisation. The group, which is responsible for many deadly attacks in Pakistan, has also used women as suicide bombers in the past.
The first edition also ran an interview of one of the wives of TTP chief, Fazlullah Khorasani.
"I ask you why now everywhere there is a hue and cry about underage marriages... We have to understand that mature boys and girls if left unmarried for too long can become a source of moral destruction of the society," said the unnamed wife, who argues for child marriage and says she married the jihadist fighter at the age of 14.
The front cover of the magazine carried a picture of a woman veiled from head to toe while its content range from a six-year-old boy's letter longing for jihadist experience to a Pakistan doctor turning to jihad.