Fatiha Mejjat
Born1961 (age 59–60)
Casablanca, Morocco
Other namesLa Veuve Noire

Fatiha Mejjat is a citizen of Morocco.[1] She is the widow of Karim Mejjat, suspected of a planning role in attacks Casablanca, in 2003, and in Madrid in 2004.

Biography

France 24 reported that Mejjat has acknowledged that, in her youth, she liked to wear short skirts, and smoke cigarettes with her female friends.[1][relevant?]

Mejjati became radicalized in 1990, during the Gulf War, and subsequently married Karim Mejjat.[2] The pair had two sons. According to the Morocco World News, Karim Mejjat was the founder of the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group, which it said owed allegiance to Osama bin Laden.[3] It reports that they moved to Afghanistan, when it was ruled by the Taliban. Foreign Policy reports they moved to Afghanistan in 2001 and 2002.

Her husband Karim is reported to have gone to Saudi Arabia, in 2003, where he served as an Al-Qaeda agent. However, he is also alleged to have planned the 2003 Casablanca bombings, in May 2003.[1] Fatiha and one of her sons were detained by Morocco for several months in Morocco in 2003.

Her husband Karim was also reported to have played a planning role in the 2004 Madrid train bombings.[1] In 2005 he was living in Saudi Arabia again, with one of the pair's sons, when they were killed during a gunfight with Saudi security forces in April, 2005.

France 24 interviewed Fatiha, and published a profile of her, after she published a warning to France that it should be concerned it would be attacked by jihadists.[1] In that interview she denied that she had any ties with al Qaeda, and clarified she did not know of any specific plans to attack France, rather, her warning was based on the perception that, since France sat out the invasion of Iraq in 2003, it had been turning against the Muslim world.

Her surviving son, Ilyas Mejjat, went to work for ISIL's media arm.[4]

After moving to the territory controlled by ISIL she came to lead the Al-Khansaa Brigade, an all-woman unit charged with enforcing the ISIL interpretation of female modesty, proper female attire.[5]

Jeune Afrique reported that she married a senior ISIL leader, in 2014.[6]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e "Al Qaeda's 'black widow' issues a warning". France 24. 2008-01-23. Archived from the original on 2019-03-06. Retrieved 2019-03-05. While Mejjati is careful to explain she has no links with al Qaeda, the 47-year-old Moroccan widow is no stranger to the Islamist threats in Europe and is believed to have had extensive contacts in hardline Islamist circles.
  2. ^ Aida Alami (2010-04-09). "Morocco's Misguided War on Terror". Foreign Policy magazine. Archived from the original on 2018-06-08. Retrieved 2019-03-05. These wives, mothers, and sisters of alleged terrorists detained by the Moroccan government have come from across the country to show their support for one of their own, Fatiha Mejjati. Inside the courtroom, Mejjati is bringing a suit against the Moroccan government for wrongfully detaining her and her then-11-year-old son for nine months in 2003.
  3. ^ Aziz Allilou (2014-07-10). "Morocco's Fatiha Mejjati Joins ISIS". Morocco World News. Rabat, Morocco. Archived from the original on 2014-07-14. Retrieved 2019-03-05. 53 year-old Fatiha Mejjati had previously lived a normal life as a student in Casablanca. When the first Gulf war broke out in 1990, she turned to radical Islam. Soon afterwards, she met Karim Mejjati, whom she married, and they moved together to live in Afghanistan under the Taliban rule.
  4. ^ Michael Pauron (2015-01-12). "Maroc : Fatiha Mejjati, la Veuve noire du jihad" [Morocco: Fatiha Mejjati, the black widow of jihad]. Jeune Afrique (in French). Archived from the original on 2018-07-31. Retrieved 2019-03-05. Son apologie du jihad, son allégeance au "calife" Baghdadi, ses menaces envers la France et son voile intégral en font une personnalité relayée et, dans une certaine mesure, influente. Surnommée Oum al-Mouminine ("la mère des croyants"), elle encadre les femmes de l’EI et se serait remariée avec l’un des responsables de l’organisation terroriste.
  5. ^ Souad Mekhennet, Joby Warrick (2017-11-26). "The jihadist plan to use women to launch the next incarnation of ISIS". Washington Post. Retrieved 2019-03-05. Mejjati’s reputation as a harsh enforcer of the group’s legal codes is supported by multiple witnesses and court documents that describe floggings of women suspected of breaking the rules.[dead link]
  6. ^ Tarik Ben Larbi (2014-11-24). "Islamic State: Fatiha Mejjati, the black widow" [État islamique : Fatiha Mejjati, la veuve noire]. Jeune Afrique (in French). Archived from the original on 2019-03-06. Retrieved 2019-03-05. Un peu plus d’une semaine après son ralliement idéologique, Fatiha Mejjati posait en voile intégral devant le tribunal islamique de Jarabulus, un village syrien à la frontière avec la Turquie. Elle y a rejoint son fils Ilyas, membre de la puissante commission des médias au sein de Daesh. Reçue comme une héroïne, elle a suivi une formation militaire… et se serait mariée à un dirigeant de l’organisation.