The Discipline and Punish Podcast

#11 - Women of the Caliphate in America – Dr. Margaret Webber Smith

June 02, 2020 Thomas Baker Season 1 Episode 11
The Discipline and Punish Podcast
#11 - Women of the Caliphate in America – Dr. Margaret Webber Smith
Show Notes Transcript

On this episode, Dr. Margaret Webber Smith and I discuss her work on female Islamic State (ISIS) members who reside in the United States. We also talk about her career as an army officer, her new job at the United States Military Academy at West Point, and our shared love for the Pat Tillman Foundation. Margaret is a U.S. Army Officer with over fifteen years on Active Duty. She originally enlisted in 2004 to complete her undergraduate education but serving quickly became a passion and turned into a career. She commissioned as a Military Intelligence Officer in 2013 after completing her MPP (with a focus in Homeland Security and Intelligence Policy) at Georgetown University with the Army’s Green to Gold Program. While at GU she was named a Tillman Scholar and received the Whittington Scholarship for second year students at the McCourt School. She is a trained senior watch officer, cyberspace operations planer, offensive cyberspace operations mission commander, and will take a position at the United States Military Academy’s Army Cyber Institute in a couple weeks. She earned her doctoral degree at George Washington University’s Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration. Her research focuses on the intersection of gender, terrorism, and technology by investigating female Islamic State supporters in the US but has also published work on the behavioral economics of the cellular phone app-market and cybersecurity preferences of senior executives in the private sector. Maggie is also a volunteer and advocate for previvors – women and men who inherit the BRCA 1 or 2 genetic mutation putting them at extremely high risk for developing breast, ovarian, or prostate cancer during their lifetimes. Sharing her personal experiences with preventive surgery, as a result of being BRCA 2 positive, with others facing a similar choice is a huge part of her life and personal healing process. Maggie is an avid outdoorswoman and ultrarunner who is always looking to turn a weekend into a micro-adventure.

Tom Baker has been a PhD student in UMSL's Criminology and Criminal Justice program since 2017. Tom received his BA in Political Science from Arizona State University and worked as a police officer for approximately nine years. His research interests include police culture, use of force, and qualitative research methods.


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Tom Baker: Hey, thanks so much for coming and hanging out. It's great to see you again.

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Tom Baker: Um, so I did, I did a little introduction. So everyone kind of knows, basically, who you are. Okay. Um, but I want to dig a little deeper. Where did you grow up.

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Margaret Smith: So before I dig into that, I have to say, just because I am active duty that anything that I say today are my ideas and my ideas alone so they don't represent the United States government, the US Army, the Department of Defense.

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Margaret Smith: They're just Maggie Smith. So, um, but I grew up. I was originally born in Massachusetts, and then moved up to Hanover, New Hampshire. When I was in second grade. So eight years old. And then we pretty much lived in that area until

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Margaret Smith: Well, my parents are still there. So they've been there forever. I went to boarding school when I was 14 so my sophomore year, and that was down in Concord, New Hampshire, but I'm a New England girl born and raised Red Sox fan Patriots fan all those so

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Tom Baker: Where'd he go, where'd you go to boarding school

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Margaret Smith: I went to St. Paul school in Concord, New Hampshire. And yeah, it was a neat place. I did not follow the normal path that everybody out of St. Paul's does

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Margaret Smith: I went right on to college, but then I ended up dropping out after my junior year of college, which was probably pretty upsetting to my parents, but they didn't say anything at the time.

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Tom Baker: I can imagine that you went to St. Paul's and then you dropped out of college that probably wasn't

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Margaret Smith: Not what they had in mind, I don't think, um, but I ended up being, you know, I was, I did a lot of stuff I traveled around I

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Margaret Smith: Needed to kind of figure out who I was, I guess, and

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Margaret Smith: I was ended up out in Salt Lake City, and I was 24 and had nothing serious going on and I saw an ad for the army and it was at a point where I was kind of staring 25 in the face and

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Margaret Smith: You know if anyone ever says that like the army or military advertising like is such a joke and it never works well. They got me they, you know, they always say, like, you can get money for college. And I was like, brilliant. Like, you don't have to ask my parents again.

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Tom Baker: Well you enlisted when you first women.

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Margaret Smith: I enlisted in oh four.

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Tom Baker: Were and where did you, where did you go to college, originally

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Margaret Smith: I was at Boston College.

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Tom Baker: You're a Boston College and what were you studying. When you originally

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Margaret Smith: I was studying Old Testament studies and then international relations, so on.

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Margaret Smith: Looking at the Balkan area so very opposite sides of the spectrum.

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Tom Baker: And why were you and what was the draw to religious studies, was that a spiritual draw. Was it a academic interest or

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Margaret Smith: academic interest more historical so looking at like Old Testament text and then comparing them to ancient Assyrian and Sumerian texts and kind of seeing the parallels between the events and how different cultures were describing things I think is fascinating.

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Margaret Smith: And it comes back to you know two things that I'm interested in today where

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Margaret Smith: There are always more than one side to every story and in the army. I do some work and looking at and thinking about kind of information and how people understand information.

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Margaret Smith: And we know today that there are often disinformation campaigns misinformation campaigns. And so being able to look at a culture and understanding it from multiple points of view is pretty fascinating.

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Tom Baker: I'm sure like having a background and that would be useful. Pretty much anything you do, but especially what you do, what

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Tom Baker: So I'm just trying to get an idea. So like young you like starting college leaving St. Paul, what were you. What were you thinking you wanted to do at that point where you were studying this everything about becoming an academic

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Margaret Smith: No, not at all. Um, so, to be honest, some like the political science standpoint and international relations standpoint, I really wanted to be a lawyer.

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Margaret Smith: Okay. Um, but that obviously never materialized. But I don't think I ever really knew

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Margaret Smith: I don't. I mean, my older brother kind of knew what he wanted to do right from the beginning. He's an archaeologist for the government.

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Margaret Smith: And, you know, started studying Anthropology right when you got into college and then you know my younger brother similarly has had a pretty clear path and kind of knew what he wanted to do and fell into something good.

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Margaret Smith: But I mean, I'm still figuring it out. Right.

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Tom Baker: Let me know I'd appreciate the guidance.

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Margaret Smith: Know it's like people. I mean, I feel like I have or people are like, oh, you know, your career and your profession and all this type of stuff and then

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Margaret Smith: I my it confuses me

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Margaret Smith: Sorry.

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Tom Baker: No, it's okay. We all have dogs. I have three

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Margaret Smith: Um, but it's weird to think that

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Margaret Smith: You know, I've been in the military for 16 years now. You know, I went from back from when I enlisted back in, oh four and

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Margaret Smith: You know, I do kind of have a career. So I've been doing the military thing for 16 years but it still feels like I've never, you know, really honed in on anything. So, yeah.

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Tom Baker: So you're chilling out you're out in Salt Lake you're trying to like figure out what who you are and then you okay well go back to college. I'll get the army to pay for it. WHAT WHAT WERE YOU THINK WHAT DID YOU DO BECAUSE YOU'RE AN OFFICER. Now what did you do in your, what was your MLS

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Tom Baker: Listing

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Margaret Smith: So, um, I did the regular and listing and I was a 25 papa. So that's a microwave systems operator maintainer and knew nothing about it. I was not electronically savvy. I didn't know anything about technology. Aside from that, like a light switch turns lights on.

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Margaret Smith: And

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Margaret Smith: It literally gave me the biggest bonus that was like my thought process there.

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Margaret Smith: So I you know I went to Fort Jackson, and South Carolina, did my basic training.

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Margaret Smith: And then first duty station was Germany and all throughout basic training, they were saying, you know,

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Margaret Smith: First within the first few months that you get to your duty station. You know, you guys are going to deploy.

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Margaret Smith: You know, trying to scare us, but for the most part it was true. So got to Germany, and a few months later went overseas. But I was really in an electronic maintenance shop and we basically repaired and fixed and trouble shot radios. So line of sight communications.

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Margaret Smith: And that was really fascinating and it because there was stuff that I really didn't know anything about

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Margaret Smith: And but what often happens with enlisted like I had a little more education than a lot of my peers and

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Tom Baker: A lot more in a completely different kind of education.

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Tom Baker: Yeah, completely different kind. I was already older because I was

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Margaret Smith: You know 24 when I enlisted. So I immediately got pulled for like an admin job right. So the sergeant major pulled me in to be like the command team.

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Margaret Smith: We don't call them secretaries anymore but like the admin person. Um, so, even on deployment. That's what I was doing. So I was riding around with the surgeon major a lot and

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Margaret Smith: You know, helping them edit and car is doing that kind of stuff and keeping his calendar.

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Margaret Smith: So that stuck through most of Germany, and then I came back stateside and that's when I really kind of got into some interesting positions.

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Margaret Smith: I was originally came back to Aberdeen Proving Ground, which is a really neat base. It's where they blow things up and they test things

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Margaret Smith: A lot of really interesting stuff gets developed and tested out there, they have a really cool LM TV. The big trucks.

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Margaret Smith: The ones that seem really top heavy. They go, they have a test course for those and they drive at some really crazy angles and

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Margaret Smith: So neat place but I worked for a team that was actually brought about by President Bush in response to is the belief that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, so it was this weird

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Margaret Smith: 20th support command. It was led by a one star. So it was a one star command and

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Margaret Smith: Maybe had 40 enlisted people in the entire place and then the rest were like chemical officers and signal officers and variety of people, but we had nuclear physicists

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Margaret Smith: On our teams and we were intended to be small flyway units that would go out in response to an incident where something needed either be cleaned up or a hazmat situation occurred or hazardous situation. So, for example,

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Margaret Smith: Oftentimes when satellites re enter their atmosphere, they will, you know, crash into the sea or they'll burn up in the atmosphere or sometimes they land on

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Margaret Smith: solid ground and they have to be recovered. And so we would be a team that would go out and recover that and I was, you know, I was part of the people that would be responsible for setting up the communications.

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Tom Baker: When someone has to do that. I suppose I didn't. Yeah.

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Tom Baker: That's a job.

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Margaret Smith: Yeah. So initially it was in response to, like, okay, so if you know there are nuclear

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Margaret Smith: Testing sites where there are nuclear weapons in Iraq. Then there's going to have to be a unit that has the proper people that have the wherewithal to be able to safely remove these and

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Margaret Smith: So they did do a few missions in Iraq to clear out

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Margaret Smith: Some nuclear

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Margaret Smith: We call it yellowcake so it's not

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Margaret Smith: weapons grade anything but kind of residue. So stuff like that. But I was there for a year and my husband. At this time, we were not married, but he was scheduled to go to 10th Mountain, you still in Germany.

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Margaret Smith: And so I was ready to reenlist we were planning on getting married. We weren't yet, but I was planning on me enlisting after I'd been in Aberdeen for a year to go up to Fort Drum

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Margaret Smith: And we would have had a very different life if we had ended up there. I don't think I ever would have had the opportunities that I've had. Because we probably would have been on kind of a piggyback deployment cycle.

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Margaret Smith: And so three days before I was scheduled to reenlist I got a call from Patrick and he said, Don't realist. I have no idea what's going on. My first sergeant called man to the office and said, my orders were dropped and

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Margaret Smith: So I had a friend within my command that worked in the last one, and was able to kind of go in and see what was going on with Patrick's orders from our perspective because he had no visibility on it.

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Margaret Smith: And we figured out that he was going to Fort Myer so it ended up that he had gotten picked up for the old guard. So the ceremonial unit in DC. That works at Arlington Cemetery.

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Margaret Smith: So that changed everything I had to go into our master surgeon who is the reenlistment officer for 20 years

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Margaret Smith: He did all this work for me. You wrote up my whole contract but

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Margaret Smith: Is there any way that you can get me somewhere that's closer to DC

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Margaret Smith: And so I ended up going to Fort Meade, and that really kicked off the career that I have now.

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Margaret Smith: Because at Fort need it's it really an intelligence post. There's a lot of single person Signal Corps personnel there as well, especially on the unlisted side.

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Margaret Smith: To do a lot of the networking, the routing and the community or the platform side of the communications and for the analysts that are there on the intelligence side. And so then working out for me. I had an amazing command I

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Margaret Smith: You know my platoon sergeant was a female my company commander was a female my

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Margaret Smith: My brigade commander was a female my battalion commander was a female. So everybody really strong, powerful role models.

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Margaret Smith: And I was able to then enroll back in school and I started online with Penn State. So I finally this is like seven years in was able to do what I had originally unlisted to do and

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Margaret Smith: You know, finish up my undergrad and then was able to apply to a program that allowed me to go back to graduate school and commission. So that's where I encountered our common connection. The Pat Tillman Foundation, um,

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Tom Baker: Before we move on to the

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Tom Baker: Cinema, but I guess there's something that's popping out in my head right to

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Tom Baker: hear your story is like the school. The school you went to the types of people and the culture. You were embedded in and like

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Tom Baker: Those are your formative years so you're away at boarding school. So you're spending your days evenings all of your friends, I'm assuming, are people who attend the school.

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Tom Baker: So you're in really indoctrinated into like the elite. This is the elite of the elite members of society, the children of people who have power and influence is what I'm trying to say.

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Tom Baker: Yeah.

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Tom Baker: And then you went from there to being an enlisted person and I was an infringement.

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Tom Baker: In the infantry. So I would imagine it was a little bit more extreme but I when I think about basic my basic training and my fit and my the people I was with it was mostly like poor and working class people from rural communities in the south and inner cities and

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Tom Baker: Philippines. You know, I was people who were looking for a chance to move for an opportunity in the world. Was that a huge culture shock for you.

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Margaret Smith: Yeah.

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Tom Baker: You tell me a little bit like what, tell me a little bit like what it must have been like just so what, what's that like moving from one group to another, like that.

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Margaret Smith: Yeah. So to be clear, though I was a I was a scholarship, kid.

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Margaret Smith: So, but you're right. But still, I'm, you know, grew up in Hanover, New Hampshire. That's the home of Dartmouth College and you know my coaches all throughout

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Margaret Smith: You know, growing up or Dartmouth students. I was exposed. I had so many opportunities, you know, tennis camps in the summer, we take trips to England and spend a month in English countryside.

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Margaret Smith: So it's not like I mean we were middle class and we were extremely good, you know, very comfortable. My dad's a banker. My mom stayed at home with us had our own little antique business.

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Margaret Smith: So Hanover is not, not, you know, a normal place where people in this from either

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Margaret Smith: So it was it was different. It was a I remember very vividly basic training and having it just like this eye opening experience of realizing how horrible, some people had it and

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Margaret Smith: It was actually even more striking than normal because I went in the summer when the National Guard, it does, it split option program. I don't know.

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Margaret Smith: So it's when after their junior year of high school National Guard students are National Guard enlistees will go to basic training.

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Margaret Smith: And then after their senior year of high school, they will do their advanced individual training. So after they graduate. So I was with as a 24 year old as somebody who

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Margaret Smith: Yeah, I had been at, you know, boarding school had vacation in Europe over the summers and had been able to travel.

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Tom Baker: Knew about old religious

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Margaret Smith: Texts and yeah had had

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Margaret Smith: Being able to study the Old Testament on a whim as like a double major. Right.

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Margaret Smith: The things that we roll our eyes at sometimes but like I'm these kids were 16 and so I was 24 so for a lot of it. I was

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Margaret Smith: essentially ignored during basic because they were causing all the problems. I mean it was just

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Margaret Smith: Chaos when you're trying to, I mean, it's like you have a group of high school kids right they hadn't even graduated yet nowhere near ready to be doing this. Um, so I was just kind of this random person outside but

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Margaret Smith: It was crazy because I I learned so much. And when I look back on it, that was really the first time that I really truly lived and became friends with people that did not either look like me grow up like me or

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Margaret Smith: You know, come from kind of the same background as me. So that was a really you know formative and interesting time. And I mean, thinking about

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Margaret Smith: It now it's almost shameful to think that I was like 24 before I really had experienced that. Because Boston College. It's a lot of people that look like me.

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Tom Baker: To leave. It's a pretty elite institution as well as well.

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Margaret Smith: Yeah, but even even so it's like it's pretty homogenous. It's a lot of, you know, like size for J. Crew girls with blond hair, blue eyes Irish Catholic, but, um, which I'm not, but um

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Margaret Smith: Yeah, so it was a really interesting experience an eye opener and then also to have to be in a position where I was.

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Margaret Smith: You know my supervisors.

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Margaret Smith: Came from a very different place for me and

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Margaret Smith: Were oftentimes younger than me, majority of the time or younger than me was very humbling.

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Tom Baker: Do you find as an officer that having had that enlisted experience is beneficial to you and

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Tom Baker: As a leader.

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Margaret Smith: I think so. I think it can go two ways. And I think sometimes people just can't get the NCO or a noncommissioned officer out of them.

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Margaret Smith: And they want you know they micromanaged too much in are unwilling to kind of let go of this sense of control that you have when you're a non commissioned officer and

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Margaret Smith: And but for me I think it's beneficial, especially when I'm interacting with soldiers because

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Margaret Smith: I don't know. Possibly. I feel like I am more aware of the fact that

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Margaret Smith: Staying till five really doesn't matter if everything's done so I'm much more I feel like I'm a little bit more empathetic to the

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Margaret Smith: To the soldiers play and how much you know there's forced fun. I have this picture of my daughter and I going down my husband's from Iowa. And so going down a corn slide.

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Margaret Smith: It's like a hate on a anyway state fair thing. But when she was really little, and she's on my lap and I'm like, have this wonderful gleeful expression on my face and she is just like looks like she's about to throw up completely terrified.

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Margaret Smith: And I always show that to my soldiers like this is what forced fun is like the battalion is having so much fun having us be there for like this barbecue and all the other people are just like, oh,

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Margaret Smith: Me out of here. So I think I'm more aware of how annoying. Some of those

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Tom Baker: Pop mandatory fun

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Tom Baker: Yeah, I know. I remember mandatory fun and waiting for and that feeling of not having any power over your life.

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Tom Baker: I understand the necessity of it and highly structure, you know, where you have these

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Tom Baker: Objectives, but it's it's it's it's a strange feeling so we you mentioned a few minutes ago. Like we mentioned, we met through the Pat Tillman Foundation, can you

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Tom Baker: Just maybe like tell us a little bit like introduce people are familiar what it is and how you sort of were drawn to it. And what that process was and

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Tom Baker: What it is basically

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Margaret Smith: Yeah, so

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Margaret Smith: As I mentioned, I had an opportunity to go back to school and the opportunity. I was given was called the green and gold program in the army.

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Margaret Smith: And it allowed me to stay on active duty status and unfortunately, well I'm lucky I got to do it, but unfortunately right at the time that I started was when

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Margaret Smith: The VA changed their policy on active duty people and school tuition. So it went from if I was on active duty, regardless of what school I was at they would pay 100% to if I'm on active duty if I went to a state school or public university, they would pay 100%

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Margaret Smith: So when I had done my applications. I had applied to all private institutions for grad school and I would not have an opportunity to kind of reapply

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Margaret Smith: And so I selected Georgetown as the place where I would go to get my masters and do ROTC

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Margaret Smith: You know, I was accepted into the university accepted into the ROTC program and I was facing this, you know, Georgetown is not cheap.

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Margaret Smith: And

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Margaret Smith: Because I was staying on active duty and being paid by the government. I was not eligible for an ROTC or Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarship. So the majority of the kids are students and cadets that go through ROTC get a scholarship and have their college paid for. Right.

00:21:27.480 --> 00:21:33.870
Margaret Smith: Right, but because I was remaining on active duty which was important for my family, so that we could get my same pay and benefits.

00:21:36.180 --> 00:21:46.020
Margaret Smith: I was ineligible for a scholarship. So all of a sudden, I'm looking at you know 15 grand a year for a two year master's program on an enlisted like dual

00:21:46.020 --> 00:21:48.840
Margaret Smith: unlisted scholarship. We're living in DC, which is

00:21:49.920 --> 00:21:59.700
Margaret Smith: My husband's planning on getting out midway through that program for me. So after my second year. So we were like, oh, and so that's when I started looking at

00:22:00.240 --> 00:22:10.500
Margaret Smith: scholarships that might be able to help me out. Now, I was able to use my post 911 GI bill so us a little bit of that. But again, it doesn't because it's a private institution doesn't

00:22:10.560 --> 00:22:11.730
Margaret Smith: Yeah, it doesn't cover much

00:22:12.990 --> 00:22:23.430
Margaret Smith: So I applied for the Pat Tillman Foundation. And so I would my 2011 scholar, that's when I started school and the Pat Tillman foundation started up in 2009

00:22:24.420 --> 00:22:45.000
Margaret Smith: Back in for Pat Tillman, the famous NFL football player turned down his NFL contract in order to enlist and join the Army Rangers and go to Afghanistan and so any tragically lost his life over there and his widow Murray received so much funding and you know cards and

00:22:46.020 --> 00:23:05.130
Margaret Smith: Sympathy gifts and everything that by 2009 she was ready to do something with these funds that had been accumulating and she decided to found an institution really at the stage, but an organization that was focused on education leadership and having an impact and communities and

00:23:06.480 --> 00:23:13.380
Margaret Smith: And that became the Pat Tillman foundation and started off, we do about 60 scholars are accepted each year, there's a rigorous application process.

00:23:15.000 --> 00:23:25.260
Margaret Smith: Kind of the me and others and old guard like to joke that like we'd never get accepted today because the application pool has greatly expanded, but

00:23:26.190 --> 00:23:36.090
Margaret Smith: It's this wonderful organization that brings together this really super alpha group of people that are all just so excited about what everybody else is doing and

00:23:36.540 --> 00:23:48.450
Margaret Smith: It's really strange. Because typically, you get a whole group of alpha personalities in the same room and there seems to be so much competition with each other. And I think the competition is almost like who can help each other more

00:23:49.770 --> 00:23:54.210
Margaret Smith: Like achieve what they want to achieve, or like who can give each other better ideas.

00:23:55.440 --> 00:24:04.500
Margaret Smith: But it's really turned into this incredible community of people that are just trying to have an impact on the world and trying to figure out the ways that they can use

00:24:05.940 --> 00:24:13.590
Margaret Smith: The things that they learn, either through higher education life experience from the military and bring back and have impact on communities.

00:24:14.100 --> 00:24:21.780
Margaret Smith: And we do that we do scholarships for active duty military like myself. We also do scholarships for

00:24:22.290 --> 00:24:41.580
Margaret Smith: Veterans retirees, as well as spouses. So it's really incredible organization that's designed to fill that income gap or that finance gap between, like, what the post 911 GI Bill fund and then what real expenses are for someone who is a veteran to go back to school.

00:24:42.960 --> 00:24:52.590
Tom Baker: It's it provides a great deal of financial support, but for, like, like for me. I know it's this, like, Sorry, it's really kind of hard to describe. It's this network of people that

00:24:54.060 --> 00:24:55.320
Tom Baker: I'm always shocked.

00:24:55.350 --> 00:25:02.820
Tom Baker: That I'm part of it. First of all, I was like really like what I'm not sure, like the person that should be here, but they're just

00:25:04.500 --> 00:25:13.560
Tom Baker: It's this exceptional group of people that have this sense of there's like a immediate bond. If you know someone's part of it and

00:25:14.130 --> 00:25:14.280
Tom Baker: I

00:25:14.550 --> 00:25:19.470
Tom Baker: I feel a pressure all the time that I should be a better person because

00:25:19.620 --> 00:25:21.030
Tom Baker: I don't want to be bad.

00:25:21.930 --> 00:25:30.750
Tom Baker: Yeah, I don't want to be a bad member of this group. So it's like just extra drive to like to try to do better, which is hard. I you know I struggle with some

00:25:30.840 --> 00:25:32.790
Tom Baker: All kinds of demons, like everybody

00:25:33.300 --> 00:25:40.680
Tom Baker: But this is one of those little things where it's like an incentive to try to be just a little bit less crappy person.

00:25:42.330 --> 00:25:43.410
Tom Baker: around all these amazing

00:25:43.410 --> 00:25:46.560
Margaret Smith: People, it's an accountability mechanism.

00:25:46.560 --> 00:25:47.310
Tom Baker: Absolutely, that's

00:25:47.670 --> 00:25:52.590
Tom Baker: Right. Right. Which I definitely need more of all the time.

00:25:53.790 --> 00:25:54.270
Tom Baker: So,

00:25:54.450 --> 00:26:06.240
Tom Baker: Yeah you your when I read your, your dissertation and you, you know, you put on a feminist lens. When you as you do your research.

00:26:07.980 --> 00:26:16.500
Tom Baker: Can you maybe just tell like if I want to use that when I say like a feminine. Can you talk about what what do it what that looks like for you as a scholar.

00:26:17.340 --> 00:26:18.840
Margaret Smith: Yeah I would influences your work.

00:26:19.530 --> 00:26:29.670
Margaret Smith: So I don't think I did a very good job at it. This was just my first stab because it's, um, it's my dissertation. I won't get a statue for it. Right. Um, but

00:26:30.450 --> 00:26:33.810
Tom Baker: Um, I thought it was. It was great. You're, you're a great writer as well. Thank

00:26:34.320 --> 00:26:42.960
Margaret Smith: You. I had a lot of fun doing it. And I think that's like the, the cool thing about a dissertation is I it's this huge feeling

00:26:44.040 --> 00:26:58.290
Margaret Smith: seemingly insurmountable thing where you really have a lot of ability to experiment and, you know, just kind of try things out, because it's your first real stab at, you know, putting something together. That's a large body of work.

00:26:59.460 --> 00:27:00.330
Margaret Smith: And so

00:27:01.980 --> 00:27:10.590
Margaret Smith: Part I have to go back a little ways to explain this. But as I was doing my research. What I noticed and kept stumbling upon

00:27:12.450 --> 00:27:22.800
Margaret Smith: Was just the way that when we talk about women and women perpetrators, in particular, or criminals, there's

00:27:24.390 --> 00:27:32.760
Margaret Smith: There's often we adopt different tones. Then when we and different types of words are used to describe them. Then when we talk about men and

00:27:34.350 --> 00:27:49.710
Margaret Smith: It's almost as if there's a female type of, you know, criminal mind and a male type of criminal mind instead of a criminal mind and oftentimes you see it, both in sentencing disparities and other types of

00:27:51.120 --> 00:27:52.740
Margaret Smith: Treatment wise and

00:27:54.390 --> 00:28:06.810
Margaret Smith: How we talk about in the news, as well as how lawyers will present their cases in court, like a defense attorney will present a very different case for a male versus female

00:28:07.560 --> 00:28:13.950
Margaret Smith: Perpetrator but a lot of times that takes a lot of the agency away from the women and makes them almost victims of

00:28:15.030 --> 00:28:19.890
Margaret Smith: coercion or they've been manipulated, especially when we're talking about terrorism.

00:28:21.240 --> 00:28:27.150
Margaret Smith: Because, and especially when we're talking about Islamic terrorism, because a lot of Western countries understand

00:28:28.380 --> 00:28:34.230
Margaret Smith: Islamic fundamentalism as being very male dominated and and women not having

00:28:34.740 --> 00:28:47.130
Margaret Smith: Many rights or a voice or anything like that. So when we talk about females that are going to join the Islamic State or an Islamic fundamentalist group, then the way that people are talked about

00:28:47.850 --> 00:28:59.130
Margaret Smith: Is through this lens that they don't have agency and that they've been coerced, we call them jihadi Brides, or they've been, you know, some way manipulated or it's a sexual thing or

00:28:59.580 --> 00:29:09.930
Margaret Smith: But it's not that they are political agents, having a deep seated belief that this is the way that I want to live and this is who I want to be.

00:29:10.260 --> 00:29:19.320
Margaret Smith: And then acting on that belief. So bringing a feminist lens like often people are turned off by the term feminism, because they think of, you know, bra burning and

00:29:21.000 --> 00:29:31.320
Margaret Smith: And that type of feminism. But really, what it does is it takes a critical lens and looks at structures and institutions and all things that we

00:29:32.280 --> 00:29:45.120
Margaret Smith: Encounter systematically every day and how it can disadvantage certain groups of people. So, it ties in almost, you know, looking at what's going on in the world today, where we have a system of

00:29:46.110 --> 00:29:51.210
Margaret Smith: That we live in within America that has systematically disadvantaged African American and black people.

00:29:51.780 --> 00:30:03.330
Margaret Smith: And you know, you can consider that are being a critical lens. When we look at American institutions, if we take a critical lens. We're going to take a look at how those institutions were structured

00:30:03.660 --> 00:30:11.280
Margaret Smith: Who structured them and how they systematically disadvantage people and so taking a feminist lens to look at terrorism takes a look at

00:30:12.630 --> 00:30:19.200
Margaret Smith: The language us to discuss terrorism and takes a look at the structures within terrorism and the groups and

00:30:21.150 --> 00:30:28.590
Margaret Smith: And really tries to tease out how they systematically labeled this disadvantaged. Does that make sense.

00:30:29.730 --> 00:30:37.380
Margaret Smith: And so just questions. Everything you constantly kind of coming back and reflecting on what you've learned to really figure out if there's biases in there.

00:30:37.680 --> 00:30:50.820
Margaret Smith: If the way that I'm approaching this subject is because I'm influenced by the fact that this you know prosecutor in this Court document is talking about her as a you know this.

00:30:51.600 --> 00:31:04.770
Margaret Smith: As a woman who was lonely and was depressed after she had children and like really trying to make it about her femaleness instead of about the Act, which she perpetrated

00:31:05.490 --> 00:31:17.700
Tom Baker: Excellent. It's it makes sense. And it's similar to some of the work that I do. Yeah, it's not it's not a feminist lens of examining gender, though, and

00:31:17.790 --> 00:31:25.980
Tom Baker: Yeah basket. Like for me, it's masculinity and it's it's it's saying, Okay, well, we have these social phenomena and we know there are all of these different

00:31:27.450 --> 00:31:43.830
Tom Baker: Different forces exerting their power on human beings and shaping society and it's saying, Okay, well I'm gonna I'm gonna try to parse out what it is that this particular thing. What this particular phenomenon, what role it plays and yours is, you know, is

00:31:45.270 --> 00:31:52.440
Tom Baker: performing the role of being a woman in our society shapes our behavior shapes the way we're treated how were framed and

00:31:52.920 --> 00:32:08.790
Tom Baker: These women. They're framed a certain way, they're treated a certain way and a lot of it has to do with them being women. And if we can you know understand how that how genders influencing that performance and framing and yeah there's

00:32:08.850 --> 00:32:13.200
Margaret Smith: Um, there's also a very what I think is interesting. So

00:32:14.940 --> 00:32:25.470
Margaret Smith: I mean obviously I'm, you know, a white woman, and I'm a Western white woman who's privileged right I've been able to sit in an ivory tower for a while.

00:32:27.390 --> 00:32:43.290
Margaret Smith: And so I bring all of that with me. So my understanding and conceptualization of what it means to be a woman is so different than what someone my my age. And, you know,

00:32:44.550 --> 00:32:58.710
Margaret Smith: Someone might similar age who grew up in Dubai or Saudi Arabia might feel. And so there's a really interesting kind of, in many ways, Western feminism often takes

00:33:00.930 --> 00:33:11.850
Margaret Smith: It's almost the same trying to think of how to best frame this but it's like Orientalism is a common term that we is in front to describe this

00:33:13.050 --> 00:33:14.970
Margaret Smith: Kind of this romanticism of

00:33:14.970 --> 00:33:15.990
Margaret Smith: The East right

00:33:16.920 --> 00:33:19.290
Tom Baker: With the tribe and learn came back.

00:33:19.800 --> 00:33:35.100
Margaret Smith: Yep. And so, Neo Orientalism is post 911 Orientalism. And so oftentimes that's associated with like this need to save the Afghan women like when we you know as justification for war. We use that in the West.

00:33:35.520 --> 00:33:52.530
Margaret Smith: And so I have to be very careful as a Western white woman to when I'm looking at this, which is part of the reason why I chose united us women are US based women. So I was had more in common with them than if they were not US based

00:33:53.730 --> 00:34:01.140
Margaret Smith: But we have to be very careful about how we think about feminism and how we choose to define it, because there is almost this Eastern feminism, which sees womanhood.

00:34:01.470 --> 00:34:14.460
Margaret Smith: In a very different way than how I would. I mean, I'm an extremely independent my, I mean I, you know, you know, I'm a, I'm a runner. I'm in the military. I

00:34:15.840 --> 00:34:21.600
Margaret Smith: You know, I pretty relentless in my my pursuits and I'm pretty outspoken, and I might

00:34:22.170 --> 00:34:23.010
Tom Baker: Offer, you might say.

00:34:23.040 --> 00:34:29.850
Margaret Smith: Yeah, a bit of an alpha. So, I'm a perfect Tillman scholar. Um, but I am going to

00:34:30.420 --> 00:34:40.260
Margaret Smith: Being in the context in which I am allows me and kind of the you know the context supports those initiatives that I have, whereas I might be considered an alpha in

00:34:40.680 --> 00:34:50.520
Margaret Smith: A very traditional Islamic society in a very different way or alpha might be considered very different in a traditional Islamic setting. And so the characteristics that women.

00:34:51.270 --> 00:35:00.810
Margaret Smith: Seek out and really cherish couldn't can be different. And it depends on which culture we're living in. And I think that's one of the downsides, that we have

00:35:01.320 --> 00:35:16.140
Margaret Smith: But one of the benefits of choosing to understand intersection ality where yes, I'm a woman, but I'm also a white woman. I'm also an officer in the military. I'm also a wife. I am also a daughter. I'm also a dog, mom. She's over there.

00:35:17.970 --> 00:35:18.750
Margaret Smith: And a mom.

00:35:19.920 --> 00:35:25.530
Margaret Smith: But and so like we I mean we're not all the same voting bloc right

00:35:25.800 --> 00:35:27.270
Margaret Smith: Not like a mandala

00:35:28.230 --> 00:35:28.680
Tom Baker: mandala

00:35:29.010 --> 00:35:39.840
Margaret Smith: So that oftentimes is not as well understood when we approach things from say a gendered perspective, because then we're just looking at men and women as are choosing genders that way.

00:35:40.230 --> 00:35:48.030
Margaret Smith: And so this really expands that notion of what it means to be a woman to understand some of the cultural context that go into that.

00:35:48.660 --> 00:35:57.360
Tom Baker: Yeah, I think it's, there's a risk as a researcher of seeing things through your complicated lens that you've developed over

00:35:57.600 --> 00:36:06.420
Tom Baker: Our life. And I think the answer to that is to be reflective and understand your position and communicate that to the reader, so that they know

00:36:06.810 --> 00:36:16.890
Tom Baker: What you know what your lens is hot, what your influences, maybe, and that you're aware when I read something and I read like with your work with with your dissertation. You were there was a

00:36:17.280 --> 00:36:21.300
Tom Baker: Nice section in there. You were reflective just talked about where you lay it out.

00:36:21.840 --> 00:36:33.420
Tom Baker: Your identity and how that may influence you. When I read that when I read yours and I read it and other qualitative research work. It reassures me as a reader that I know that this person is aware of their potential biases.

00:36:33.450 --> 00:36:33.900
Tom Baker: Yeah.

00:36:34.170 --> 00:36:47.250
Tom Baker: And I think that the scientific literature supports the idea that being aware of your bias is the first step towards addressing it. So I think that's the way we overcome down as researchers, is by being aware and being reflective in the writing.

00:36:47.670 --> 00:36:51.300
Margaret Smith: Yeah, I agree. I think it's critically important. I don't think

00:36:51.660 --> 00:36:55.350
Margaret Smith: I often I think it creates trustworthiness and the work that you do.

00:36:55.470 --> 00:37:08.550
Margaret Smith: Right. And it's one of the validation methods like if I'm able to say where I come from, then you can probably trust me and my results are probably better than

00:37:08.790 --> 00:37:11.820
Margaret Smith: Right, if I were just completely opaque about who I was and

00:37:13.080 --> 00:37:13.650
Margaret Smith: Doing this

00:37:13.740 --> 00:37:23.370
Tom Baker: Work when I read something when I read qualitative work and its new qualitative work and I don't see reflexivity, and I see some, you know, white guy from the Midwest writing about, you know,

00:37:24.420 --> 00:37:28.170
Tom Baker: crime being committed by, you know, Hispanic youth and Los Angeles. I'm like,

00:37:28.200 --> 00:37:28.470
Margaret Smith: Yeah.

00:37:28.890 --> 00:37:34.470
Tom Baker: You know, but if but if I read it and they say, you know, here's what brought me to this here's

00:37:34.830 --> 00:37:42.180
Tom Baker: My perspective. Sometimes I may say, Well, it's interesting that this person is an outsider and looking at it with a different lens and

00:37:42.510 --> 00:37:50.730
Tom Baker: You know, it can be valuable to be to not be to understand the group. If you're aware that, but if you walk into it, just thinking like

00:37:51.030 --> 00:38:01.110
Tom Baker: This old this or this Neo orientalist you know you're you're walking in and studying these and bringing you know you're I went to a job talk once and it was

00:38:02.160 --> 00:38:07.110
Tom Baker: Sweet straying off path here, off, off topic here, but my it was in

00:38:08.220 --> 00:38:13.860
Tom Baker: A psychology department with having a job. Talk. And this person who is giving a talk had been worked with

00:38:15.750 --> 00:38:28.770
Tom Baker: The Peace Corps and doing their research and they just talked about these people in there was some island in the Pacific. And I was like, is it 1922

00:38:29.100 --> 00:38:36.000
Tom Baker: Like this, the lack of awareness that they were like, you know, this colonial sort of

00:38:36.300 --> 00:38:37.740
Margaret Smith: Attitude. Yeah.

00:38:37.950 --> 00:38:48.360
Tom Baker: Yeah, we're really at risk of it. And I just want to commend commend you for being so riff riff reflexive and addressing that.

00:38:49.440 --> 00:38:59.070
Margaret Smith: I am dissertation advisor pretty well my, um, my chair was is Kathy newcomer, and she is

00:39:00.390 --> 00:39:03.780
Margaret Smith: An evaluation that is evaluation by trade, but

00:39:04.860 --> 00:39:11.460
Margaret Smith: But she's someone who really pushes this so I was lucky that I had people that hammered at home. I'd like

00:39:11.820 --> 00:39:12.360
Margaret Smith: That I would have

00:39:14.160 --> 00:39:17.910
Margaret Smith: I learned from some people that were that was really important to them.

00:39:20.280 --> 00:39:28.710
Tom Baker: Excellent. So, so definitely something I appreciate it. So the word so terrorism, so I know people are listening listening to this and talk about

00:39:29.280 --> 00:39:39.150
Tom Baker: It depends on where you come from your perspective, one person's terrorism is another person's liberate or terrorism means different things to different people. And so we're gonna

00:39:39.630 --> 00:39:51.060
Tom Baker: We're gonna be talking about terrorism today. I just wanted you to like give everyone like a brief operational definition, like who because it because you said terrorism, it could be, you know, white nationalists in the United States because he

00:39:52.290 --> 00:39:53.010
Tom Baker: People in

00:39:53.190 --> 00:39:56.820
Tom Baker: Belfast 70s. Who are you, who are we talking about

00:39:57.180 --> 00:40:14.070
Margaret Smith: So I am talking about the Islamic State and the ones that the Islamic State that I was setting was just before the destruction of the physical Caliphate. So up until

00:40:15.420 --> 00:40:16.710
Margaret Smith: You know roughly at the beginning of

00:40:19.470 --> 00:40:20.700
Margaret Smith: The end of 2019

00:40:22.680 --> 00:40:33.870
Margaret Smith: But that's who I was looking at and then or that's the terrorist group that I am interested in, and I find them fascinating because they have a mixture of statecraft built into

00:40:34.410 --> 00:40:54.840
Margaret Smith: Random acts of violence and so it makes there, almost there kind of a hybrid between a state focus group and kind of a dispersed group because they also have a large, you know, geographically spread out group of followers that primarily follow them online.

00:40:56.220 --> 00:41:14.040
Margaret Smith: But so this is my work is stemming from pre destruction of the Caliphate. So women in the United States that have been arrested and charged with crimes related to the Islamic State is specifically who I was looking at. So it's a group of 20 women in the United States.

00:41:15.690 --> 00:41:26.820
Margaret Smith: That have been charged with those crimes, and that is, since the first crimes against the terrorist group, the Islamic State were charged in the US, which was March 2014

00:41:27.420 --> 00:41:38.460
Margaret Smith: So basically, about five years worth of law enforcement work and there are 20 women that are. There's one woman who is

00:41:39.000 --> 00:41:54.060
Margaret Smith: A long term US resident and then everybody else is a naturalized US citizen or a US citizen, born and raised and so specifically I have this group of 20 women and Bradley my the terrorist group that I'm focused on is the Islamic State.

00:41:54.480 --> 00:41:57.210
Tom Baker: Islamic State and what so

00:41:58.650 --> 00:42:14.760
Tom Baker: You're ready you talk a little bit about how this transition from this, like, you know, geopolitical force like an actual will Caliphate to this like amorphous sort of distributed and that they were both, but now that like if they're destroyed that they're going to morph it it's

00:42:15.060 --> 00:42:17.910
Tom Baker: Located what are, what are they now like what, what type of

00:42:18.390 --> 00:42:19.950
Tom Baker: What kind of a threat to the present. Now,

00:42:20.850 --> 00:42:31.290
Margaret Smith: So they're in a. It's really interesting. So I'm in the process of reading a book that just came out called the ISIS reader and it takes

00:42:32.400 --> 00:42:46.950
Margaret Smith: All of the seminal pieces of literature put out by the Islamic State. So primarily from religious scholars that are the ones that they derive their ideology and their kind of fundamentalism from and

00:42:48.420 --> 00:42:58.020
Margaret Smith: It's a fascinating read because it goes all the way back and you realize just kind of these these common themes that are running through them. So right at the beginning of 2014

00:42:59.130 --> 00:43:02.880
Margaret Smith: You know, they were just kind of unwilling to wait for the Caliphate to

00:43:04.080 --> 00:43:11.130
Margaret Smith: To emerge and they decided that they would establish it themselves. So they went off and on what we know of a brutal

00:43:13.980 --> 00:43:16.980
Tom Baker: Rubber. Yeah, it was, um,

00:43:17.670 --> 00:43:24.060
Margaret Smith: But as they've wind wind it down and they've lost this this notion of the physical Caliphate, or the actual physical land.

00:43:26.340 --> 00:43:44.550
Margaret Smith: They have shifted from promoting the desire to create this you know this physical Islamic side, turn away from this physical Caliphate to then still trying to retain its, its notion of this global Caliphate, and the global Caliphate is really prompted by this

00:43:46.080 --> 00:43:51.300
Margaret Smith: Really set like good media production unit that they have and

00:43:52.440 --> 00:44:01.350
Margaret Smith: So they've been able to put out and recruit and gain followers by putting out some really high quality media production.

00:44:02.190 --> 00:44:10.920
Margaret Smith: unlike anything we've really seen with a terrorist group before primarily because they're working in pretty harsh conditions, if you consider that they were, for the most part.

00:44:12.060 --> 00:44:13.470
Margaret Smith: In war torn areas.

00:44:14.910 --> 00:44:15.300
Margaret Smith: But

00:44:16.350 --> 00:44:29.490
Margaret Smith: That has generated a following that is unlikely to die down and it's also at this stage now they have morphed from having a physical Caliphate within Iraq and Syria to having ISIS affiliates and so

00:44:30.570 --> 00:44:45.240
Margaret Smith: We see ISIS affiliates popping up in Africa and you see them in Malaysia and the Philippines and other places where now violence is becoming again targeted within those regions where we have the ISIS affiliates popping up.

00:44:46.830 --> 00:44:55.680
Margaret Smith: Taking the message and acting on behalf of this brand that ISIS was able to create not necessarily taking orders from the nucleus that existed within

00:44:55.710 --> 00:45:05.820
Margaret Smith: Iraq and Syria, but they're willing to attach themselves to the Islamic State name because it has some brand power there.

00:45:06.960 --> 00:45:07.380
Margaret Smith: So,

00:45:08.730 --> 00:45:09.300
Margaret Smith: Shift

00:45:09.630 --> 00:45:25.350
Margaret Smith: Yeah I it's not. I mean, it's not going away. So people you know they are still, you know, they're still active as an entity as an ideology and so it's it's not going away. It's just a question of where we're going to see it come back the strongest and right now it's

00:45:26.580 --> 00:45:31.080
Margaret Smith: Al Shabaab in in Africa is also, you know, has sworn allegiance they've

00:45:32.160 --> 00:45:36.330
Margaret Smith: To the Islamic State. So they're still active, just in a different way.

00:45:36.420 --> 00:45:39.030
Margaret Smith: Not looking at controlling it from a statecraft.

00:45:39.030 --> 00:45:42.960
Tom Baker: Perspective, right, sort of like hibernating almost me

00:45:43.200 --> 00:45:47.700
Margaret Smith: Yeah, I mean, it's very okay to ask right in the sense that we had

00:45:48.090 --> 00:45:50.640
Margaret Smith: Okay to activities they had affiliates all over the place.

00:45:52.620 --> 00:46:01.560
Margaret Smith: And so similar. These is just a very different brand of violence. They are very okay with attacking other Muslims, which

00:46:02.730 --> 00:46:07.620
Margaret Smith: Al Qaeda was not so there's definite break. There's no violence with which they

00:46:08.820 --> 00:46:10.830
Margaret Smith: Choose to to act is

00:46:11.880 --> 00:46:20.250
Tom Baker: To use a sea level use that violence as like a way to like as a tool of statecraft. It's like terrorism to

00:46:20.490 --> 00:46:36.810
Tom Baker: Yeah, that's one of the things I've been thinking, thinking about you specifically and a few other people with the Tillman group is that people there are people. I mean, these people and I wasn't exposed to this when I was in the army. I was an unlisted enlisted and infantry unit where

00:46:38.340 --> 00:46:58.410
Tom Baker: Their academics, so like the military Val has placed a value on academia and give people like yourself and other people I've met this freedom to explore. So you're studying. Like, you know, issues of gender and and you do with like with a freedom and

00:46:59.640 --> 00:47:08.460
Tom Baker: Can you talk a little bit about that. Is that something that you has that ever been. Have you, have you ever felt restricted or do you feel as though you can be completely honest and

00:47:09.120 --> 00:47:13.830
Margaret Smith: Either by the military in fact that I was in school for it. Okay.

00:47:14.010 --> 00:47:20.850
Tom Baker: Yeah, so like when you say in your career as you've been successful. You're you've got one foot in the academic world and you go for military. There are two

00:47:21.060 --> 00:47:29.670
Tom Baker: Very different worlds. Do you ever feel like a tug from your military like I don't know if I should subscribe. I don't know if I should use this. I don't know the

00:47:30.180 --> 00:47:31.560
Margaret Smith: Question, so I

00:47:32.310 --> 00:47:35.430
Margaret Smith: I feel so they really um

00:47:37.710 --> 00:47:40.920
Margaret Smith: They pretty much give us free rein. When we go to school.

00:47:42.270 --> 00:47:47.610
Margaret Smith: So I have had the last three years where I've been at George Washington University.

00:47:49.170 --> 00:47:58.020
Margaret Smith: Where I've been able to do my studies and for that time you know we we participate, a little bit with ROTC unit.

00:47:59.250 --> 00:48:11.700
Margaret Smith: Helping them out. But otherwise, I don't have. I haven't had any other military responsibilities, of course, like the expectation to get a PhD in three years is a really, really short timeline.

00:48:12.780 --> 00:48:17.730
Margaret Smith: So a lot of work and I was, you know, taxpayers were getting their money's worth.

00:48:18.960 --> 00:48:20.670
Margaret Smith: What I'm trying to say. So it's a rush job.

00:48:22.230 --> 00:48:37.770
Margaret Smith: A thorough rush job and you should say, but, um, so I didn't feel any tugs there because it's not like I went with any guidance as to what I was supposed to study and I came at this from the perspective. My first couple jobs.

00:48:39.030 --> 00:49:00.450
Margaret Smith: As an officer. I was, I was working in the space where I was looking at the Islamic State. And I was looking at their use of social media. So I was fascinated by this and I was in a space where I was. Typically, one of the only women in the room and looking at this problem of terrorism.

00:49:01.740 --> 00:49:13.350
Margaret Smith: And in the online space women as I bring it up in my paper, but women are able to have a bit more freedom in the sense that they're not out in public.

00:49:14.490 --> 00:49:24.180
Margaret Smith: At in the physical sense. So they but they can be out in public virtually and the Islamic State has gotten quite good at understanding, you know, ways to target.

00:49:24.540 --> 00:49:40.650
Margaret Smith: Their messaging to specific population. So if they're presenting and putting out propaganda intended to attract Western women, they've gotten pretty good at it. And so they but they have women that will do that. And we would oftentimes and you know encounter.

00:49:41.820 --> 00:49:54.300
Margaret Smith: Some of these actors online and it was in some ways disregarded or not acknowledge that we, these were women. These were men might be targeting different groups of people should we be looking at that.

00:49:56.370 --> 00:50:08.040
Margaret Smith: And so that was kind of in the back of my mind. And that's where I really got interested when I had this three year time period where I could freely investigate a really interesting question to me.

00:50:09.120 --> 00:50:16.680
Margaret Smith: I don't know what's going to happen next. Because I will now be, you know, when I go up and start working at West Point in a couple weeks.

00:50:17.430 --> 00:50:26.220
Margaret Smith: I don't know how prescriptive, they will be. I assume that I'll have some academic freedom, but in the back of my mind is going to have to be like, how is this going to benefit the army.

00:50:26.640 --> 00:50:27.150
Tom Baker: Right, because

00:50:27.420 --> 00:50:29.370
Tom Baker: That's your duty. You have a duty to

00:50:29.370 --> 00:50:29.940
Margaret Smith: Yeah.

00:50:30.390 --> 00:50:38.520
Margaret Smith: So with our with my dissertation. It was like it was my Wednesday and your duty your duty was to engage in intellectual freedom to develop as a school

00:50:38.520 --> 00:50:39.000
Margaret Smith: Yes.

00:50:39.030 --> 00:50:40.440
Tom Baker: Now, you're really nice.

00:50:40.500 --> 00:50:42.360
Tom Baker: Your role may change you know you're not quite

00:50:42.570 --> 00:50:51.540
Tom Baker: So it's gonna be, it's gonna be a I'm sure a challenge for you to navigate that and coming from, you know, an academic environment so you you

00:50:53.220 --> 00:50:57.510
Tom Baker: You sort of sounds like you identified sort of the gap by

00:50:58.950 --> 00:51:09.660
Tom Baker: Observing the male counterpart your male counterparts and then you came to the came back and Amy and you see that this gap does exist, and you talk about this in the literature review this

00:51:10.080 --> 00:51:26.520
Tom Baker: Lack of attention what but there is some there is some attention paid to two females can talk a little bit about when you when you did the literature. What did what were people saying about women in this space when you did the literature literature.

00:51:27.030 --> 00:51:33.450
Margaret Smith: Yeah. So in any sort of terrorism literature or any sort of terrorism studies.

00:51:35.100 --> 00:51:41.940
Margaret Smith: One of the biggest problems is just like the availability of firsthand data is not good because

00:51:44.250 --> 00:51:50.610
Margaret Smith: In order to collect it, you're either dealing with like a protected population like they're already prisoners or they're

00:51:51.750 --> 00:52:05.880
Margaret Smith: Incarcerated so that's, you know, you have to go through a very rigorous IRB or institutional review board to be able to get access to them. And then on the woman side or the female side there's just so few

00:52:07.080 --> 00:52:18.270
Margaret Smith: That we know of, or that we could possibly have access to that that makes that firsthand data problem even more difficult. So a lot of what is said about

00:52:19.860 --> 00:52:26.850
Margaret Smith: About women is based off of very few women. And then one of the more interesting things is that recently as we

00:52:27.660 --> 00:52:38.430
Margaret Smith: Especially with the Islamic State since a lot of their focus that we see in the Western world is online, then a lot of the data that we have available is social media data we can

00:52:39.690 --> 00:52:44.790
Margaret Smith: We can scrape it we can use it. We can figure out trends, we can look at network diagrams.

00:52:46.080 --> 00:52:46.950
Margaret Smith: But again,

00:52:48.540 --> 00:52:55.950
Margaret Smith: You know when you read somebody's blog post or you read somebody tweet or you read somebody's Facebook page or post then

00:52:57.360 --> 00:53:06.720
Margaret Smith: How can we really call that firsthand data when we know it's kind of like somebody right it's not exactly like somebody writing in a journal that's private to them.

00:53:07.050 --> 00:53:13.800
Margaret Smith: So do we know that what they're expressing is really what they're feeling or do we think that it's more contrived.

00:53:14.130 --> 00:53:26.430
Margaret Smith: That it's intended to have a message to how much can we really learn about these people are these women specifically through this social media data so that becomes really challenging is trying to find

00:53:27.720 --> 00:53:29.430
Margaret Smith: Data that is in

00:53:30.510 --> 00:53:34.500
Margaret Smith: That allows you to actually do kind of a rigorous academic study on these people

00:53:35.940 --> 00:53:46.830
Margaret Smith: But in general, women are often talked about in supporting roles. They're not talked about as having agency again there talked about as being kind of the an appendage to the male foreign fighter.

00:53:47.970 --> 00:54:00.330
Margaret Smith: They are mothers, they are wives. They are supporters of the men, they are not an institution, and unto themselves, which is interesting because if you look at

00:54:00.870 --> 00:54:09.480
Margaret Smith: I think you could almost call the Islamic State is having these parallel societies within one society where you have the woman's place in the women's

00:54:10.260 --> 00:54:18.090
Margaret Smith: Society, and then you have the men society and within you know there's specific roles but they're both critical. You can't have the Islamic State without one of them.

00:54:19.980 --> 00:54:33.480
Margaret Smith: And so they're often talked out about as an add on. And what's also interesting is that the literature that's on female terrorism rarely pulls from the general terrorism literature.

00:54:34.050 --> 00:54:42.360
Margaret Smith: And a lot of the general terrorism literature doesn't kind of pull in the female terrorism literature. So there's this almost stove piped

00:54:43.680 --> 00:54:58.860
Margaret Smith: trains of thought that are going on investigating a common problem that might benefit from having everybody looked at together, despite the fact that I just looked at women, but it was kind of a first step to get moving in a direction to then be able to lump in

00:54:59.040 --> 00:55:00.750
Tom Baker: A dissertation needs to be

00:55:00.990 --> 00:55:09.750
Tom Baker: Yeah, they're really focused and you you sort of you you narrow it down. That's what my alma advisors keep saying narrow down narrow, narrow it down like that.

00:55:10.410 --> 00:55:25.200
Tom Baker: Like so you you really you narrow it down you narrow it down to the to these women who are affiliate with this very specific organization there in the in the United States. Can you talk. Tell us a little bit just sort of briefly what

00:55:26.520 --> 00:55:36.330
Tom Baker: Just for the people who want to know, like your methods. So, like, what, how you collected your data coated and analyze it. Just very briefly just so we know like what type of researcher, you are how you

00:55:37.500 --> 00:55:38.160
Tom Baker: Manage your data.

00:55:38.520 --> 00:55:42.780
Margaret Smith: Yeah, so I I took a qualitative approach I used

00:55:43.860 --> 00:55:54.780
Margaret Smith: So there's the GW has or George Washington University has this program on extremism and they are incredible resource for looking at

00:55:56.130 --> 00:55:57.000
Margaret Smith: Islamic State.

00:55:58.500 --> 00:56:11.580
Margaret Smith: Perpetrators within the United States, they've collected kind of dossiers on the, the people who have been arrested. So I think there's just over 200 so about 11% of those when I was looking are women.

00:56:12.090 --> 00:56:28.710
Margaret Smith: And if they pull together a wealth of resources on each case. And so we're talking, you know, FBI case files interview transcripts court documents court transcripts and in a couple cases there were

00:56:29.820 --> 00:56:48.330
Margaret Smith: notes that the the person had written to a judge asking for special consideration, things like that. So you are able to gather information about a person's case and the actions that they took and the reasons why they were

00:56:49.770 --> 00:56:54.270
Margaret Smith: Why their activity raise the level that law enforcement was concerned about them and chose to

00:56:55.290 --> 00:57:00.210
Margaret Smith: to issue a warrant out for their arrest by looking at these citations and by looking at

00:57:01.560 --> 00:57:05.490
Margaret Smith: The, the information that's included in them. For example, if someone was

00:57:06.360 --> 00:57:24.540
Margaret Smith: spreading information online like posting lists of names and addresses of servicemen and women that should be targets for the Islamic State and sharing them on social media, then you would within the citation for the warrant it would list, you know, the

00:57:25.680 --> 00:57:30.390
Margaret Smith: It would list the individual posts and you'd see some text and you'd see the words that they used in

00:57:31.830 --> 00:57:46.770
Margaret Smith: And then you if there was any interaction between the perpetrator and possibly an undercover FBI agent, then there would be key pieces of conversation included in these texts to to understand kind of

00:57:47.910 --> 00:57:52.920
Margaret Smith: What led to them being picked up and charged and brought in.

00:57:54.150 --> 00:57:59.910
Margaret Smith: So that was the primary place that I got a lot of my background data and a lot of the information

00:58:01.350 --> 00:58:11.010
Margaret Smith: Because anytime that somebody is written up or charged, you know, they go into an entire background they provide a lot of personal information about them.

00:58:12.090 --> 00:58:24.090
Margaret Smith: A lot of times during court report recordings or transcripts, you would learn even more kind of get some personal information because the lawyers would make statements. Again, often very gendered or

00:58:25.140 --> 00:58:30.660
Margaret Smith: You know, saying like, She's been a victim x y AMP z, but

00:58:31.830 --> 00:58:48.210
Margaret Smith: And then I went in, you know, just did some typical database searching for in media databases to find what reporters had put out and I also which has a very up to date catalog of all of the

00:58:49.770 --> 00:58:56.460
Margaret Smith: The trial proceedings as well as the outcomes and sentencing and and things like that. So I tried to gather as much as I could.

00:58:57.720 --> 00:59:01.440
Margaret Smith: Using the same you know similar sources for each person.

00:59:02.220 --> 00:59:13.830
Tom Baker: When you, when you took, he described the this reminds me so much of the way that police, police will treat women and courts will treat women for like regular

00:59:13.860 --> 00:59:27.900
Tom Baker: Yeah, criminal investigations like it always like, I know I like with your very gendered in the way that I treated people like I can't imagine how many times, women were

00:59:28.410 --> 00:59:46.410
Tom Baker: engaging in activities, but because I viewed them as the victim or the had the boyfriend who was making them do something and I didn't really attribute the agency to them that they often probably deserved. And I saw it and I recognize it in court. I would see

00:59:47.790 --> 00:59:54.390
Tom Baker: Defense attorneys and women like who are I've met some really bad like

00:59:54.810 --> 01:00:07.530
Tom Baker: People who are women. They're not you know men. Men are committed the vast majority the overwhelming majority of violence and, you know, like there's no coward, but there are some very dangerous and very aggressive some very

01:00:09.480 --> 01:00:12.540
Margaret Smith: Well yeah, I mean, we live in a society that like

01:00:13.860 --> 01:00:15.540
Margaret Smith: I mean, okay. So, for example,

01:00:17.370 --> 01:00:25.260
Margaret Smith: My. I mean, my parents are so excited that you know I'm I was originally a college dropout now.

01:00:25.500 --> 01:00:26.760
Margaret Smith: Dr. Smith, right.

01:00:27.750 --> 01:00:29.220
Tom Baker: I'm proud of you. I could imagine how there.

01:00:31.020 --> 01:00:48.300
Margaret Smith: Yes, but less so I was first thing I said to them, I was like, yeah. So now when you, you know, send the Christmas card or, you know, send my birthday card or whatever you can put on there are when you send a note to us. You can send it to doctor and Mr. Smith.

01:00:49.350 --> 01:00:57.960
Margaret Smith: And my mother was like oh my gosh, I'd never do that. I'd never do that to Patrick is my, my husband and I was like, Woody. What do you mean

01:00:58.620 --> 01:01:11.910
Margaret Smith: She was like, I would never put him. Second, like that. That's just not appropriate and not thinking I mean granted. So she was born in 1946 but like it was it came out as such a shock and obviously she didn't mean anything by it. She was just

01:01:13.350 --> 01:01:13.920
Margaret Smith: backlit

01:01:14.250 --> 01:01:15.750
Tom Baker: To gender.

01:01:16.080 --> 01:01:18.210
Margaret Smith: You consider when we look at

01:01:19.470 --> 01:01:35.250
Margaret Smith: So this is totally not the same. But another example of this. But when we talk about selective service, the people on the Hill that argue against having selective service for women are like the typical people that are like my dad. Right.

01:01:35.310 --> 01:01:37.110
Tom Baker: To drive the draft for people who aren't familiar

01:01:37.290 --> 01:01:37.680

01:01:38.970 --> 01:01:41.550
Margaret Smith: Well, yes. So when a manager so that they can have the

01:01:41.550 --> 01:01:47.550
Margaret Smith: Drive. When a man turns 18 yes or when a boy turns 18 and becomes a man in theory, um,

01:01:48.030 --> 01:01:48.630
You know, you have to

01:01:49.650 --> 01:01:55.200
Margaret Smith: You have to register for the draft and like women don't have to. And yet, now we are open to all.

01:01:55.620 --> 01:02:05.460
Margaret Smith: combat roles and we can do whatever. And so why shouldn't we have to register for the draft, but there are so many people that that's just contrary to. So we have this very

01:02:05.880 --> 01:02:19.890
Margaret Smith: Societal understanding of women, as you know, nurturers and life givers. And so when we talk about women from a criminal perspective or in revenue perspective where they are the ones that are acting violent, it's

01:02:20.670 --> 01:02:27.840
Margaret Smith: Almost socially unacceptable and they aren't viewed as women and so you'll see a lot of like discussions and it was very clear.

01:02:28.920 --> 01:02:31.470
Margaret Smith: If you've ever read anything about the ABA every

01:02:33.150 --> 01:02:38.070
Margaret Smith: Incident in Iraq and the women that were part of that the US women that were part of that.

01:02:39.180 --> 01:02:47.730
Margaret Smith: It's really interesting to see how the media portrayed them and they use words that tried to almost de womanizer them in

01:02:47.880 --> 01:02:48.630
Margaret Smith: Many ways

01:02:48.990 --> 01:02:50.820
Margaret Smith: And there's also the movie with

01:02:52.380 --> 01:02:53.520
Margaret Smith: Charlize Theron called

01:02:54.300 --> 01:02:55.770
Tom Baker: Yeah, fantastic film.

01:02:55.830 --> 01:03:12.570
Margaret Smith: Right, and so we do this as a society, and it's something that plays into this idea that women are in can't be a terrorist in themselves. They have to be somebody that's like following a man that's making them do

01:03:13.080 --> 01:03:14.250
Tom Baker: They're protected, they're

01:03:14.310 --> 01:03:25.230
Tom Baker: There. Well, I mean, marriage, and all these institutions. Their, their products of time where women were property, you know you you were your, your father's daughter.

01:03:26.010 --> 01:03:45.720
Tom Baker: To be done with as he saw it until he accepted what gave you two and a man and like you still see it, you still see it today. And that's what it is. It's this paternalistic attitude that women are not fully developed human beings that

01:03:45.720 --> 01:03:46.230
Margaret Smith: Are on

01:03:47.010 --> 01:03:54.720
Tom Baker: Their back. They can't. It's impossible. A woman could do that because a woman does not have the autonomy to make that decision must have been a man

01:03:54.900 --> 01:03:58.260
Tom Baker: Yeah, it's but it's it's weird because you're saying you're like,

01:03:59.280 --> 01:04:02.250
Tom Baker: By be your, your feminist who is

01:04:03.300 --> 01:04:05.940
Tom Baker: It's you're saying no need to be accountable. Like it's

01:04:06.390 --> 01:04:07.200
Margaret Smith: Right, so it's

01:04:07.320 --> 01:04:11.130
Margaret Smith: Very terrorism creates a lot of problems for feminism. Right.

01:04:11.400 --> 01:04:13.830
Margaret Smith: Because you're saying that the because

01:04:14.880 --> 01:04:17.730
Margaret Smith: Yes, because it's saying that almost

01:04:19.020 --> 01:04:31.050
Margaret Smith: That everything is a product of a male oriented world. Right. But then it's saying that the violence perpetrated by a woman has to be accountable to it. Yeah, it's it's it's a weird place for

01:04:31.380 --> 01:04:34.110
Tom Baker: Me. It's complicated. It's this intersection of nature.

01:04:34.260 --> 01:04:43.380
Tom Baker: Yeah, under there's a whole bunch of different like forces and it's and so you're gonna have plenty of work to do over the course of your career. So let's let's let's

01:04:44.040 --> 01:04:57.690
Tom Baker: See, so you go through, you go through these data and you sort of like to develop these like topology is is taxonomy for like the types of women. Can you talk a little bit about these pathways that you identify

01:04:58.800 --> 01:05:03.030
Margaret Smith: Yeah, so I what I ended up finding so I used a

01:05:04.680 --> 01:05:09.240
Margaret Smith: I use the technique called qualitative comparative analysis and

01:05:10.320 --> 01:05:23.550
Margaret Smith: I chose some attributes that I felt were important or not. I felt research told me was important to radicalization and mobilization so mobilization being actually moving towards conducting

01:05:24.690 --> 01:05:27.900
Margaret Smith: Or doing something on behalf of the organization that you've been radicalized to

01:05:29.730 --> 01:05:44.070
Margaret Smith: And what came out of that was, I noticed that there were these patterns and I found four different categories. So I called them provider protector insider and attacker and I chose those words, as I mentioned in my dissertation, just because they're more a gentle

01:05:45.210 --> 01:05:50.280
Margaret Smith: Then calling somebody a supporter, because as a supporter, we think of second

01:05:50.940 --> 01:06:04.590
Margaret Smith: Kind of second place, someone who's in the background. But if I'm a provider than I am providing somebody something essential that they need, or if I'm a protector than I am doing that or insider I'm somebody who's physically getting

01:06:05.760 --> 01:06:07.530
Margaret Smith: You know, calling for violence. I'm to

01:06:07.560 --> 01:06:08.460
Margaret Smith: Have an action.

01:06:10.920 --> 01:06:14.070
Margaret Smith: Not just providing support to somebody else who's doing the action.

01:06:14.130 --> 01:06:15.780
Tom Baker: Highlights the agency. Yep.

01:06:16.920 --> 01:06:19.890
Margaret Smith: And so I have those four. And what I found was that

01:06:20.520 --> 01:06:31.620
Margaret Smith: All of the women that I had that remained in the US. So it's important to there are 13 women since 2014 that remained in the US to support the Islamic State.

01:06:31.950 --> 01:06:40.500
Margaret Smith: And by remained in the US, I mean that they made no efforts like didn't try and gather travel documents, to my knowledge, didn't try and gather travel documents didn't

01:06:41.220 --> 01:06:49.590
Margaret Smith: Try and buy plane ticket made no attempt to physically travel over to Syria or Iraq or Islamic State tell territory and there are seven women.

01:06:50.100 --> 01:06:58.920
Margaret Smith: That did try and some were successful. So of those that stayed within the United States. I divide it, they were all fit into one of these four categories.

01:07:00.540 --> 01:07:08.190
Margaret Smith: And the way that I define those so their providers are they are materially providing support to foreign fighters so

01:07:08.820 --> 01:07:22.680
Margaret Smith: There are three women and they were of Bosnian Muslim immigrants and they were naturalized citizen see us came over after the conflict of the late night early 90s late 90s and

01:07:24.210 --> 01:07:34.470
Margaret Smith: We're in the Midwest and they all knew each other and they were supporting and sending money and supplies to other Bosnian Muslims that they knew that we're fighting in Iraq and Syria.

01:07:35.310 --> 01:07:52.710
Margaret Smith: And then of the protectors I define these as protecting supporting extremist family members. So you can imagine. One of them is soo my alley and she is a woman from Texas who has two sons that left to support ISIS. So they traveled over to

01:07:53.760 --> 01:07:57.540
Margaret Smith: Cross over and in Turkey from Turkey into Syria and

01:07:58.560 --> 01:08:06.540
Margaret Smith: So she lied to the FBI about their location and though being in contact with them so protecting them and there were a few others and then insiders.

01:08:06.900 --> 01:08:16.230
Margaret Smith: I defined as using the internet and social media to incite violence in the United States and to spread Islamic State propaganda. So these are women who

01:08:17.970 --> 01:08:25.920
Margaret Smith: One of them, the latest one, she was arrested in March of 2019 she's a 19 year old. She was 17 or 16 when she started

01:08:26.310 --> 01:08:38.580
Margaret Smith: But she's from Georgia and she was, you know, a hacker, on behalf of the Islamic State. There's the United cyber Caliphate. That's kind of this conglomerate of hacking groups that

01:08:38.610 --> 01:08:41.520
Tom Baker: Are kind of a cool name. Actually, yeah, it actually is. Yeah.

01:08:43.410 --> 01:08:53.940
Margaret Smith: And so they came together and they would hack into some databases and get names of, you know, servicemen and women and share them or they would do other things on

01:08:54.090 --> 01:08:55.440
Tom Baker: That's not, that's not cool.

01:08:55.830 --> 01:08:58.290
Margaret Smith: Know that part's not cool. They have a cool name.

01:08:59.610 --> 01:09:02.850
Margaret Smith: And then, but but she was a very

01:09:04.140 --> 01:09:08.310
Margaret Smith: I mean, she was actively hacking on behalf of the Islamic State. And then we have another one.

01:09:10.590 --> 01:09:11.730
Margaret Smith: Which was what so

01:09:14.250 --> 01:09:20.250
Margaret Smith: Heather, a little bit. Elizabeth Kaufman is an interesting case. She was from Virginia, she was a young girl young ish

01:09:21.600 --> 01:09:23.130
Margaret Smith: Early 20s, but

01:09:24.360 --> 01:09:29.340
Margaret Smith: She was also can being a connector so she in many ways.

01:09:31.440 --> 01:09:45.390
Margaret Smith: Was able to provide information and connect people to a enabling them to then coordinate travel to go to Syria, so she and was also very active online with spreading and sharing Islamic state media.

01:09:46.170 --> 01:09:55.470
Margaret Smith: And then we have a few there were three women that were actually I categorized as attackers. And they actually took physical actions to conduct an attack on US soil.

01:09:56.190 --> 01:10:07.290
Margaret Smith: Two of them Asia city and Noel the lenses are two New Yorkers that had been roommates and we're no longer roommates. At this time, but they

01:10:08.580 --> 01:10:18.360
Margaret Smith: Became very active and actively supportive of the Islamic State and actually had acquired a lot of make materials in order to make bombs in order to to conduct an attack and had been kind of scoping out

01:10:18.780 --> 01:10:27.180
Margaret Smith: Possibilities within New York City. And then the other one is a woman who is married to a prisoner in Arizona and

01:10:28.200 --> 01:10:34.290
Margaret Smith: Helped smuggle in some materials so that there could be a prison attack on behalf of the Islamic State so

01:10:36.810 --> 01:10:39.540
Margaret Smith: Interesting. Very interesting cases.

01:10:40.800 --> 01:10:41.910
Margaret Smith: And in some of them.

01:10:42.990 --> 01:10:45.000
Margaret Smith: A lot of the descriptions that are given

01:10:46.350 --> 01:10:50.610
Margaret Smith: You know, I would love to be able to talk to these women in person, because on some of them.

01:10:52.080 --> 01:11:09.420
Margaret Smith: A lot of the younger ones, you know, possibly. There's definitely some influence there and there's questions about what's going on at home and all these types of contextual factors that you just can't dig into unless you have actual access to the family members or the person themselves.

01:11:09.750 --> 01:11:11.130
Tom Baker: Work with any like with any crime because

01:11:12.990 --> 01:11:13.410
Margaret Smith: Yeah.

01:11:13.680 --> 01:11:14.880
Tom Baker: Looks over these

01:11:15.060 --> 01:11:22.680
Margaret Smith: Yep. Yeah. So, but I found it was really interesting. And I think what it points to is, as I looked over time the later.

01:11:24.060 --> 01:11:31.680
Margaret Smith: The women that were arrested leader were more in the insider group. So, those that were sharing and doing things online like Kim.

01:11:32.400 --> 01:11:38.460
Margaret Smith: And Bo, who is the woman from Georgia. They the hacker. So she was the last one to be arrested and

01:11:39.240 --> 01:11:51.330
Margaret Smith: What it indicated to me is that what we're likely to see as the physical Caliphate deteriorates and has gone away that we are likely to see more sophisticated actors acting on behalf of the Islamic State online.

01:11:52.980 --> 01:12:00.600
Margaret Smith: Now, as we've also seen with what's going on today there are

01:12:02.010 --> 01:12:10.770
Margaret Smith: A lot of people that are very willing to be passive supporters online, right. So I'm not confident that

01:12:11.850 --> 01:12:24.210
Margaret Smith: In increase like whether the online presence that will be ongoing and continuing is going to incite more violence or whether we just have kind of these passive

01:12:24.780 --> 01:12:32.250
Margaret Smith: People online, but we are definitely likely to see more violence within the affiliates, because those are places where you have

01:12:33.870 --> 01:12:36.060
Margaret Smith: You know, a core group of people acting together.

01:12:37.830 --> 01:12:47.640
Tom Baker: I think can see like a city utility in this, so it's no one's really hasn't spent it. There's been a lot of work done with this group of people. So like

01:12:48.120 --> 01:12:55.260
Tom Baker: Creating these technologies and identifying these pathways are useful for people who, as they move forward to do more research.

01:12:55.650 --> 01:13:05.130
Tom Baker: And also, I can see the utility for like the military and for Lauren law enforcement around the world. I see definitely see the utility. He talked a little bit about

01:13:07.140 --> 01:13:20.910
Tom Baker: Your so so policy wise. So what so based on what you learned and then seeing sort of the types of these types of people are these pathways. Can you talk a little bit, maybe some policy suggestions.

01:13:20.910 --> 01:13:21.840
Margaret Smith: Yeah, so

01:13:22.950 --> 01:13:34.140
Margaret Smith: Given that it's such a limited sample and small and I hesitate to kind of transfer any of these results to other regions of the world. But what I can tell you that in order to

01:13:35.130 --> 01:13:46.830
Margaret Smith: Be confident in trying to make policy recommendations, what I would want to do is branch out and bring in more more data from European countries, and specifically Western European because I think

01:13:48.180 --> 01:14:01.050
Margaret Smith: I think we will see very different responses from regions that are further away from the nucleus of the Islamic State. So, Iraq and Syria. So like Western

01:14:02.640 --> 01:14:09.600
Margaret Smith: Are geographically separated regions versus those that are very close and so

01:14:10.740 --> 01:14:17.550
Margaret Smith: bringing in more data from women that have remained in Europe, despite the fact that they've risen to law enforcement concern.

01:14:18.210 --> 01:14:29.940
Margaret Smith: Supporting the Islamic State. I think we can learn a lot by comparing and contrasting amongst Western women with a broader pool to be able to understand kind of the phenomenon, what's going on, and then

01:14:31.800 --> 01:14:39.480
Margaret Smith: The contributions that they are making to the actual organization. So is that are the contributions, just that they're continuing to

01:14:39.750 --> 01:14:51.180
Margaret Smith: Spread the word or as we have lost the physical Caliphate. Is there going to be a different type of migration, where you have women that are instead traveling to these ISIS affiliate sites.

01:14:51.720 --> 01:14:59.250
Margaret Smith: From these Western countries or are we just going to see over time that this more drops off and it loses its international appeal.

01:14:59.640 --> 01:15:04.680
Margaret Smith: Until you know ISIS is able to regroup as kind of a state oriented.

01:15:05.280 --> 01:15:16.380
Margaret Smith: terrorist group, it's going to be interesting. Over time, but I also think that there's some implications, a broader questions that I would love to dig into with law enforcement, because a lot of this is just domestic

01:15:16.650 --> 01:15:20.460
Margaret Smith: Because from the military perspective, like we wouldn't touch us persons.

01:15:21.450 --> 01:15:34.110
Margaret Smith: So really, we're talking about FBI stuff. But what I'm wondering is, are these categories of the way that these women are supporting the Islamic State. Are they true Islamic State categories of, like, here's how you can help.

01:15:34.710 --> 01:15:44.280
Margaret Smith: Or are they what law enforcement is looking for. So did I find these because this is what law enforcement was looking for and trained to look for. So I would love to dig into

01:15:45.090 --> 01:15:51.150
Margaret Smith: How the FBI trains what they're looking for in terms of online presence and when they dig into finding these people

01:15:53.280 --> 01:16:06.480
Margaret Smith: Do they hone in because of specific attributes and then is that what results with my you know my categories or is it that the Islamic State is reaching out and saying, you know, here's how you can support.

01:16:07.680 --> 01:16:09.330
Margaret Smith: I think that would be an interesting

01:16:09.990 --> 01:16:13.650
Tom Baker: Are you gonna. Are you going to be able to work on when you're at West Point. Are you going home.

01:16:14.130 --> 01:16:18.270
Margaret Smith: Okay, that I will. It's probably going to have to be kind of a side project, but

01:16:19.350 --> 01:16:23.460
Margaret Smith: But I hope. But the nice part about being at West Point is that I will have

01:16:26.460 --> 01:16:31.680
Margaret Smith: We, you know, there's great relationships. There's FBI liaisons there. So I will be able to

01:16:33.000 --> 01:16:35.700
Margaret Smith: You know, ask around hopefully have access to

01:16:36.000 --> 01:16:36.450

01:16:38.730 --> 01:16:46.260
Tom Baker: This is gonna be great. I'm sure there's gonna be a great opportunity. And I just want to. I'm really, really excited for for you to have this opportunity, I think you're gonna do great.

01:16:46.470 --> 01:16:51.630
Tom Baker: I wasn't fun i want to i know i've had you on here for quite a while. So, but I wanted to ask you one more question before I

01:16:52.080 --> 01:16:58.740
Tom Baker: let you go. So what I thought about when I was when I was reading this was that this

01:17:00.150 --> 01:17:07.230
Tom Baker: So you're you're applying to this one very specific group of women for this one very specific type of terrorism.

01:17:07.620 --> 01:17:14.670
Tom Baker: But I was wondering, do you think there's anything we can learn about and I know this is a small sample is generalizable, does it make you maybe

01:17:15.180 --> 01:17:25.650
Tom Baker: Think that there may be something similar happening with women who support like a like a right wing fundamentalist ideology, like a racially motivated way.

01:17:27.060 --> 01:17:28.800
Tom Baker: Because I think of them I think of it as like

01:17:30.270 --> 01:17:33.480
Tom Baker: The same the different sides of the same coin.

01:17:34.290 --> 01:17:35.580
Margaret Smith: Yeah 100%

01:17:37.230 --> 01:17:51.180
Margaret Smith: There's a lot of research out right now I'm looking at politically motivated violence and the type of ideologies that best support that and, you know, conservative right

01:17:52.890 --> 01:18:00.570
Margaret Smith: And his, you know, religious ideologies are those that definitely support a very similar type of political violence.

01:18:01.830 --> 01:18:14.070
Margaret Smith: But yeah, I think, because when we think of fundamentalist conservative movements. I think roles that women would be expected to play within that to make that movement function.

01:18:16.200 --> 01:18:21.360
Margaret Smith: Would be very similar to what we'd see in a very traditional Islamic society.

01:18:23.040 --> 01:18:27.330
Tom Baker: And they share this. They're both, you know, religions of Abraham. There

01:18:27.330 --> 01:18:31.800
Tom Baker: Yeah, but they're very really rooted in tradition and

01:18:33.480 --> 01:18:45.900
Margaret Smith: Yes, I think there are plenty of parallels and that's something else I would love to investigate. There's, there's a fascinating book out called bringing the war home, I think. And it's about the

01:18:46.950 --> 01:18:50.160
Margaret Smith: Right wing violence and white supremacy and

01:18:52.290 --> 01:19:08.880
Margaret Smith: So I have to dig into that, but I would love to definitely do work on trying to bridge kind of the gap and how we think about it, because as we've seen, I think online, you know, incidents of white violence or white domestic terrorism.

01:19:10.020 --> 01:19:17.520
Margaret Smith: Have grown exponentially compared to what we've seen, and yet more talk when we talk about terrorism is still related to the Islamic State.

01:19:18.000 --> 01:19:26.220
Margaret Smith: So from a domestic purpose or from a domestic point of view, like that is something that we really have to start investigating and actually talking about

01:19:26.430 --> 01:19:27.240
Tom Baker: Right. Yeah. Yeah.

01:19:27.480 --> 01:19:37.050
Margaret Smith: Because in in today's age, it makes even more sense because we're seeing kind of the results of this rage that with it going left unspoken about

01:19:37.740 --> 01:19:52.110
Tom Baker: Yeah, it's certainly. I mean, I can't think of another time like this in my lifetime. So before I before I let you go, I just wanted to one more thing can. So the dissertation. Is it is it can people read it if they want. Is it a

01:19:52.650 --> 01:19:54.210
Margaret Smith: Pro quest well

01:19:54.420 --> 01:19:57.930
Tom Baker: I mean they can't find it just reach out to me and I'll make sure they got a copy

01:19:58.140 --> 01:20:05.340
Tom Baker: So I'll put it, I'll put a link in the description below to the to the to the piece so people can read it on their own. Having trouble contact me.

01:20:06.420 --> 01:20:09.510
Tom Baker: I'll put your bio. Your bio and all your info in there.

01:20:10.650 --> 01:20:16.560
Tom Baker: Is there any final thoughts or any sort of parting words or things that you want to leave the audience to think about

01:20:17.850 --> 01:20:18.390
Margaret Smith: Um,

01:20:19.590 --> 01:20:28.110
Margaret Smith: I think it's just that we're at a time when we really need to start challenging and thinking about the

01:20:29.190 --> 01:20:39.630
Margaret Smith: The institutions that we live with and the structures that we live with and just taking a look like I chose to take a feminist lens. But I think everybody should apply a critical lens to

01:20:41.610 --> 01:20:51.960
Margaret Smith: To how they operate where they operate and within what they operate. So even in the work structure, we can see how there's some systematic disadvantages built in for certain people and

01:20:52.830 --> 01:20:59.580
Margaret Smith: And I think we're at a space where we really need to start attacking and exposing those and and trying to figure out how

01:21:01.170 --> 01:21:06.900
Margaret Smith: How to restructure things so that we're actually, you know, the America that we want to be. However, cheesy. That sounds

01:21:06.990 --> 01:21:20.160
Tom Baker: So absolutely right. I couldn't agree more. I think that we're we're living through a transformational period and i know i'm i'm pessimistic. Most of the time, but I do get

01:21:21.720 --> 01:21:27.570
Tom Baker: You and other people. I mean, and doing this podcast, you get to meet some people that do give me hope. So hopefully

01:21:28.590 --> 01:21:30.570
Tom Baker: We can take advantage of this and

01:21:30.600 --> 01:21:39.330
Tom Baker: Yes. You said this is our country and it's our children's country they're going to inherit, there's no no one else is going to fix this crap so

01:21:39.390 --> 01:21:40.380
Tom Baker: Let's get it done right.

01:21:40.830 --> 01:21:42.990
Tom Baker: Great. Okay. Thank you so much, and

01:21:43.770 --> 01:21:45.570
Tom Baker: Have a Great. Well, thank you so much. Yeah.