Hijab and Crime

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CCTV images of child abduction and armed robbery, examples of crimes commited using Islamic dress.

This article lists notable incidents where the Islamic observance of Hijab was used in facilitating criminal activity.


Historical Incidents



Recent Incidents


Suicide bombings in 2006,[1][2] 2008,[3][4] 2009,[5] 2010,[6][7] and 2012.[8] Armed attacks in 2002[9][10] and 2011.[11] Smuggling weapons aboard an aircraft then hijacking it.[12] Bypassing security checkpoints.[13]


Armed robbery of cash courier.[14][15] Falsely accusing a police officer of assault, then avoiding a conviction as she could not be positively identified in CCTV footage.[16]


Bank robbery.[17]


Bypassing airport photo ID checks.[18] Bank robbery.[19] Jewellery store robbery.[20]


Opening fire on a bus full of tourists - "Egypt's mostly male police force often let them go without thoroughly checking them".[21][22]


Post office robbery.[23]


Infant theft,[24] gold smuggling.[25] Assassination of political party candidate.[26][27] Bombing.[28]


Prison escape.[29]


170 different crimes committed by 50 people over a span of 2 years in the city of Amman, including store and bank robberies.[30]




Suicide bombings in 2007,[32][33][34][35] 2009,[36] 2010,[37] 2012.[38] Radical cleric attempting to escape police.[39][40] Shooting in 2007.[41] Kidnapping.[42] Vote fraud.[43] Bypassing a security checkpoint.[44]

Saudi Arabia

Armed attack at security checkpoint.[45]


Attacks by insurgents in disguise.[46] Kidnapping.[47] Suicide bombing.[48]

United Arab Emirates

One individual was tricked in to marrying a women who had a beard by wearing a niqab.[49] Fraudster flees country.[50][51] Store robberies.[52]

United Kingdom

Store robbery,[53] acid throwing,[54][55] and armed robberies at jewellery stores.[56][57] Wanted murderer[58] and terrorists attempt to flee the country.[59][60] Murder of husband.[61][62]

United States

Bank robbery,[63][64] mugging, [65][66] child abduction,[67] and shoplifting.[68]


Armed attack against prison to release inmates.[69]

See Also

  • Lists - A hub page that leads to other articles related to Lists
  • Hijab - A hub page that leads to other articles related to Hijab


  1. "Bombers hit Afghanistan as NATO launches operation", Dominican Today, December 15, 2006 (archived), http://www.dominicantoday.com/dr/world/2006/12/15/20612/Bombers-hit-Afghanistan-as-NATO-launches-operation. 
  2. "Suicide bombers a growing threat in Afghanistan", CBC News, February 2, 2006 (archived), http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/suicide-bombers-a-growing-threat-in-afghanistan-1.591056. 
  3. "Burqa-wearing suicide bomber targets police", Toronto Star, May 16, 2008 (archived), http://www.thestar.com/news/2008/05/16/burqawearing_suicide_bomber_targets_police.html. 
  4. "McCain to pull US troops out of Iraq by 2013", The Age, May 17, 2008 (archived), http://www.theage.com.au/news/us-election/mccain-to-pull-us-troops-out-of-iraq-by-2013/2008/05/16/1210765170840.html. 
  5. Laura King, "20 killed in staged suicide bombings in Afghanistan", Los Angeles Times, May 13, 2009 (archived), http://articles.latimes.com/2009/may/13/world/fg-afghan-bombers13. 
  6. Alissa Rubin, "Afghanistan: Violence Claims 14", New York Times, June 11, 2010 (archived), http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/12/world/asia/12briefs-VIOLENCECLAI_BRF.html. 
  7. Raghvendra Rao, "Kabul hotel attackers came in burqa, one got away", Indian Express, March 4, 2010 (archived), http://www.indianexpress.com/news/kabul-hotel-attackers-came-in-burqa-one-got-away/586652/. 
  8. "Afghanistan hit by two deadly suicide attacks", The Guardian, April 10, 2012 (archived), http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/apr/10/afghanistan-hit-two-deadly-suicide-attacks. 
  9. "Burqa-clad gunmen wound 2", Associated Press, September 20, 2002 (archived), http://www.deseretnews.com/article/938033/Burqa-clad-gunmen-wound-2.html. 
  10. Matthew Rosenberg, "Rockets fired at U.S. base", Associated Press, September 21, 2002 (archived), http://onlineathens.com/stories/092102/new_20020921065.shtml. 
  11. Mohammad Bashir, "More violence rattles Afghanistan after U.N. killings", Reuters, April 2, 2011 (archived), http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/04/02/us-afghanistan-violence-un-idUSTRE7310GZ20110402. 
  12. Sayed Salahuddin, "Hugs as Afghan hostages return home", Reuters, February 14, 2000 (archived), http://www.iol.co.za/news/world/hugs-as-afghan-hostages-return-home-1.28159. 
  13. "Security ramped up ahead of Afghan elections", Associated Press, September 17, 2010 (archived), http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/security-ramped-up-ahead-of-afghan-elections/article681434.ece. 
  14. "Courier robbed by man in burka", Express, May 6, 2010 (archived), http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/173485/Courier-robbed-by-man-in-burka. 
  15. "Burqa bandit in cash grab", AAP, May 6, 2010 (archived), http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/burqa-bandit-in-cash-grab/story-e6frfku0-1225862840852. 
  16. "Carnita Matthew, accused of making a false statement, has history of not paying fines", News Limited, June 21, 2011 (archived), http://www.news.com.au/national/muslim-woman-accused-of-making-false-police-statement-avoids-jail-over-identity-doubt/story-e6frfkvr-1226078884650. 
  17. "Men disguised as Muslim women rob bank", Reuters, July 3, 2007 (archived), http://www.reuters.com/article/2007/07/03/us-bosnia-robbery-nikab-idUSL0380407920070703. 
  18. Brian Lilley, Bryn Weese, "Lifting the veil on airport security", Canoe News, August 1, 2010 (archived), http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2010/08/01/14892241.html. 
  19. "Man uses niqab as a disguise during bank robbery", CTV Ottawa News, December 31, 2010 (archived), http://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/man-uses-niqab-as-a-disguise-during-bank-robbery-1.591269. 
  20. Betsy Powell and John Duncanson, "Jewel heists target Asians": Toronto Star, November 21, 2006.
  21. Betsy Hiel, "Egypt attacks: Terror or unrest'", TribLIVE, May 8, 2005 (archived), http://triblive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/regional/s_332135.html. 
  22. Lamia Radi, "Egypt faces new phenomenon of Islamic militancy", Middle East Online, May 2, 2005 (archived), http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=13375. 
  23. "Two burqa-clad robbers hold up post office near Paris", France 24, February 10, 2010 (archived), http://www.france24.com/en/20100210-burqa-robbers-post-office-paris-nicolas-sarkozy-ban-national-identity-france-muslim. 
  24. "Burqa-clad woman followed me to health post: mother of stolen infant", Indian Express, November 17, 2010 (archived), http://www.indianexpress.com/news/burqaclad-woman-followed-me-to-health-post-mother-of-stolen-infant/712418/. 
  25. "20 gold bars valued at Rs 5.8 cr seized from 2 women at airport", Deccan Chronicle, September 19, 2013 (archived), http://www.deccanchronicle.com/130919/news-crime/article/20-gold-bars-valued-rs-58-cr-seized-2-women-airport. 
  26. "Ultras gun down J&K minister", Economic Times, September 12, 2002 (archived), http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2002-09-12/news/27359947_1_militants-shot-militant-outfit-lobbed. 
  27. Rahul Bedi, "Kashmir minister shot dead at rally", Telegraph, September 12, 2002 (archived), http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/india/1406995/Kashmir-minister-shot-dead-at-rally.html. 
  28. Karn Kowshik, "Terror stalks Mumbai, city on high alert", Indian Broadcasting Network, October 26, 2007 (archived), http://ibnlive.in.com/news/terror-stalks-mumbai-again-city-on-high-alert/51224-3.html. 
  29. "Indonesia police recapture bomber who escaped in a burka", BBC News, December 11, 2012 (archived), http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-20675082. 
  30. Suha Maayeh, "Crime wave by men wearing the khimar", The National, August 4, 2009 (archived), http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/middle-east/crime-wave-by-men-wearing-the-khimar. 
  31. Antti Liukku, "Devout Muslim turns pickpocket", Algemeen Dagblad (Dutch), June 27, 2008 (archived from the original), http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fweb.archive.org%2Fweb%2F20080810165646%2Fhttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.ad.nl%2Frotterdam%2F2401025%2FVrome_moslima_blijkt_zakkenroller.html&date=2013-11-05. 
  32. "Woman in Pakistan suicide bombing", BBC News, December 4, 2007 (archived), http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/7126637.stm. 
  33. "Burka-clad bomber kills 15 in Pakistan", Guardian, October 1, 2007 (archived), http://www.theguardian.com/world/2007/oct/01/pakistan. 
  34. Jane Perlez, "Pakistani frontier city under siege", Seattle Times, January 18, 2008 (archived), http://seattletimes.com/html/nationworld/2004131785_pakfrontier18.html. 
  35. "Pak: Woman suicide bomber blows herself up", Indian Broadcasting Network, December 5, 2007 (archived), http://ibnlive.in.com/news/first-known-case-of-a-woman-suicide-bomber-in-pak/53629-2.html. 
  36. Huw Borland, "Twin Blasts Rip Through Pakistan University", Sky News, October 20, 2009 (archived), http://news.sky.com/story/732858/twin-blasts-rip-through-pakistan-university. 
  37. "Woman suicide bomber kills 45", Mirror, December 26, 2010 (archived), http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/woman-suicide-bomber-kills-45-271487. 
  38. "Blasts hit besieged mosque", Evening Times, March 30, 2012 (archived), http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/blasts-hit-besieged-mosque-1.951612. 
  39. "Besieged mosque leader caught fleeing in burqa", ABC News, June 5, 2007 (archived), http://www.abc.net.au/news/2007-07-05/besieged-mosque-leader-caught-fleeing-in-burqa/89932. 
  40. Munir Ahmed, "Mosque leader caught escaping in burqa", Herald Scotland, June 7, 2007 (archived), http://www.heraldscotland.com/mosque-leader-caught-escaping-in-burqa-1.860913. 
  41. "'Militant' shot dead in Pakistan", BBC News, March 8, 2007 (archived), http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/6430099.stm. 
  42. Pervez Hoodbhoy, "Islamabad succumbs", The Guardian, May 17, 2007 (archived), http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2007/may/17/islamabadsuccumbs. 
  43. Jamila Achakzai and Saadia Khalid, "Female voters with old ID cards feel cheated", Daily Times, February 19, 2008 (archived), http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2008/02/19/story_19-2-2008_pg11_5. 
  44. "Man in burqa held in Pakistan", CNN, June 22, 2010 (archived), http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/asiapcf/06/22/pakistan.custody/. 
  45. "Saudi says Qaeda militant dressed as woman killed", AFP, December 27, 2010 (archived), http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticleNew.asp?xfile=/data/middleeast/2010/December/middleeast_December423.xml&section=middleeast. 
  46. Guled Mohamed, "Somali forces ban, burn Muslim women's veils", Reuters, May 9, 2007 (archived), http://in.reuters.com/article/2007/05/09/idINIndia-29735620070509. 
  47. Tom Maliti, "Italian nuns say Somali extremists kidnapped them", Seattle Times, February 26, 2009 (archived), http://seattletimes.com/html/nationworld/2008789283_apafkenyasomaliafreednuns.html. 
  48. "Ever more atrocious", Economist, December 10, 2009 (archived), http://www.economist.com/node/15066022. 
  49. Bassam Za'za', "Man claims fiancee hid beard under niqab", Gulf News, February 10, 2010 (archived), http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/crime/man-claims-fiancee-hid-beard-under-niqab-1.580722. 
  50. Rehan Rachid, "Former employee sued by Dubai World in US court", Top News, September 16, 2009 (archived), http://topnews.ae/content/2743-former-employee-sued-dubai-world-us-court. 
  51. Richard Spencer, "With scuba gear under a burka, French spy Herve Jaubert made his escape from Dubai", Telegraph, August 23, 2009 (archived), http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/dubai/6074279/With-scuba-gear-under-a-burka-French-spy-Herve-Jaubert-made-his-escape-from-Dubai.html. 
  52. "Man in abaya 'stole from 10 shops'", The National, August 24, 2010 (archived), http://www.thenational.ae/news/uae-news/man-in-abaya-stole-from-10-shops. 
  53. "Unmasked: 'burqa' raiders who admitted Selfridges smash-and-grab", London Evening Standard, July 16, 2013 (archived), http://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/unmasked-burqa-raiders-who-admitted-selfridges-smashandgrab-8710239.html. 
  54. Andrew Hough, "Two arrested over acid attack that left Victoria's Secret shop worker scarred", Telegraph, February 25, 2013 (archived), http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/9892594/Two-arrested-over-acid-attack-that-left-Victorias-Secret-shop-worker-scarred.html. 
  55. Justin Davenport, "Woman charged over acid attack on Victoria’s Secret shop assistant Naomi Oni", London Evening Standard, April 30, 2013 (archived), http://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/woman-charged-over-acid-attack-on-victorias-secret-shop-assistant-naomi-oni-8597716.html. 
  56. Sam McGregor, "Burka robbers raid jewellery shop", Oxford Mail, August 25, 2009 (archived), http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/4564267.Burka_robbers_raid_jewellery_shop/. 
  57. Owen Bennett, "Burka-wearing armed robbers foiled by brave shop assistant", Daily Express, August 7, 2013 (archived), http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/420395/Burka-wearing-armed-robbers-foiled-by-brave-shop-assistant. 
  58. Paul Stokes, "Murder suspect fled under Muslim veil", Telegraph, December 20, 2006 (archived), http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1537414/Murder-suspect-fled-under-Muslim-veil.html. 
  59. "Jury sees 21 July 'burka escape'", BBC News, February 20, 2007 (archived), http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/6378863.stm. 
  60. Tom Whitehead, "Terror suspect who escaped in burka had alleged electronic tag tampering court case dropped", Telegraph, November 4, 2013 (archived), http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/10425181/Terror-suspect-who-escaped-in-burka-had-alleged-electronic-tag-tampering-court-case-dropped.html. 
  61. Chris Irvine, "Woman who disguised herself in burka jailed for murdering husband", Telegraph, December 23, 2008 (archived), http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/3918790/Woman-who-disguised-herself-in-burka-jailed-for-murdering-husband.html. 
  62. "Husband-killing newlywed jailed", BBC News, December 23, 2008 (archived), http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/7797951.stm. 
  63. Martin Weil, "Man in burqa robs Md. bank", Washington Post, August 11, 2010 (archived), http://voices.washingtonpost.com/crime-scene/montgomery/man-in-burqa-robs-md-bank.html. 
  64. Debbi Baker, "FBI: Burqa-wearing bank robber arrested", San Diego Union-Tribune, September 30, 2013 (archived), http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/sep/30/suspected-burqu-wearign-bank-robberarrested/. 
  65. Michael Harthorne, "Police: Teen girls attack, rob pregnant woman", KOMO News, November 12, 2013 (archived), http://www.komonews.com/news/crime/Police-Teen-girls-attack-rob-pregnant-woman--231595061.html. 
  66. Steve Kiggins, "Burqa-donning teens attack, rob woman 9 months pregnant", Q13 FOX News, November 12, 2013 (archived), http://q13fox.com/2013/11/12/burka-wearing-teens-attack-rob-pregnant-woman-for-her-cell-phone/. 
  67. Jamie McCarty, "U.S. Missing Pa. Girl, 5, Abducted From School Found", ABC News, January 15, 2013 (archived), http://abcnews.go.com/US/missing-pa-girl-abducted-school-found/story?id=18217095. 
  68. "East metro police blotter", Minneapolis Star-Tribune, November 4, 2008 (archived), http://www.startribune.com/local/east/33672399.html. 
  69. Oliver Holmes, "Suspected al Qaeda militants attack Yemen prison", Telegraph, June 19, 2010 (archived), http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/yemen/7840454/Suspected-al-Qaeda-militants-attack-Yemen-prison.html.